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Early release has teachers, students happy

Wednesday marks the first day of early release for Bonneville School District 93.

Students in schools all over the district will now leave school 90 minutes early every Wednesday .

Students are happy to get out earlier, and teachers are happy to have extra time to prepare their lessons. But some working parents are worried about what to do when their kids need to come home early.

“It’s definitely hard rearranging schedules,” said Gena Hamilton, local mom. “I’m picking up a kindergartener and a first grader — neighbor and my little boy.”

It’s all part of District 93’s early release initiative, giving teachers an extra 90 minutes to prepare and collaborate for better student achievement.

“This allows teachers to work together so they can create the synergy where they can put their minds together and create the best educational package, basically,” said Ken Marlowe, principal at Discovery Elementary School.

Teachers said their work goes beyond the classroom and continues long after the students have gone home.

“I end up working until about 5 every night and I still take papers home to grade, so this is really helpful to have the extra time,” said Kim Julian, third-grade teacher.

Hamilton said now she makes sure to get off work a little earlier on Wednesdays and she and her neighbors cover for each other.

“Help each other by alternating weeks of what week you pick up,” said Hamilton. “That always helps our neighbors.”

“We hope it’s not too much of a burden,” said Marlowe. “What we really plan and hope for is that the benefits will far outweigh the sacrifices that we have to make.”

School administrators said they know this change will be tough and may take extra planning, so creating car pools and babysitting schedules should help ease the transition.

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