Why Wednesday early-outs?


Recent discussion about the school board’s decision to return to Wednesday early outs in the 2022-2023 school year leaves students and staff with one question, and that is why?

Maura Peters, Photo Manager

As the 2022-23 school year begins, many students, parents, and staff are questioning the recent decision by administration to implement Wednesday early-outs again. Friday early-outs began during hybrid learning and have been highly praised by the PV community. There seemed to be little to no opposition to Friday early-outs, so what drove the school board to make such a change?

Following just one week of school, major discussions are beginning regarding students’ love for Friday early-outs, rather than the Wednesday early-outs we see returning this year. The students enjoy having what feels like a longer weekend and more time to complete assignments before the weekend truly begins. Parents prefer Fridays to plan extended trips with the additional half day provided to them. As of now, the biggest unanswered question is “why”?

When members of the current Pleasant Valley school board were interviewed, many pieces started to fit together. Board president Nikil Wagle sheds light on the impact COVID-19 had on not only students, but teachers as well. Wagle states, “The board, along with the administration, wants as close to 100% staff participation. Wednesday early-outs were the most ideal way to achieve this.” In the midst of hybrid learning, Friday early-outs allowed teachers to access quality and pace of learning amongst classes. 

At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, Friday early-outs returned. Staff shortages remained present not only at the high school, but the entire Pleasant Valley School District. Rather than covering for other classes during their open periods, administrators gave teachers a chance to catch up and make all necessary changes to their lesson plans. 

Molly Brockmann, another school board member in the district, discusses the creation of a new  committee, one composed of teachers from all grade levels. “The committee looked at how in-service  time would be utilized and how to make it the most effective. They discussed what day of the week would be best, as Wednesdays typically do not have athletic events or other activities. Although Friday early-outs may work for families if they want to go out of town, there are many athletic events on Fridays that would require our teacher/coaches to leave early, therefore missing planning time, but, most importantly, making it difficult to collaborate within their other teaching groups.”

Wagle states, “For the last couple of decades, early-outs have always been on Wednesday afternoons”. This statement sparks some reflection within the PV community in regard to all of the changes that have been made since the beginning of the pandemic. The school district’s decision to reinstate Wednesday early-outs can be seen as an attempt to simply make education in Pleasant Valley seem normal, as it was before Covid. Although not all agree with this decision, it seems to be the best way to make students and staff feel as if their experience in education is back to normal.