What do you call days when school ends early - minimum days, early out days? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a terminology question. I'm developing a computer system that centrally coordinates all school volunteer opportunities such as playground duty, reading in class, fun fairs, auctions.... Some things like playground duty aren't scheduled on days when school ends early (for instance at midday instead of 3pm). At the school where our children go these are called "minimum days". However I'm wondering if the term differs at different schools.

 

Do you have days like this at your children's school - what do you call these days?

- minimum days

- early out days

 

Thanks in advance  - if I don't use a term that's familiar to all it would make things confusing. I'd appreciate guidance from moms that know.


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#2 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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In our area we use them both in different ways. For example, the elementary schools release kids 1 hour early once a week for staff development (same day every week all year long.) These are "Early out" days.

 

Minimum days are half days (kids get our 2 or 3 hours early) and only occur during yearly conferences or on random staff development days (no real routine.)

 

Of course, any school could use them any way I suppose. I would say that if the kids are getting out at noon and no playground staff is called in, you are talking about a minimum day. In our area, early out days still include a full staff.


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#3 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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It probably varies by district. 

 

Here it's:

"Early Release" = out at 1:15 pm

"AM only" = out at 11:05 am and kindergarten is canceled.

 

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#4 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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Here I think they're called early dismissal days, or half days.

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#5 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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Early dismissal here.

 

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#6 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much. I'm hoping to use a single term - "early dismissal" sounds like something everyone would understand and I can let the school configure what exact times these may mean on any given "early dismissal".

 

This greatly helps reduce any possibility of confusion!

 

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#7 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Early dismissal is also used here.

 

DD's school also has a "late start" day once a month. Classes start mid-morning on those days. Not sure if you want your program to anticipate other possibilities but I think it's fairly common at local schools. 

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#8 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Late start - that's interesting. I haven't encountered that. Does anyone else have late start days? (If it's not common I don't want to add things that could be counter to user interface simplicity)


Are there volunteer events that happen on every day EXCEPT late start days? 
(E.g. reading, class helper...). 

 

Otherwise I'm allowing users to schedule opportunities as follows:

- on a single date

- every school day

- every school day that is not an early out day

- every 3rd Monday of the month (for example) when school is in

- every 15th of the month (for example) when school is in

- more complex (e.g. auction,book fair or fun fair with people needed at different times/shifts)

 

I really appreciate all the insight you're providing. It's really helpful. Again thank you.

 

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#9 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbooker View Post

Late start - that's interesting. I haven't encountered that. Does anyone else have late start days? (If it's not common I don't want to add things that could be counter to user interface simplicity)

 

 

Richard


Some of the high schools in our county do "late start" this once a month instead of having a minimum day. It's popular for teenagers and makes sense for staff development but I've not seen it done at the elementary/middle school level.

 


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#10 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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Hm. Out of curiosity, I just googled "late start school days" and came up with hits from various North American cities. There seem to be 2 purposes. One, the most common, is a regular late start day, typically monthly, for teachers to meet for curriculum review and planning. That's what happens at DD's school, which is a high school. The other is to allow teens to start their school day later and end later, to reflect their sleep patterns.  

 

I imagine volunteer events on late start days will vary between schools. At some schools, they may take advantage of the free time to schedule an extra co-curricular or extra-curricular club meeting or sport practice or drama rehearsal or mentor program meeting for volunteers. 

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#11 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post


Some of the high schools in our county do "late start" this once a month instead of having a minimum day. It's popular for teenagers and makes sense for staff development but I've not seen it done at the elementary/middle school level.

 



From my google search, it does happen at the elementary school level too. No idea just how common it is, but those 3 districts indicate that it doesn't seem unusual. There were more examples aside from those 3 that I've linked. 

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#12 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post



From my google search, it does happen at the elementary school level too. No idea just how common it is, but those 3 districts indicate that it doesn't seem unusual. There were more examples aside from those 3 that I've linked. 



I'm just commenting on my own county. I'm wasn't suggesting it never happens.


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#13 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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I'm just commenting on my own county. I'm wasn't suggesting it never happens.


 

Sure, I didn't think you were. I was just trying to give the OP a little more information about it and where he might find it happening at the elementary level in case he thought it didn't apply to that age group, particularly since I mentioned that it's also at the high school level in DD's case. Some of those google hits discuss some of the inconveniences to parents of late start days. I imagine that volunteer programs fill in with activities and supervision in some school districts. 

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#14 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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My son's middle school has a late start every Wednesday. The teachers have meetings, training etc that morning. The class schedule is changed to "block" schedule for Wednesday and Thursday: they have longer class periods for 3 classes on Wednesday, and the other 4 classes on Thursday.

 

The local Y offers an at-school morning program (for free to families) on the late start day. Or kids can do homework and socialize in the lunch room. The buses run at the regular time, so kids who have to take the bus get to school early that day. My son rides his bike to school, so he usually sleeps late. : )

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#15 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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Have the calendar next to me - Early dismissal (lets out at 1:00)


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#16 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbooker View Post

Late start - that's interesting. I haven't encountered that. Does anyone else have late start days? (If it's not common I don't want to add things that could be counter to user interface simplicity)

 



We also do late start days. In our district it will be something like late start middle school, early dismissal high school.

 

I assume it is to coordinate busing or perhaps allowing people involved in training in different building time to hit all the schools.

 

Just looked at the calendar and I don't see any late starts this year, but have had them in the past.


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#17 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Really useful. Thank you. If you are interested in providing any further input / critiquing (=helping) please do drop me a private message and I can share with you some test input screens for setting up volunteer opportunities. The system is a work in progress (some functions are working, some aren't) but it's starting to come together.

 

I've learned a lot from this discussion thread - it's really helpful and made me aware that I need to deal with late starts! Thank you for all your real world (real mom) input.


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#18 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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Early Release

 

 

The only way I've seen late start days were related to weather -- to give more time to clear streets and to miss the morning rush after a snow fall. The reason for still having school rather than having a snow day was because so many parents work that a "snow day" meant lots and lots of children left unattended all day.


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#19 of 30 Old 11-01-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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The local school district calls their half days Early Release. My DD's school (private) calls it Half Days. 


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#20 of 30 Old 11-02-2011, 05:28 AM
 
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We always called them early dismissal - half day.


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#21 of 30 Old 11-02-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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Early Release.

 

I'm in south Texas so late starts due to weather are extremely uncommon; maybe every other year there may be a day or two with a late start due to ice on the roads.


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#22 of 30 Old 11-02-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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its early dismissal here too

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#23 of 30 Old 11-02-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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I have 2 kids in High School who have late start every Wednesday as do all of our traditional high schools in the district. My youngest goes to a non traditional k-12 and they have early release every Wednesday as do all the schools in the district south of us.

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#24 of 30 Old 11-02-2011, 09:33 PM
 
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every wednesday the kids get out an hour early.  They are called Early Dismissal days.

 

There are no late starts in the districts around here.

 

Not every school in the district starts and ends at the same time.  we have quite a few rural students & the bussing of those students (and the city students) have to coordinate with with 2 other districts(one in town one out of town).  The latest schools get out at 3:45 but busses don't arrive at my kids school until 4:00.    There are staff who have to stay with those kids

 

Another glitch here would be the Catholic system which the public system coordinates busses with.  The Catholic system on gets out early 1 Wednesday a month.  The other 3-4 Wednesdays the kids at our school are let out at 2:30, but the busses still don't all show up until 4:30.

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#25 of 30 Old 11-05-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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To the OP:

One more thing that you might want to think about is whether there's a rotation of classes at your school. So, for example, my kids have "specials" that are on a 6 day schedule. The schedule is something like:

Day 1 PE

Day 2 Library

Day 3 Counselor

Day 4 PE

Day 5 Technology

Day 6 Music

 

And then they have "zero days" where they all skip their specials because something else is going on (usually an assembly or other school wide event). If your school has a rotation of any sorts, you might want people to sign up for All Days except Zero Days (or only Zero Days) or whatever.

 

Our district never has late start or early dismissal. I remember that as a child, but it does not happen here. They've chosen to do it differently: The store up all those early dismissal days and the kids don't have school about once every 2 months for 'teacher planning' or 'teacher development'.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

In our area we use them both in different ways. For example, the elementary schools release kids 1 hour early once a week for staff development (same day every week all year long.) These are "Early out" days.

 

Minimum days are half days (kids get our 2 or 3 hours early) and only occur during yearly conferences or on random staff development days (no real routine.)

 



We also have that.  Each Wednesday is "Early Dismissal" and the schools release 1.5 hours early.  Half days are called "half days."  Late start, in our district, is only for weather issues.

 

 


 

 

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#27 of 30 Old 11-09-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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Our district has "delayed opening" days once or twice a month. School is delayed by 2 hrs. We don't do early dismissal, but we have been in another school that did do that. We called them half days there. 

 

We also often have delayed openings in the winter due to snow or ice. 


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#28 of 30 Old 11-14-2011, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for everyone's help. Thanks to your input the site - called Parent Booker (at the obvious .com URL) - which coordinates school parent volunteers has really come together and is now live.

 

I was able to incorporate everyone's input, so now the system will let you create a volunteer opportunity that occurs:

- every day school is in

- every Monday and Thursday school is in (for example)

- every day school is in except early dismissal days

- every day school is in except late start days

 

It will then email blast only parents with children in classes that are relevant, providing a sign up link which shows parents a calendar with all the available slots.

 

Again, thank you.I did not know about late start days but now the system is all set up to handle them.

 

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#29 of 30 Old 11-16-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
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Thank you for everyone's help. Thanks to your input the site - called Parent Booker (at the obvious .com URL) - which coordinates school parent volunteers has really come together and is now live.


That site is a neat idea -- do know how much it is for the school per year?

 


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#30 of 30 Old 11-16-2011, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It will be $59.99 per month (per school - a school can have lots of parents who coordinate events at no additional cost). Schools would probably more than easily cover this cost via:

 

- Increased parent engagement and attendance at events, so events and activities raise more funds

 

- When a school can show reports validating parent volunteer hours an increasing number of companies make a donation to the school. E.g. for every hour of parent volunteer work the company donates $10 to the school. Here's one example of this listing some of the major employers who do this:

http://www.cando4schools.org/Company%20match.htm

 

- I've heard that some schools have been able to get corporate sponsors to donate not insignficant amounts using reports that demonstrate how many hours that parents are putting in. In San Francisco I have heard that Lowes hardware donated over $125k to a public school to renovate their gymnasium when it demonstrated parents commitment in this way. They didn't use Parent Booker, but Parent Booker's service hour tracking would help and likely present greater legitimacy to a potential sponsor

 

- The tight parent community it visibly creates can make a private school more attractive to prospective parents

 

- Parents who coordinate volunteers spend less time coordinating, so can spend more time doing volunteer activites

 

Of course this is an amount that a parent could choose to donate to the school. Some schools may reimburse this as an expense if a parent pays for it.

 

Then there's the whole issue of at many schools a minority of parents end up doing most of the volunteer work; others complain that they never know when volunteers are needed. The progress thermometer parents see when they login shows their progress against their annual hours target then immediately below they see a list of where volunteers are needed, filtered to be relevant based on the classes their children are in.

 

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