Wake Ed

Wake County schools will send students home early Friday

Students gather in downtown Apex just after lunchtime on an early release day for the Wake County school system in 2015. Students poured into every store that sold ice cream, treats or cold drinks
Students gather in downtown Apex just after lunchtime on an early release day for the Wake County school system in 2015. Students poured into every store that sold ice cream, treats or cold drinks wdoran@newsobserver.com

Wake County families are hopefully prepared for Friday’s early release day, when students will be dismissed from school 2 1/2 hours early.

Friday marks the first of six early release days built into the school year for every Wake County school. Schools use the early dismissal to provide training for teachers in the afternoon.

The other five early release days are Sept. 30, Oct. 21, Dec. 2, Jan. 20 and Feb. 10.

Some parents may question sending students home early on Friday considering that schools were closed Monday for Labor Day.

School board members indirectly deal with the issue on Sept. 1, 2015 when the 2016-17 calendars were discussed at a work session. Board member Kevin Hill wanted to know why four of the six early release days were front-loaded into the first semester.

Tamani Anderson Powell, Wake's director of marketing and communications for magnet schools, replied that it’s difficult finding Fridays when all the schools are in to have districtwide early release days. She also said that schools prefer holding those days earlier in the school year to make use of the professional development time.

The early release means Wake schools will be dismissed Friday between 11:48 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., prompting families to adjust schedules and find childcare options.

The YMCA of the Triangle is offering options for families who can foot the cost for the after-school care.

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