Hillsborough early-release panel issues report
TAMPA -- Mark the date: on Tuesday at 10 a.m., the Hillsborough County School Board will convene a workshop to consider a fix for its troublesome early-release problem and other school calendar issues.
As any Hillsborough parent knows, this is a matter of keen interest in many households. Will the board agree to drop the much-criticized 12 early-release days in developing next year's calendar? Will they accept the Early Release Committee's suggestion to start school an hour late most Mondays in order to preserve teacher planning time? Will they find a way to make adoption of the annual school calendar less of a drawn-out, delayed, and heated process?
Don't expect any firm answers on Tuesday; all decisions must be voted on during a not-yet-scheduled regular meeting. But if you're planning to drop by 901 East Kennedy to see for yourself, here's some homework: the agenda and detailed recommendations by the Early-Release Committee. And for fun and reflection, here's columnist Marlene Sokol's take on the situation.
Super-organized parents should feel free to buy their 2011-12 calendars this weekend, well before the back-to-school rush. But for now, it might be a good idea to sketch out those vacation plans in pencil.