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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Middle school exam week schedules are under review in Hillsborough



An idea has been hatched to dismiss Hillsborough's middle school students early on semester exam days.

But, even if it is improved, it won't be acted on any time soon.

"It's purely conversation right now," spokeswoman Tanya Arja said Wednesday.

Word has spread in some schools since a letter went out last week from Harrison Peters, chief of schools, laying out the reasons why it would make sense to dismiss early after exams, as high schools do.

For one thing, students are exhausted. When the exams are over, they often sit idly, waiting for the dismissal bell.

And teachers need time to grade the exams, Peters wrote. The number of them has grown exponentially in the years since the state began requiring value-added measure for all classes.

"Adequate planning time is one of the greatest challenges among teachers nationally," Peters wrote.

Peters described a schedule that would dismiss students an hour early, as already happens every Monday. In later years, dismissals on exam days could be even earlier.

Arrangements would have to be made for students who are in after-school programs on and off campus, which is one of the reasons why the plan will not take effect this semester. In fact, Arja said, it might not even happen this school year.

Whatever the timetable, the School Board would have to approve the new schedule in a vote.


[Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 2:56pm]


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