Students and teachers in Clinton are looking forward to enjoying the upcoming winter break, but thanks to their local board members, the time off will begin a little sooner.
During the Clinton City Schools Board of Education meeting Thursday night, a decision was made to have an early release schedule for Friday, Dec. 18. Original plans called for a full day of school for local students.
“The board realizes there are times in the school calendar when we could have planned better for the realities of such occasion retaliative to Christmas holiday,”said Chairperson Jason Walters. “At the time the calendar is made and approved, it is hard to anticipate what might be most practical. In this case, it was recognized and luckily the timing of the board meeting was such that we could make the change without disadvantaging students or compromising hours that were built into the school schedule.”
Walters continued and said the board made efforts to have whole school days throughout the year.
“By doing so, when occasions such as this arise, we know students have had the quality time necessary to be engaged in each class no matter the time of day,” Walters said. “We realize that partial days and augmented schedules don’t always have the best impact. Decisions like these are scrutinized by board members and are always looked at from different perspectives. Sometimes it is hard to change something as simple as a schedule because there are always principles involved in why the decision was made in the first place or just that people have to have enough time to adjust.”
Board members discussed the case and there was not a lot of debate. Collectively, Walters believes the board made the right decision.
“I know the board hopes everyone else agrees as well,” Walters said.
Faith Jackson, community liaison for Clinton City Schools, recently released a schedule for Dec. 18, which includes staggered hours because of transportation and busing schedules.
“In years past, we’ve had early release on that day,” she said about the school day before the holiday break. “This year it was scheduled as a full day and they thought it would be better to have an early release day.”
After the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount said he appreciated the board making the decision for the students and the staff. He said it was a much deserved break for students and teachers.
“It gives them the opportunity to start their break a little bit early and get an extra half-a-day of rest,” Blount said in regards to getting a break before next year.
For patrons with travel plans, Blount believes the early release will give people an opportunity to get a head start on travel plans.
Schools will be closed Monday Dec. 21 through Friday, Jan. 1 2016. Classes will resume Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
“I wish everybody a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year’s,” Blount said. “Please be safe and we look forward to everyone coming back in January.”
Clinton City Schools, Early Release times for Friday, Dec. 18
L.C. Kerr School — 11:45 a.m.
Butler Avenue School — Noon
Sunset Avenue School — 12:30 p.m.
Sampson Middle School — 12:30 p.m.
Clinton High School — 1 p.m.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.