Frequently Asked Questions for PLC
What time would my child get out of school?
On early release days, all schools will dismiss 90 minutes earlier than the regular dismissal time. See the schedule.
When will the early release days occur?
The early release days occur on Fridays, however there will not be an early release during weeks where there is a holiday or already schedule early release (such as parent teacher conferences). In addition, there will not be early release Fridays during April due to state testing.
How do I know if it’s a full day Friday or an early release Friday?
Check the calendar. Early release days are shaded by blue and green. Non-early release days have no color shading.
Will there be other early release days besides Fridays?
Please review the district calendar for specific dates.
- K-12 schools have 2 early release days in October
- K-8 schools have 2 early release days in February
High School Finals
- High schools have 2 half days at the end of each semester in December and May
End of Semester
- K-8 schools have 1 half day at the last school day in December and May
Will this lengthen the school year?
No, the school year will end as it typically does each year. In fact, because we removed the full student release day in February we have added one more instructional day within the school year.
Does this mean less learning time for my child?
No, actually instructional minutes have been recaptured by removing the monthly Friday half days, full day release in February. In addition, the release time for parent/teacher conferences will now follow the early release timeline of 90 minutes early rather than 2 ½ hours early.
Will lunch still be served on Fridays?
Yes. Students may access the lunch services from their schools by either qualifying for free/reduced lunch and breakfast or by payment.
Will this affect bus transportation?
On early release afternoons, the buses will bring students home 90 minutes earlier than their normal day schedule.
What does this mean for our teachers?
Teachers in the Professional Learning Community hold a great deal of responsibility, not just for their students but also for their colleagues. Collaborative teacher groups hold discussions about student achievement and data, model best practices for each other, research and implement new techniques, and accept feedback from peers. This work gives teachers the opportunity to be significant decision-makers in the school.
How does my child benefit from this change?
Why is this important for your child? Professional Learning Communities provide the time teachers need to review individual student learning progress. Teachers have always reviewed their own students’ work, but PLCs provide the structure for teachers to collaborate and help each other to best respond to student learning needs. By providing teachers time to work together, students benefit from the collective experience and knowledge of many school professionals.
Where can parents and other interested parties review the goals, objectives, and measurements of effectiveness regarding this program?
Professional Learning Communities are a research-based model for collaboration. The District Strategic Improvement Plan identifies specific goals and objectives for measuring the district progress on improving student learning. Additional information on professional learning communities in DVUSD can be found here.
What are some positive impacts this will bring to my child?
A guiding question in all collaborative discussions is “Are students learning what they need to learn?” This question is paramount for schools utilizing Professional Learning Communities because their goal is to improve student achievement. Every teacher is on a team that looks a data to inform them of current student achievement. As a group, they then create goals to improve that level and decide what evidence would show progress toward those goals. Students benefit from improved instruction, immediate intervention, and a strong focus on results.
Why are we doing this?
National research supports that teachers working in collaboration with one another to improve student learning results in more learning for all students. Teachers work in grade level or content teams by subject area to identify common agreements on what all students should know and be able to do as a result of a class or course; develop common assessments to measure student progress on those standards; identify students that need additional time and support; and identify options for students that have already met the standards. Teaching is generally an isolated profession throughout the nation and Deer Valley Unified School District is working to improve student learning by developing a more collaborative culture for teachers.
Is it more beneficial to release weekly for 90 minutes, or monthly for 2.5 hours and why?
Scheduling for teacher collaboration requires schools to provide a consistent, sufficient time for educators to meet that contributes to a culture of authentic collaboration without impinging on existing efforts or responsibilities. Professional Learning Communities must be specifically structured into a teacher’s work schedule, but flexible enough to allow authentic collaboration about what the teachers themselves feel they need to know to improve student learning. A single half day release each month does not provide the consistent time for ongoing collaboration.
Does this affect after school program pricing? Can I sign up for the after school program just for the early release days? Has district come up with a plan to care for the students on these Fridays when they are released at 2:00?
On early release Fridays, students will have options to remain at school under the supervision of school-based personnel. We also know that some families will prefer to pick their child up from school or allow their child to go home at the end of the instructional day. On early release Fridays, school buses will drop off students, at their regular bus stops, ninety minutes earlier than their regular schedule.