New half-days provide enrichment opportunities


Jackie Ann Crislip

Vance Gieselmann (11) and Antonyio Walker (11) interact with a representative at a half-day career fair. The career fair allowed Spartans to explore their interests.


The bell rings and students rush to the exits一school’s out three hours early. Early dismissal is a result of the eight half-days included in the new SCS calendar. 

“[The] idea was that schools could do particular things in their school culture and community; and the district could build in personal development days,” Principal Carrye Holland said. “It provides some flexibility and a breather at certain points.” 

Half-days provide exhausted students and teachers with a moment to recollect themselves. 

“This is a great calendar. Our breaks are spread out, and we’ve got additional time as teachers if we take care of what we’re supposed to,” English teacher Molly Oster said. “…I think that if we know about half-days in advance, you can plan to make the time worth wild.” 

A disadvantage of the half-day is lack of student attendance. Holland plans to tackle this problem from an incentivized standpoint. 

“What could we do? Could we go work at the food bank? Could we box meals?” Holland said. “We are thinking about correlating those half days to student interests and driving our school’s goals—some of those being leadership, involvement in the community, making people better citizens and helping them to explore their interests.” 

Holland has even bigger plans if half-days are included in the 2020-21 calendar. 

“If we put some thought in them then I think they could actually be useful days to allow us to plan and reflect,” Holland said. “So maybe each half-day has a theme or some sort of connection to our school improvement plan to our goals schoolwide.”