In order to provide our staff with more time to meet for professional development, HMCRA has a weekly early release schedule. Each Wednesday, school will be dismissed at 2:30pm.
Research exists that demonstrates the value of teacher/staff collaboration time (http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues61.html), indicating the critical role teacher collaboration time plays in improving student academic achievement. By having consistent time available, teachers can be engaged in meaningful professional development that gives them the skills and strategies they can apply to their classrooms, sometimes the very next day. Teachers can examine how the strategies are working and reflect and collaborate with colleagues on a consistent basis to identify what works best.
Additional time is built into the regular day schedule to account for the instructional minute requirement by the state of California.