AUBURN — Saying it would greatly help teachers boost learning, the Auburn School Department will explore adding early-release days to the school calendar, possibly next year.

Superintendent Katy Grondin said a small group will be assembled to look into providing teachers of grades seven through 12 with more professional development.

Auburn elementary schools have had half-day Wednesdays for years, which has been unpopular with some parents. Efforts to extend early-release days to upper grades haven’t been successful.

But more and more school districts are going in that direction, Grondin said. Lewiston now has eight early-release days in its calendar, she said.

Grondin said a group would be formed to explore shorter days for upper grades after School Committee member Brent Bilodeau asked Auburn Middle School Principal Celena Ranger what could be done to help teachers get the professional development they need.

“What could we do for you coming in the budget season?” he asked.


“We would love to have early-release Wednesdays, even if they weren’t as frequent as the elementary schools,” Ranger said. “There’s so much new learning occurring.”

For teachers to digest that and improve student learning, they need the time, she said.

“It would make a huge difference,” Ranger said.

Edward Little High School Principal Scott Annear said that while teachers have workshop days through the year, what’s missing is the chance for them to work together on a regular basis.

“For us and the middle school, we have a day,” Annear said. But then the opportunity to continue conversations doesn’t come up for a month and a half, he said.

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