COVINGTON - All Newton County School System students will have early release days this week.
Elementary schools will dismiss students at 12:15 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and middle and high schools will send students home at 1:15 p.m. the same days.
Elementary and middle schools are being released early for parent conferences, while high schools will provide staff development during that same time.
"The Newton County School System recommends that all parents of elementary and middle school children schedule a parent/teacher conference to discuss the academic progress of their child/children before report cards are issued in March," according to the press release from the NCSS.
Sherri Viniard, director of public relations for NCSS, said conferences are held before report cards are sent out so parents aren't surprised when they receive them.
"Conferences are held so parents can get an update on how their child is performing in school," she said. "This is a good opportunity for teachers to convey any concerns they might have. It's also a good opportunity for parents to just come in and meet the teacher and see what's currently being taught in the classroom."
Parents and guardians should contact their child's teacher or principal to schedule a conference for this week or at another time.
This is the first conference period of the semester and the second of the school year.
The first conference period was held in September, and NCSS reported about 83 percent of elementary school parent-teacher conferences that were scheduled were actually held during that time. Some were held at another time, and some were canceled for various reasons.
Viniard said high schools don't have conference days because they have different teachers for each subject.
"(High school) parents are encouraged to contact teachers individually if they have concerns," she said. "We also encourage high school parents to use StudentTrack to monitor their children's grades and attendance."
No more conference periods will be held this school year, but the next student break is mid-winter break from Feb. 18 through 22.
During the early release days this week, lunch will still be served and student bus riders will ride their normal bus routes, according to the press release.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.