KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Schools has implemented its new set of early-release days for students in the 2022-23 school year. The school district continues to emphasize to families the difference between early-release days and half-days.

Students returned to schools for a half-day on Monday, Aug. 8 to kick off the new school year with a new superintendent of schools at the helm, Dr. Jon Rysewyk.

Early-release days

Dismissal times for the six scheduled early-release days are not the same as on half-days, according to KCS. Early-release times are at 12:30 p.m. for grades K-5, and 1:30 p.m. for grades 6-12.

The first early-release day was Wednesday, Aug. 17. The other early-release days will be the following dates, which are all Wednesdays:

  • Sept. 21, 2022
  • Nov. 16, 2022
  • Jan. 25, 2023
  • Feb. 15, 2023
  • Mar. 22, 2023

KCS states on its website that early-release days are “aimed at improving student learning outcomes by providing regular, designated times for teachers to prepare lessons, evaluate student progress, work together and receive professional development.”


As for half-days, the school district has implemented a set of specific dismissal times, depending on the school. The full list can be found here on the KCS website.

Half-day dismissal times for high schools are at noon, except for Career Magnet Academy and L&N STEM Academy, which dismiss at 1 p.m. for half-days; other exceptions are listed on the KCS website.

Half-day dismissal times for middle schools are at noon, except for Vine Magnet Middle School.

Half-day dismissal times for schools instructing Kindergarten-5th grade are at 11:15 a.m., except for Lonsdale Elementary School.

Blended Pre-Kindergarten half-day dismissal times are at 11:15 a.m. at 18 schools that are listed on the KCS website.

The school district also notes that for half-day dismissal times at other centers and schools, early dismissal times could vary depending on bus schedules.

Back in late July prior to the start of the school year, Scott Bolton, Executive Director of Human Resources for Knox County Schools, said the school district was in “good shape” amid a regional teacher shortage.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.