The district announced the addition of 17, 2-hour early release days during the Oct. 22, 2020, Board of Trustees meeting.

The action is the result of multiple listening sessions with teachers and staff who shared concerns about workload and burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on their immediate request for time, the district took this action to start Nov. 11.

Beginning Nov. 11 and continuing for most Wednesdays for the rest of the 2020–21 school year, all LISD schools will dismiss two hours early so that teachers can collaborate and plan for in-person and virtual learning experiences.


  • Nov. 11, 18
  • Dec. 2, 9
  • Jan. 13, 27
  • Feb. 3, 10, 24
  • March 3, 10
  • April 7, 21, 28
  • May 5, 12, 19

Schedule for 2-Hour Early Release Days

  • Elementary Schools: 7:40 a.m. – 12:55 p.m.
  • Middle Schools: 8:10 a.m. – 1:25 p.m.
  • High Schools: 8:40 a.m. – 2 p.m.

School Calendar

Because the district has enough minutes in its bell schedules, we can cover these reallocated 2,050 instructional minutes. The state requires 75,600 instructional minutes for the year, but we schedule additional minutes because the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) content takes more time to cover that content at elementary schools. Certain Career Technical Education (CTE) and the International Baccalaureate program in high schools require addition minutes. For an electronic and printable version of the school calendar, click here.

The last instructional day will be May 27 (no change).

Changes to Existing Early Release Days

We are also adjusting the existing early release days at the end of the semester calendars.

  • Existing early release days for high schools on Dec. 17 and May 26 are now full school days for all schools.
  • Existing early release days for high schools on Dec. 18 and May 27 are now early release days for all schools.

Full early release days are different than the 2-hour early release days for teacher planning time because they are approximately half days. During early release days (as listed above), school days end at 11:40 a.m. for elementary schools, 12:10 p.m. for middle schools, and 12:40 p.m. for high schools.

Additional Logistics During 2-Hour Early Release Days

For Wednesdays designated as Dedicated Teacher Planning days:

  • All students receive lunch
  • Normal bus routes run
  • After-school programs start early
  • Schools will run on shortened schedules for all classes

Students currently enrolled in the YMCA After-school program will have care provided on campus beginning at 12:55 p.m. on early release days. For students who are not currently enrolled in YMCA, childcare will be available for $25/early release day and may attend 12:55–6:30 p.m. Financial assistance is available, for more information contact 512-246-9622.

Campus transition coordinators are working with ACC instructors to determine a solution for early release days. If you have questions please contact the campus transition coordinator.

STAAR Testing Impact

The scheduled early release days for the remainder of this school year impact three specific dates scheduled for STAAR assessment:  Dec. 9, May 5, and May 12.  All STAAR tests on these three dates have a four-hour time limit for students to test, which may be completed in the early release schedule. 

Students who have specific accommodations which may require extra time to test, will be allowed to continue testing past the end of the early release day bell schedule.  These specific instances will be addressed on a student by student basis at the campus level to ensure our students receive the necessary accommodations.  Transportation details for the specific students will be addressed accordingly through campus communication.

Questions addressing overall STAAR assessment may be directed to the Leander ISD Assessment office by contacting Brenda Cruz at 512-570-0259 or by email at Brenda.Cruz@leanderisd.org.

AP/IB Exams Impact

Any afternoon AP and IB exams scheduled on Wednesday early release days will still be administered in accordance with the official AP and IB exam schedules. Students who are registered for these Wednesday afternoon exams will stay on campus and sit for the exams on Wednesday early release days. Leander ISD will communicate details related to transportation for these students as soon as it is available.

SAT School Day for LISD 11th-grade students will be administered on Wednesday, March 3, which is a 2-hour early release day. The early release will not affect most testers as the exam will be completed before the 2 p.m. release. Campuses will work with students who are not standard time testers to ensure they receive any extended testing time and accommodations for that day. Leander ISD will communicate details related to transportation for these students as soon as it is available.