4 Day School Week?

By Kaycie Ebert and Jasmine Kelsall
As you may have heard by now, the Schuyler R-1 school district is weighing the pros and cons of converting the school calendar to a four-day week. Fifteen schools in Missouri have already adopted the four-day school week. Among those schools are Harrisburg and Community R-6. Monroe City is making plans to alter to a four-day week for the 2018-2019 school year.
The state of Missouri requires that schools attend 1044 hours of school per year. Our elementary currently attends 1139 hours, and the high school attends 1125 hours,” stated Robert Amen, Superintendent of the Schuyler R-1 school district.
There is currently 39 weeks of school. Fourteen are shortened weeks. If Schuyler transforms to a shortened week, there is a chance that the school day may be lengthened by approximately twenty minutes. There would be no early outs on Wednesdays, like the current school year. The more early-outs and long breaks the school has, will cause the school year to start earlier or go later.
By going to a four-day week, there will be a small financial saving. Transportation funding has been cut by the state of Missouri and going to a shortened week would reduce the cost of transportation.
Mr. Amen stated, “The attendance rate is projected to be higher. We hope it will rise, but it is an unknown, until it happens.” The change would also be a teacher training and recruiting tool. Professional Development (P.D.) days would be scheduled on Mondays, since there is already no school.
When asked about current hourly employees, Mr. Amen replied, “I would expect all of those employees would retain their hours and pay. How we may do that is still to be determined.”
The Schuyler County High School is also considering changing to a seven period schedule from the current eight periods of 45 minutes each. This will give the students more time in core subjects, such as English, history, math, and science.
As to the four-day week, more information should be disclosed no later than the April board meeting. “It is just something we are looking at. No decisions have been made at this time. I have example calendars and comments, both positive and negative.
“Most of them – other schools that have gone to the four-day schedule – say, ‘even though they had concerns in the beginning, they do not want to revert back to a five-day week schedule,’” Mr. Amen stated, at the end of his interview. (This article was written by Kaycie Ebert and Jasmine Kelsall. Both are students of Mrs. Homer’s High School Communication’s class.)