North Callaway School District is changing its schools schedule to a four-day week in the 2017-2018 year.
Before making the decision, the district sent out an online survey to parents about the prospects of the four-day week. Almost 65 percent of parents supported the change, 13 percent opposed the change and 21 percent were undecided.
Superintendent Bryan Thomsen said the school district looked at three factors when considering the change: finances, how it would fit in their community and how it would affect their staff and retention services.
Thomsen said by changing to a four day week, the school district will save about one percent of their annual budget, which equates to $100,000.
“From a staff recruitment and retention standpoint, it’s tough for a smaller rural school to compete with some of the larger schools in our area,” he said. “So we think that we’ll definitely be able to be a little bit more competitive from a salary and benefit standpoint.”
Prior to making the decision, Thomsen said the school district officials spent time visiting other schools that implemented the four day week schedule. Montgomery County R-II School District was one of the districts they visited.
Della Bell-Freeman, the assistant superintendent for Montgomery County schools, said its schools and students have benefited from the change.
“Because we have four days, we are very purposeful about the time we spend covering our curriculum,” she said. “We are well aware that every day matters and every minute matters.”
Thomsen said the district will take their time as the district transitions in this new phase.
“We’re going to evaluate as we move on and continue to communicate with our parents and what their thoughts are,” he said. “We’re excited to see what possibilities it can bring. “