Northwest Missouri school district goes to four-day schedule

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 10:01 a.m. CST; updated 10:21 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ALBANY — A small northwest Missouri school district has decided to go to a four-day week, beginning in the next school year.

The Albany school board voted Monday night to make the change for the district's 450 students starting in August.

Superintendent Bryan Prewitt says each school day will be 45 minutes longer than the current days. He says the four-day week will save the district $78,000 a year.

KXCV reports that Prewitt says the change will also give teachers more professional development time.

The Lathrop school district is the only other district in Missouri to have a four-day week, but others are considering it.


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Bob Hill February 23, 2011 | 11:20 a.m.

How does 45 minutes a day for four days (3 total hours) equate to losing a WHOLE 8-hour day? So are the teachers paid less now that they are essentially getting an entire day off? And we wonder how the U.S. is falling behind educationally?!?!?

$78K?!?!?!? Doesn't seem like a lot.

I don't know, but letting your facilities sit idle for 3 days a week and then 3 months out of the year for summer vacation doesn't seem to be good asset utilization to me. But then again, these guys don't think like businessmen.

(Report Comment)
Nat Wri February 23, 2011 | 11:52 a.m.

Bob, there are savings to be had and benefits from the 4 day/week school calendar. Teachers don't just "get an entire day off" on this schedule. Many of these districts that do this have professional development and other responsibilities/activities involving teachers on some of those "off" days in addition to the teachers putting in the 3 hours+ each week that is being built into the other days. Anyway, I don't know of a single teacher that doesn't use their personal time on weekends and nights to plan, grade and work while they are not "on the clock" so the question of the teachers not working a fifth day shouldn't even be in consideration here.

I am not saying the 4 day week is the answer or the right way to save money but it also isn't something to just shrug off without further investigating the savings/advantages it does afford a district.

(Report Comment)
Stephen Cobb February 23, 2011 | 3:24 p.m.

I wish the article addressed some of the issues that a 4 day plan causes for parents, mainly childcare issues on the extra day off (I doubt all the jobs in Albany are also switching to a 4 day schedule too), and also how the new plan affects extra curricular activities. I've read good reports in the past on how a 4 day week saves money without affecting grades significantly, but I wonder how these problems and other potential social issues (such as availability or cost of childcare, kids home alone more, etc) are affected by the change.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield February 23, 2011 | 3:30 p.m.

Stephen, schools exist to educate children. Period. Their primary purpose isn't to warehouse them while parents are at work, although it sure seems that way sometimes, such as in the backlash every time a four-week schedule is proposed.

Parents already gets lots of tax breaks for having kids, and they should use that money to send them to day care or hire a babysitter, if that's what a four-day schedule requires. Financial hardship? Too bad. Should have thought about that before you chose to make 'em.

(Report Comment)
Stephen Cobb February 24, 2011 | 12:27 p.m.

Jimmy, I think I did not convey my point clearly. If anything I'm a proponent of the 4 day week. I just wished the article tackled or even brought up the issues aforementioned. I've seen reports on the effects of a 4 day week on the budget and tests scores, but never anything on its residual effects. I'd just be interested to see the data or hear an experts opinion on the matter.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield February 24, 2011 | 4:45 p.m.

I agree that it would have been helpful if the article covered those issues, such as how parents are accommodating the change.

(Report Comment)

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