Knox, County, MO (WGEM) — How would you like a four day work week? That could soon be a reality for students and teachers in Knox County, Missouri, all in an effort to attract and keep good teachers.
It’s a plan that teachers in the Knox County R-1 school district say will help them help students.
“I think the 4 day could help students, because it will make for a longer school year by starting a little bit early, they will have less of a break in the summer to forgot content,” said 1st grade teacher Anna Van Delft, adding the potential for the monthly planning day in the schedule would also be a big help.
The district is considering going to a 4-day week, making the school days and the year longer. But giving teachers more time to plan their lessons.
But the superintendent of Knox County R-1 schools Andy Turgeon said the move wouldn’t be about saving money– but keeping teachers in the district, as they lose around a fifth of their teachers every year, and it’s getting harder to keep them.
“So how do we go about filling those positions? What happens on a given year where, you know like this year, when we have 8 openings and you only have five applicants, how do you fill those positions,” said Turgeon, adding that teachers having to drive long distances or move to Knox County could be why they struggle with turnover, and similar districts have solved that issue by moving to a four day week.
“We’re going to try and dig down and find out, is childcare a concern for your family and are meals a concern for your family on those days where we wouldn’t have school,” said Turgeon.
Business education teacher Brandi Wriedt said it’s something they’re looking for input from the community on.
“This provides the community an opportunity to get involved, and provide resources that we might not be utilizing at this point,” said Wriedt.
School officials said they want your input on the situation– and have delayed an open forum originally scheduled for last month to February 28th at 6 P.M. at the high school, and plan to send out surveys to gather more information after the forum.
Education Week: What It Takes to Make a 4-Day School Week Work
HARVARD.EDU: A Four-Day School Week? Preliminary research suggests district savings are small, and critics contend that low-income kids may suffer more
Vittana.org: 12 Pros and Cons of a 4 Day School Week