JEFFERSON COUNTY, Idaho - Students in the Jefferson County School District may face longer days at school, but a shorter week. The district is thinking about switching to a four-day school week.
Superintendent Ron Tolman said a panel of parents, teachers and administrators will individually gather data and facts about four-day school weeks. They will also research other districts in the area that have made the switch. After researching, the group will present its findings to the board.
The decision to look into a four-day school week was a unanimous one. It was brought up at the last school board meeting on, July 10. Tolman said the decision comes after more cuts in state funding.
"We've been looking for many ways to operate as efficiently as possible without impacting student services. One item that comes up regularly is 'couldn't you save money doing a four-day school week,'" he said.
School days would be about an hour and a half longer, which is concerning some parents.
"The one place where they have a significant amount of concern is for the younger students, those in K-5 going through such a long day," Tolman said.
One stay-at-home mom said she wouldn't mind those longer school days. Her daughter Chelsea is in sixth grade and goes to South Fork Elementary in Jefferson County.
"As a parent I like the idea of a four-day school week. It gives me more time with my daughter and we're on a low income right now, so getting her back and forth to school and one day less for an emergency is always a good thing," said parent Danielle Larsen.
This topic created a firestorm of feedback on our Facebook page. One example: "Some of us have to work and cannot afford day care. Another day off for the kids is hard unless you're a stay-at-home parent..," said Joyce Storey.
If you want to be a part of this discussion, visit us on our Facebook page. The school board will make its decision in January 2014.
Eastern Idaho school districts on a four-day school week include Firth, Soda Springs and Salmon.