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Changing from five to four school days shows positive results

School districts moving from five days to four is starting to become more of a trend across the state.

Recently, the North Callaway R-1 School District announced it will be moving to a four day school week for the 2017-2018 school year.

Superintendent Bryan Thomsen said four factors contributed to the decision including, the impact of student achievement, finances, good fit for the community and the impact on staff recruitment and retention.

Thomsen said the district was in contact with school districts around the area who have changed their school days to four days a week and overall heard a positive response.

Harrisburg School District changed their school days from five to four back during the 2011 school year. The six- year run seems like it’s going to stick around according to Superintendent Lynn Proctor.

“Eighty-two percent of parents support it or are extremely supportive of it,” Proctor said. “I think they like it much better than I anticipated.”

Throughout the six years, the school has seen positive results. Including happier students, teachers, staff and even an increase in instructional time for students.

“Since we eliminated half days and gone to the four- day calendar we actually ended up with more instructional minutes,” Proctor said.

One of the main reason the Harrisburg School District decided to do the change was due to a decrease in their budget. Proctor says over the past eight years schools in the state have seen a decrease in their funding, effecting all schools across the state but hitting hardest with rural schools.

Similar reasoning is what prompted Thomsen to change school days to four a week.

Some concerns parents had at North Callaway were about the day care options for children which the district says they are currently working to address. Talking with day care facilities to see if they can extend hours and also talking with churches to see if they have any day care options available.

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