A western Iowa school district may soon become the first in the state to switch to a four-day school week. Officials in the West Harrison District are looking at a plan that would allow for a Tuesday-through-Friday schedule. Superintendent Richard Gerking says the idea arose from discussions shortly after classes started this fall.
Gerking says the state suggested alternative schedules so they held some informational meetings to take comments from people and it generated a lot of interest. He says a few key issues prompted the district to consider the option.
He says the K-12 population has about 526 students so transportation is a big issue with rising fuel prices, and the building is heated by a fuel oil system. Plus, Gerking says they’d like to see test scores climb higher.
The school board has recently taken a direct course of action on the prospect of a four-day week. The idea has been tabled while a committee is appointed to study the proposal for possible implementation in the 2007-08 school year. Gerking estimates the proposal would save the district about 85-thousand dollars a year, or about 20-percent of its total operating costs. Some parents are concerned about how the plan would affect student achievement while others express concern about how to keep their kids occupied when school’s not in session.