District 8 is easing into 4-day weeks

Four-day school weeks are still a relatively novel concept in North Dakota.

Williams County District 8 has been discussing it for a while, and the superintendent decided to take a slow approach when creating next school year's proposed calendar.

Changing from a K-8 to a K-12 district, putting up more modular buildings, and constructing an elementary school if next Tuesday's bond vote passes are just some of the new adjustments the district is tackling.

“Add the idea of changing from five to four day week. It was overwhelming to think about doing all of that,” said Steve Guglich, Missouri Ridge School principal.

So, the district is easing into the idea for the upcoming school year.

Guglich added, "It really just gives you a taste of what a four-day week might look like. It adds a couple of extra days, like before holidays, before presidents day, before Easter that give extra days off for the students, but allow us to do professional development with the teachers."

Parents and teachers we talked with had nothing but positive things to say about the future potential of having four-day weeks, especially those with student athletes.

Karinda Leonardi, a paraprofessional, said, "I have to miss work, and my son usually has to miss Friday school during the wrestling season, so with a four-day week, that would be less school that he misses and it would be less work that I miss."

Every school day would have to be extended by about 15 minutes.

Fifth grader Tytus Guglich commented, "I think that staying at school a little longer wouldn't be too bad."

Fourth grader Prestyn O'Connor stated, "I just like a four day week because my brother will probably have school and just me at the house, that would be fun."

For children who can't stay home alone, there will be a solution for Fridays.

Third grade teacher Jennifer Waterman said, "The students would be bused to the school here, and they're going to have the students in planned activities throughout the day."

The school board will vote on the new school calendar at its March 9 meeting.

Missouri Ridge School is hosting a chili and corn bread dinner Thursday at 5:00 p.m. You can ask questions and learn about next Tuesday's $28 million bond vote.