By Howard Carlson
Here are a few frequently asked questions from parents and the community regarding the four-day school week proposal (see story on front page):
Four Day Week Goals
Q: Why is a four day week being researched?
A: The primary goal in considering a four day week is that it has proven in other districts to enhance the recruitment & retention of high quality and experienced teachers. A secondary goal is that a four day week generates budget savings which would reduce the level reductions which will be required due to declining enrollment.
Q: What happens to school day in a four day week schedule?
A: We believe each school’s bell schedule will look as follows, although this is continuing to be researched:
• Festival Foothills, 8 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
• Hassayampa, 8 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
• Vulture Peak, 7:55 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
• Wickenburg High School, 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
*Power Hour at WHS will be eliminated for 2019-2020 and that time will be placed into direct classroom instruction. The difference will add approximately seven minutes per class.
Q: How will office hours look at our schools?
A: All schools and the district office will maintain consistent office hour coverage which runs between 7 .m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Thursday (Closed on Fridays)
Q: What do we know about the impact of a four day week on student achievement?
A: The body of research on the topic seems to indicate that a four day week has a neutral effect on student achievement. Research related to the impact of a high quality, experienced teacher on student achievement is dramatically positive. So, although a four day week schedule in and of itself does not seem to make a difference on student achievement, the recruitment and retention of good teachers does make a tremendous difference.
Q: An activity bus will run to pick up and drop off athletes for practices on Friday. What will the bus run schedule look like?
A: Practice times will run the same as Monday through Thursday. Bus times to be determined.
Q: What was the result of feedback related to the preferred day off (Friday or Monday)?
A: Parent feedback has shown that if the four day week proposal were to advance that Fridays would be the preferred day off.