Common questions about four-day school weeks

By Howard Carlson

WUSD Superintendent

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.

Schools/Academics

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.

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