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Two Midwest Districts Approve Four-Day School Weeks

The Miller and Pierce City school districts in Missouri will begin a Tuesday through Friday school week during the 2015-2016 year. Stockton, Missouri has also proposed switching their district calendar as well.

The decision was made after much research, conversations with other districts in the state that adopted the switch, and feedback from the community. The 153-day year will include longer days so students will not lose any instructional time.

"The district further realizes that this decision is not supported by everyone in our community and respects the different opinions and thoughts by all patrons," wrote Russ Moreland, the Pierce City Superintendent, and a letter to the community. "We simply feel at this time that moving in this direction provides numerous benefits to the district both in the short and long term."

"Districts explored the option as a way to save money, better engage students and keep quality teachers," according to a recent Springfield News-Leader article. "But, officials have repeatedly acknowledged that the proposed change is causing concern for some parents—especially about child care."

Other Missouri districts that took on a 4-day school week include Everton, Lathrop, Montgomery County and Maries County.

Miller Superintendent Tracey Hankins told the News-Leader that "professional development will be front-loaded at the start of the calendar and teachers will work on making the instruction more engaging."

"Miller officials believe the switch will save the district up to $175,000 and, with more training scheduled when students are not in class, significantly reduce the need for paying substitutes," the article stated.

Read the full story.

By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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