Mar 3, 2010 7:40 PM by David Ortiviz

District 70 superintendent talks about changes

School District 70 is the largest in our state to vote for a 4-day school week. Resulting in longer days Monday through Thursday, and no school on Friday.

News First 5 asked people their thoughts on the change. "I really don't think that would be a great idea," said Kathryn. "Four day work week, I support that," said Chad. "We're undecided on how we feel," said Denise.
Here's the plan: starting in August, it's a longer day, 8 hours, up from the current 6 and a half. "Probably a typical day might look like between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m," said Dr. Lere, D-70 Superintendent. Lere says the change was necessary. The district needs to cut $5.5 million from next year's budget. This should save them more than a million. But the new schedule could pose a problem for working parents. "Create a little bit of a problem, especially if you are going to have to have a baby sitter that extra day," said Kathy.

Lere says the district has reached out to clubs and recreation groups to offer programs at some schools on Fridays. Lere says it shouldn't cost parents more than daycare. "And they'll be doing things like swim lessons, arts and crafts, maybe some music lessons," said Lere.

Another concern is the quality of education.  We heard from several of you on facebook, Terri writes: "I think that their education will suffer." Lere disagrees. "There's really is no documented evidence that going to a four day work week either decreases or increases student achievement," said Lere.

The district will stick to the 4-day schedule for at least a year, maybe two, before they'll re-evaluate, and decide if the change was good or bad.

Tuesday night the school board also approved one furlough day for all administrators and principals. Another cost-saving option still possible is closing Vineland Middle School.


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