Norman County East school district takes a look at a four day week(WDAY TV) - School leaders at the Norman County East district are looking at making some serious changes next school year: a four day week. The idea is just in the discussion phase. And before it goes any further, district leaders wanted to know what the public thinks about the idea.
The district's superintendent says they've been tightening their belts as much as possible, but it's been an uphill battle. They're fighting declining enrollment and the possibility of cuts in state aid. He says now, the district is coming to a point where they're running out of belt loops, and can't cut anywhere else.
“We're not like other big districts where we can just cut staff because we have extras. If we have to do more cuts, we're going to have to start cutting programs.”
Superintendent Dean Krogstad says making the move to four day school weeks would save the district about 47 thousand dollars a year which is good news since district leaders are trying to cut the budget by 50 thousand dollars. Life-long Twin Valley resident Mandy Begg is a 98 grad, and says she supports the district in whatever decision leaders make.
“This, this is home for me and it's nice when my kids can have the same teachers that I had when I was in school.”
Begg says to her the important thing is keeping the kids in the area, not bussing them off to another district.
“Not that we want to see any of it, but I want to be able to have my kids go to school here.”
Other parents aren't sold on the idea yet. Joel Pearson wants to see more research about the long term affects of changing to a four day week, before he'll get on board.
“You know, you add another 10 minutes on to that, are they really going to keep focused another 10 minutes?”
Pearson says for the sake of his two daughters, he wants district leaders to move slowly and consider all options before going ahead with this idea.
“And it's got to be for the kids, that's the bottom line.”
Before any changes are made, district leaders have to apply with the state. There also has to be three public meetings about the issue. Krogstad says he wants to have a decision by April.