The four-day school week program in Rich School District received high marks from the State Board of Education's law and policy committee Friday morning both for reducing student absences but also for decreasing transportation costs.
Rich District is headed into the final year of its three-year pilot program. The district is seeking permission to have the four-day school week become a permanent fixture.
Rich District has cut Fridays and lengthened school days, which are now from 8 a.m. to 3:21 p.m. with six class periods per day lasting one hour and three minutes each.
Previously students would miss class or whole days of school for athletic activities. Now all athletic events are scheduled for Thursday nights, or Fridays and Saturdays.
While the initial goal of the four-day school week was to reduce student absences, a side benefit is the decrease in transportation costs. The district is saving about $1,500 each week by not having to transport students to and from school one day a week, said Rich District Superintendent Dale Lamborn, as he presented data to the committee. "It's a huge added benefit," Lamborn said.
After hearing Rich district's report, USOE associate superintendent Larry Shumway said, "I don't think there is anyone on this committee who isn't favorably impressed."
Lamborn was accompanied by five members of the Rich school board who made the three-hour trip to attend the 8 a.m. meeting for the presentation.
The committee took no formal action but plans to vote on Rich's request next month. The committee's recommendation will then go to the State School Board for a possible vote during its September meeting.