By Grace Moore
Crook County School District #1 Superintendent visited Moorcroft parents Thursday evening to discuss concerns about the coming four day weeks that the county proposes to begin next school year. Meeting in the K-8 cafeteria, an audience of more than 20 listened to Broderson’s overview of the advantages and disadvantages that may be faced by the school board’s plan to initiate the adjusted schedule.
The first advantage mentioned was mitigating the absence of the sports teams during the last day of the school week, causing classes to not assign work to the remaining students until the return of the teams the following Monday.
“Not a great deal is accomplished on Friday,” he said.
Another pro mentioned was the financial savings to the school district. Though Broderson explained that the possible saving is not necessarily very high, “they are really trying to save money”.
One of the negative aspects to the four day week is the lack of child care for those parents who are accustomed to depending on the school for such while they are at work. Broderson acknowledged having no solution to offer for that potential issue, though it is a problem for every community that initiates the four day week until those parents find another option for Fridays.
The other issue discussed was the longer day for elementary aged students. Broderson admitted that the younger kids will be “wiped out” and that the school will have to find a different way to operate to help the students adjust to the extended days.
The audience voiced several questions and opinions regarding the plan including two individuals, who had attended school within a four day week frame, who both stated that they completely approve of the board’s proposal for their own children.
A mother of a school-aged youngster said that their child argues the benefit of not attending school on Fridays because the class does not receive instruction when the sports teams are not present so everyone just, for example, reads a book.
Another individual claimed that, if the board initiated said plan, they would simply send their kids to Gillette instead. A father of a special needs child argued that he could not care for the youngster for three days.
There are many schools in the midwest, according to Broderson, that have long instituted the four day week and of the schools that have adopted this plan, only two have changed back over the years.
After an hour of frank discussion, Broderson closed the meeting with the invitation to the audience to contact him personally with any concerns and questions not answered there.