by Dr. Theresa Christian, Assistant Superintendent
Recently, the El Dorado Springs R-2 School District conducted a survey with the community and staff about future school calendars.
Specifically, the District wanted to know what the community and staff’s opinion about a Four Day School Week. The survey generated 386 community responses and 124 staff responses. The survey asked specifically whether or not participants agreed or disagreed with moving to a 4 Day Week School Calendar that would lengthen the school day by approximately 45 minutes.
Over 80% (313) of the community participants agreed or strongly agreed with a 4 Day Week School Calendar. Additionally, over 75% (95) of the staff participants agreed or strongly agreed with a 4 Day Week School Calendar.
For most participants the concerns with moving to a 4 Day Week School Calendar were about student needs and childcare. The benefits cited by participants were improved attendance, morale and more time as a family.
Since the District began the survey, Mr. Mark Koca, Superintendent, has been exploring various calendar options, because of changes to the Missouri State Law regarding hours and days of attendance. Recent changes to State Law require schools to have 1044 hours of attendance for the year without a minimum days of attendance requirement. This change will allow for more flexibility in a school calendar with a 5 Day School Week.
On Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, Mr. Koca reviewed the survey results and the law changes with the Board of Education. Mr. Koca recommended that the District explore a different 5 Day School Week for the 2019-2020 school year and revisit the 4 Day School Week in the future.