Four-day school weeks coming to Stanford

Board unanimously approves this change for next school year
Thursday, March 26, 2020
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On March 17, the Stanford School Board members voted 5-0 to pass a proposal allowing for a four-day school week. There are possibly as many pros as there are cons to this structure so school board members were tasked to decide what was best for their school, and they did unanimously.

One board member, for example, was in favor of the move primarily based on the finding that teacher absences are improved by this structure.

According to the Office of Public Instruction, 139 schools across Montana have implemented various versions of the four-day week schedule. Most of these schools are rural, but in November 2019, Sidney was the first Class A school to adopt a four-day school week. Of the five counties that border Judith Basin County, Choteau County and Cascade County together have four schools with four-day school weeks. These include Centerville Public Schools, Sun River Valley Public Schools, Vaughn Elementary and Big Sandy Public Schools.

“A four-day school week is not a cure-all remedy for issues a school may be facing such as a budget shortfall, teacher recruitment and retention, student and staff attendance, low morale of students and staff, etc. On the other hand, what a four-day school week can be is a very effective tool in a large toolbox to catalyze continuous school improvement,” Brad Moore wrote in a previous article for the Judith Basin Press (published March 5, 2020).

Time will tell if this is in fact right for the Stanford School, but as it stands the school is on track to start their next school year with a four-day week.

Editor’s Note: The five-person Stanford School Board of Trustees includes Chairman Jim Dye, along with Jason Oltrogge, Kurt Myllymaki, Billi Jo Taylor and Sherry Berg.