Conway (Mo.) School District leaders consider 4-day school week

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT
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CONWAY, Mo. (KY3) - The Conway School District is the next to consider a four-day school week. The debate follows many schools across the Ozarks that have already switched.

The Conway School District says the move is needed for multiple reasons: teacher recruitment & retention.

”It’s one of those things that we have to make ourselves attractive to teachers. We have to have the ability to retain teachers. And so we just really started looking to see if four days a week would have an impact on our, our ability to read, retain and recruit,” said Dr. Lule Boyer, the Superintendent of Conway School District.

Dr. Boyer says this has been something that has been in the works for months, but nothing has been finalized.

”Our teachers spend a tremendous amount of time in the evenings preparing, grading, getting ready for the next day, and just having a Friday where they can work on all of their materials frees up an evening and basically is good further their mental health and keeps them fresh as a teacher,” said Dr. Boyer.

If approved, school would be in session Monday through Thursday. In order to meet state requirements, each school day would be 15 minutes longer. Then it is up to parents to figure out a Friday plan.

”Most school districts are finding that it’s a little bit harmful for school districts to engage in that. The reason being is because it prevents outside agencies from being able to start a program. We don’t want to hinder other groups from being able to provide childcare,” said Dr. Boyer.

This is becoming a trend in southwest Missouri. Joel E Barber in Laclede County already attends classes four days a week. Dr. Rachelle Jennings says it’s something many parents were excited about back then and now.

”Originally, whenever the school district started the four-day school week, they also did like a Friday school program for our kids so that they had a place to go if they didn’t, you know what I mean, already have a location after COVID That kind of got shut down. We use that Friday then to deep clean and do some things that we have felt like we’re making our schools safer,” said Dr. Jennings.

The decision to move to a four-day week is not final yet. There’s a meeting on Tuesday, November 1, at the High School FEMA building in Conway at 6 p.m.

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