Weeks after a public, informational meeting discussing changing to a four-day school week, Murray Community School District Board selected Mondays as the off day. A public hearing on April 19 will be for the school calendar.
Murray Superintendent Tim Kuehl was pleased with the response from two community meetings as well as from community, staff and students.
Murray learned from one four-day week school Cardinal Community School District in Eldon in southeast Iowa. Superintendent Joel Pedersen provided information during a Murray meeting.
In the five-day schedule, the day starts at 8:15 a.m. The four-day week will start at 8 a.m. The end of the day will be 30 minutes later at 3:45 p.m. Two years ago Murray’s school day ended at 3:30 p.m.
Iowa school districts are required to provide either 180 days or 1,080 hours of instruction to students. The four-day schedule totals 1,109.25 hours. Kuehl said the four-day schedule is more than the state minimum and does not think academic quality will decrease.
The four-day school week is used across the country. According to www.edsource.org, “At the beginning of 2020 there were 650 U.S. school districts on a four-day schedule, and now there are 850. Ninety percent of the schools are in rural areas and 10% are in suburban or urban neighborhoods.”
Other four-day weeks districts in Iowa iare WACO in Wayland, Mormon Trail in Humeston and Moulton-Udell.
Murray was influenced to change to a four-day to retain staff, attracting teachers, allowing staff more time to prepare for classes and professional development, teacher and student morale and a reduction of student and staff absences. Health appointments could be made on Monday.
The Murray School Board will take action on the calendar at the board meeting in April.
The four-day calendar can be found on the Murray School District website at https://www.murraycsd.org/