Region 8 School Considering 4-Day Week

DECEMBER 27, 2005 - Posted at 4:08 p.m. CST

NEWARK, AR - Parents of youngsters enrolled in the Cedar Ridge School District in Independence County will get a chance to tell district officials how they feel about schools operating four days per week instead of five.  Last week, the Cedar Ridge School Board voted to send a questionnaire to students' parents seeking their input.  School officials now say the surveys will go out next week.

Ann Webb, principal of Newark Elementary School, said that, if results of the survey indicate that parents like the idea, a second survey will be sent to the district's faculty.  She said that, if both are positive state law requires a town meeting to be held on the matter.

Superintendent Guy Santucci said one possible snag is anticipated, but Webb said a solution had been proposed by teachers.

Santucci said everybody he's talked to liked the four-day school week idea, but wondered what they would do with their children on the Monday or Friday when school isn't held.  Webb said she had been told by some teachers that they would be happy to keep a daycare for a fee on whatever day school is closed, if the district should decide to offer such a service.

The Cedar Ridge School District was formed when the Newark and Cord-Charlotte districts recently consolidated.

In 1997, the Saratoga School District began an experiment with a four-day school week, citing poor test scores and underfunding.  The four-day week there ended when Saratoga was annexed into the Mineral Springs district in 2004.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)