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Rivercrest School District proposes four-day week

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 8:02 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 8:21 PM CST
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WILSON, Ark. (KAIT) - The Rivercrest School District is proposing to parents and teachers a four-day school week, which has been approved by the Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The proposed four-day week would start the week on Tuesday and shift the school start times back by 15 minutes and dismissal by 30 minutes.

The district stated in their proposal several reasons they are considering the change for several reasons, including that it “improves student performance” and “provides time for scheduled appointments, reducing student missed assignments and the need for substitute teachers.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Rivercrest Assistant Superintendent Shantele Raper reported there were 367 responses to the survey, with 75% of them either “neutral”, “agree”, or “strongly agree” on the four-day week having a positive impact on their families.

Parents and teachers have had mixed reactions to the issue.

Nicky Brigance, a mother of a Rivercrest sophomore, said she is fully on board with the idea.

“Having that open day would not affect us, as far as my work schedule,” Brigance said, “He drives; he’s independent.”

Along with Brigance, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Tess Lancaster was thrilled at the idea of a four-day week.

“Just having that extra day to get things done – appointments – and not have to worry about taking off work to go to the doctor or to take your kid to the doctor,” Lancaster said.

“That extra instructional time would be great,” said Ammi Tucker, another Rivercrest parent. “I don’t know how that would weigh out versus the extra day.”

As a mother of four children who attend all three schools, Tucker said she is concerned about children who rely on the school to get meals.

“It’s concerning that it would be one more day that students would have a gap without knowing there would be some kind of hot, nutritious meal,” she said.

Third-grade teacher Morgan Barnes said she initially was concerned about the idea of a four-day week.

“With students being in the classroom four days a week, I’m sure how it’s going to affect them academically,” Barnes said.

Barnes added she is leaning towards the positive side of the idea of working four days, but she wants to see more information first.

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