Steamboat School District will stop the exploration of a four-day school week
The Steamboat Springs School District Board of Education revealed Monday, April 10, that it would not continue the exploration of a four-day school week based on the results of the community survey.
The survey demonstrated that 56.8% of respondents oppose moving forward with the continued exploration of a four-day school week for the district.
The survey accumulated 1,157 responses with around 80% of respondents being community members and 20% being district employees. Of the respondents who work for the district, a little more than 72% were certified staff while close to 28% were classified staff.
The survey came out of a request made by the Steamboat Springs Education Association, the teacher’s union, which felt a four-day school week could help attract and retain staff.
Those who responded in favor of continued exploration said they did so for reasons such as flexibility for appointments, more family time and travel.
Those who opposed cited complications with childcare, conflicts with parental work schedules and longer school days for students as the disadvantages that drove their opposition. Nearly 50% of respondents said a four-day school week would interfere with any current or future arrangements for their family.
Superintendent Celine Wicks said that three months of research went into the survey that ran three weeks. In addition to running the survey, the district also reviewed all exit interviews to see if anyone left for a district with four-day work week. The district identified two teachers that left for this reason.
“The Steamboat Springs community has expressed that this isn’t the right decision for our schools and community, and it is not in the best interest of the community to move forward with the continued exploration of a four-day school week,” Wicks said. “I, and the board of education, will respect the wishes of the community at-large. “
Wicks explained that neighboring districts all made the decision to switch to four-day school weeks because it was what the communities felt would work best for them, the results of the survey showed Steamboat feels otherwise.
Steamboat remains in the minority for districts still using a five-day week with 69% of districts in Colorado using a four-day week as of 2021.
Kit Geary is the county, public safety and education reporter. To reach her, call 970-871-4229 or email her at kgeary@SteamboatPilot.com.
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