Whispers and discussions concerning the potential four-day school week for the Elizabeth C-1 school district can end. After a two-hour discussion on …
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Whispers and discussions concerning the potential four-day
school week for the Elizabeth C-1 school district can end. After a
two-hour discussion on May 14, the Elizabeth school board voted
against the change after a 4-1 vote.
Directors Randy Arellano, Dan Hill, Marcia Lyons and Laura
Yancey voted in opposition while lone director Rick Stone voted in
favor of the shorter week. The board members discussed in depth the
pros and cons of the four-day school week, but in the end, the
negatives outweighed the positives.
The issue was first brought to the board in January as an option
to retain teachers as a way to achieve the highest possible quality
of education for the students in Elizabeth. And after teachers in
the district were surveyed, the overall consensus was for the
change. But for the four board members in opposing the decision a
shorter week all had their own personal reasons the district should
not move in that direction.
Arellano said even though his main concern was the quality of
education, he felt the district could look at other options to go
above and beyond academically asking the board if a shorter week is
the best interest for the children.
“The four-day school week may not help and will likely not help
the quality for the kids,” he said. “And I think the standards for
students are already too low and I think we need to do other things
to improve the education.”
Hill agreed with the fact that the quality of education in the
district needs to improve and said students, teachers and staff
should all be striving for excellence, but that the four-day school
week may not help in achieving that goal as well.
Yancey said she felt the change had too many un-finished
variables to deal with before she felt the change could be
“This is a really tough decision and my heart goes out to the
parents and the teachers, but there are too many variables in place
that need to be sorted out before this can be adopted,” she
But for Lyons, she said the bottom line of the issue was money.
She said she is not convinced a four-day school week will retain
teachers but that salaries would as well as making Elizabeth
appealing to the outsiders.
“We need to make this place a shining star so people really want
to come here,” she said. “We need to have higher expectations.”
By keeping their standard five-day schedule Elizabeth will save
money compared to if the decision had been adopted. The district
would have a net loss of $85,000 to $100,000 in various costs
including additional new bus routes, more drivers and loss of
revenues due to one less day of serving meals at the schools.
Although the mill levy override was not approved by voters last
November, Hill said by keeping the five-day week the odds for a
mill levy override in the future are much higher.
“If we go to a four-day week we may never get a mill levy
override,” he said. “I worked hard last election and I will work
five times harder during the next attempt at a mill levy
So for the time being, students will continue their normal
schedule of five days at school and the district and school board
members will continue to work hard to maintain quality teachers as
best as possible.
And although Stone was out-voted he was very appreciative for
the parents, teachers and administrators for their patience during
the past couple months.
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