School week remains five days

Posted 5/15/09

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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School week remains five days


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 made.

“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 said.

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 override.”

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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