GOSHEN COUNTY – Local educators presented information regarding the benefits of a four-day school week Tuesday at the Goshen County School District (GCSD) No. 1 Board of Trustees meeting.
Four-Day Calendar Committee members Tim Williams, Cory Gilchriest and Michael Lashley advised the board a four-day school week may result in increased student achievement by providing teachers more time with students.
A tentative four-day schedule suggests students attend school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (15 minutes more than the current schedule per school day), Monday through Thursday. Fridays would be reserved for teacher and administrator collegial meetings, professional development and any other work that requires teachers leave the classrooms.
“As a committee, we’ve just got to believe if we can get our teachers back in the classrooms more consistently, that student achievement has got to go up,” Lashley said.
Committee members added, using this model, they expect the school district to save upwards of $900,000 annually, as bus drivers, food service staff, and substitute teachers would not work Fridays – and fewer substitutes would be needed during the week.
“I’m glad to hear you guys say you want student achievement first as our priority, and whatever cost comes and saves, it happens, but we want student achievement first,” Board member Dean Harshberger said.
“We’re only willing to pursue this if it does increase student achievement,” Gilchriest said.
Williams advised the board the committee is looking at a May 1 deadline to implement the potential changes. Tuesday’s information was preliminary, as the switch to a four-day school week will require two public meetings and board approval.
“I definitely believe that this would be a step in the right direction,” Williams said.
In other business:
• Board members Linda Kessler and Dr. Robert Byrd resigned from the GCSD No. 1 Board of Trustees, effective Tuesday.
• The board also accepted resignations from Torrington High School/Southeast High School foreign language teacher Sterling Thomason and Lincoln Elementary teacher Michael McNamee, effective May 25, 2018, as well as Lingle-Fort Laramie Middle and High School Principal Lane Stratton, effective June 30, 2018.
• The next special meeting/work session is the Board-Parent Focus Group meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. at Torrington Middle School. A light dinner will be provided
• The next regular board meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Central Administration Building.