Group Says New Rules Would Eliminate Almost All Four-Day School Week Districts In The State

Monday, December 16th 2019, 5:58 pm

Some school districts in the state are fighting to keep their four-day a week calendar.

They said proposed rules by the Department of Education would force all but one district to go back to five days a week.

A state Board of Education attorney listened to public comments on the proposed rules on Monday. Before that, the group Oklahoma 4-Day School Coalition laid out their concerns.

The Noble Public Schools is currently on a 4-day-a-week calendar, and according to administrators, it's been successful.

Granite teacher Missy Berry said it's been the same for her district.

“My test scores have increased since we went four days,” Berry said. “Our attendance has increased with both staff and children since we went four days.”

But under the proposed rules, representatives from both districts said they would have to go back to a five day a week calendar. 

“Only one K-12 district will remain a four-day school district,” said Erika Wright, a Noble school board member.

In fact, Wright said 90 percent of school districts in the state, including five-day school districts wouldn't meet the criteria.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said the committee charged with making the rules set the academic criteria at or above the state average.

“That is a comparison against peers,” she said. “Treading water and saying that staying the same and not declining is OK. OK is not going to move our kids where they deserve to be.”

The group proposed changes to the rules that they said would fit the intent of the original law.

Public comment for these rules is now closed. The state Board of Education will have to pass the rules and then they go to the Legislature for approval.

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