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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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12/7/2013 2:30:00 PM
Camp Verde could go to 4-day school week

Raquel Hendrickson
Bugle Managing Editor


CAMP VERDE - The administration of Camp Verde Unified School District has long been tossing around the idea of shifting to a four-day school week. Tuesday, the governing board will hear about the viability of the high school adopting such a schedule next year.

The discussion is part of the Dec. 10 agenda.

Then, on Dec. 18, Camp Verde High School will host a public forum on the proposal.

If the high school does shift to a four-day week, it is not a certainty that the elementary school and middle school will follow suit.

High School Principal Bob Weir said the high school maintains the state's fourth largest number of hours in the school year. With the switch, he said, CVHS would still be "well over" the required 720 hours. He estimates students would be putting in about 1,050 hours.

Weir said the Administrative Team began focusing on the research as part of the school district's Blank Slate project. That is an effort to re-imagine how the district can operate and improve what it does.

"We had to ask ourselves, "Is what we're doing working?'" he said.

With attendance a constant problem and students saying they are very tired by the end of the week, the Admin Team began talking to schools that had adopted the four-day week. Weir said there did not appear to be a dramatic impact to attendance but there was a gain in academic achievement. He also believes it boosts morale for students and staff.

As proposed, a four-day school week at CVHS would start at 7:30 a.m. and end at 3:05 p.m., barely a shift from the current schedule. There would be six periods, with 65 minutes per class and no "advisement" period. Weir said that while advisement has been useful, having more time in the classroom would be even more useful.

"It's pretty beneficial," Weir said. "We'll have a rigorous curriculum."

A general survey of the school staff showed 81 percent supporting the change. The administration then had the high school students answer a survey in class, and that resulted in 91 percent of 380 students approving the change. (Weir said those students against it tended to be this year's seniors who were not happy they did not get a four-day week.)

The school then sent surveys home with the students for parents to fill out. In the end, 160 parents responded, and 86 percent of them supported the change.

The proposal is on this week's agenda as discussion only, with no decision in the works. The Tuesday, Dec. 10, school board meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the library at the district's Multi-Use Complex. The Wednesday, Dec. 18, public forum on the issue begins at 5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 123 at Camp Verde High School. CVHS can be reached at (928) 567-8035.



Follow the reporter on Twitter @LOUFLU


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Just Wondering

What happened to all the clinical studies that showed a later class start time was better for most high school students?

For instance, a Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement study in Minnesota proved conclusively that "...there was a significant reduction in school dropout rates, less depression, and students reported earning higher grades." It cut down on teen driving accidents, too,

The shift to a 4-day week sort of locks in earlier start times, in addition to creating difficulties for working parents and cutting into access to school facilities for students in the habit of using them outside of regular class hours. You could argue that the students could spend Friday sleeping, but that isn't the way sleep deprivation disorders work.


Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Gaia Gurl

This is a Right to Work state, there are no teacher's unions in Arizona!

Thank your politicians for ongoing continuing educational budget cuts.


Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: @ John Stuczynski

Hey John, it kind of looks like you should have listened to your "teacers" on spelling. What were you "dong" in school, or did you mean doing?

Posted: Monday, December 9, 2013
Article comment by: You Kiddin?

There are certainly things to be said for the 4 day week. The cost of things like utilities decreases. Of course, it leaves activities - like extra-curriculars such as school athletics - on a non-school day much of the time. But what a mess for families if the elementary and junior high grades go 5 days and the high school 4.

As to the teacher's union - they have a 10 month work year now. Why not a 4 day week to go with it?


Posted: Monday, December 9, 2013
Article comment by: The Irony that is John S!!!!

In your rant about the teachers’ union working to “dumb down” our children…

1. You spelled teachers “teacers” (and forgot the apostrophe)
2. You spelled of “o f”
3. You started a sentence without a capital
4. You spelling doing “dong”

I won’t even go into sentence structure. Look up “irony.”


Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013
Article comment by: John Stuczynski

Sounds like the teacers union is at work again to dumb down our children further. kids coming out o f school now cannot even spell or make change in a store. One store clerk never heard of a two dollar bill and would not accept it as payment. What are the schools dong to prepare kids for the real things in life? Kids need more time in classes, not less time. Get real and educate the children and not figure out how to cut class time.

Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013
Article comment by: jimi changa

"those students against it tended to be this year's seniors who were not happy they did not get a four-day week" Funny stuff!

Great idea CV. Are you reading this Mingus and COC district?


Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Article comment by: Not the real world

"we're tired by Friday!!" and people wonder why our kids run around with a false sense of entitlement, and poor work ethics. So let's give these kids every Friday off, and then send them off to the real world, and see how it works out in the college/workplace/adult environment. I see that there may be benefits, but it's just not realistic. I am a stay at home mother of 4, and whenever my kids are home I am happy to have them, and able to care for them. I am sure there are many parents who are not going to be able to provide much needed supervision and attention on the additional day off. Most parent's work schedules will not permit that sort of change.i know many parents feel 13-18 is an acceptable age to leave children home alone,
to leave children to their own devices, but I think kid's that age need an abundance of supervision. This is only my opinion, and I know there are many sides to every issue.




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