ROCK SPRINGS – The alternative calendar for the school years of 2015-2016/2016-2017 at Farson-Eden will be discussed at the Sweetwater County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees meeting on Monday. The meeting will start a half hour early at 6:30 p.m. with the schedule on the top of tonight’s agenda.
Wyoming state statute requires schools to have 175 teacher/student contact days. The minimum contact hours are 1,110 hours for high school, 1,050 for middle school and 900 for elementary schools. There are also an additional 10 days built into the calendar for activities such as professional development, planning days and parent/teacher conference.
Districts can apply to the Wyoming Department of Education for a waiver if they have fewer than 175 teacher/student contact days. Currently 11 school districts in the state request the waiver. For most district’s the request is for a four-day school week which has included Farson for the past few years. The school moved to a four-day week because so many of the students and staff were gone on school-sponsored activities on Fridays.
The district’s plans is to have all paperwork and documentation submitted to the WDE by May 1.
On Monday, the board will be presented information on the proposed schedule as well as information on how the past few years of using the four-day week has been working. This includes a survey done of the parents, students and certified staff in Farson-Eden.
The proposed schedule includes 146 days per year. The Elementary will be over the 900 contact hours with 992.8 hours. The middle school will also be over the minimum requirement at 1,138.8 as well as the high school also with 1,138.8.
Also part of the program for the past couple years and will be discussed on Monday is Friday school. Even with the district moving Farson to four-day weeks, the school has taken advantage of Friday school to help middle and high school students who are falling behind to keep up. It also provides enhancements for elementary students.
While the results of the survey showed a high percentage in all the questions asked, there were small differences between the groups. They are, for the most part, extremely small differences. For example, while 100 percent of parents said student attendance has improved, 89 percent of certified staff did. The most telling result was to the question of continuing the four-day week. Parents responded with 100 percent in favor of continuing the four-day week, 95 percent of students were in favor and 84 percent of staff was in favor of keeping it the same.
To look at the information which will be provided to the board including the results of the survey go to http://www.sweetwater1.org/www/sweetwatercsd1/site/Hosting/School%20Board/Agenda%20Attachments/1-Public%20Hearing%20Presentation.pdf.