ROCK SPRINGS – After several forums and a lot of discussion about moving to a four-day school week, the Sweetwater County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees approved the calendars for the next two years for Rock Springs and Wamustter on Monday night.
Next year, the five-day week will remain and school will start earlier as students will return to school Aug. 21. Also, instead of going into June, students will be released May 23. For Students, Christmas break will start on Dec. 22 and they will return Wednesday, Jan. 3. Also, students will be out for Spring Break March 30 and will return April 9.
The district staff was surveyed on the two proposed calendars. Option A would have looked a lot like this year with a start day in September and a release date in June. Option B was the favorite with 68 percent of the staff voting for it while only 32 percent voted for Option A. There were 450 surveys received.
One change which was questioned by Board member Max Mikkelsen was that the second quarter will end right at the start of Christmas break. Superintendent Kelly McGovern explained that many felt starting a new quarter two weeks before the Christmas break was difficult because students are looking forward to the break. She said staff added they then spend the first week back reviewing what was taught before the break.
Mikkelsen also said he received several questions about why the district approves the calendar in two-year cycles instead of every year. Nicole Bolton explained this is school policy and it is something they could look at changing if the board wanted to.
As for the four-day school week, Bolton said the district received a lot of feedback and a lot of questions. She added that the district appreciated everyone who participated in the discussions. She said based on some of the questions being asked, the move to a four-day school week was “too much, too soon, too fast.” While they are not dropping it, Bolton explained it is something that needs to be looked at closer.
Farson-Eden has been doing a four-day school week since 2012. There is a certain process that must take place when moving to a four-day week which includes paperwork being filed with the Wyoming Department of Education and two public meetings. The first of the two meetings took place Monday night.
Principal Michael Estes presented to the board and said students, staff and parents were all surveyed and overwhelmingly, all three groups continue to be in favor of the four-day week. He also presented school data showing testing scores continue to improve in Farson.
Estes explained to the board they are preparing the paperwork to be turned into the WDE now and the second public meeting on the proposal will be April 11. A look at the survey