(Superintendent Mike Bowman went over statistics from the community survey with the Fremont County School District 1 Board of Education. Joshua Scheer photo)
(Lander, Wyo.) – The Fremont County School District 1 Board of Education decided this morning that it would not pursue either a year-long school calendar, nor would it consider four-day school weeks.
The decision was made after the board was presented with the results of a community survey on the topic.
Nearly 1,000 people responded to the survey, Superintendent Mike Bowman reported on Friday morning. Of those 54.4 percent were parents, 20.5 percent were school district employees, 13.3 percent were high school students and 11.9 percent were community members without children in school.
Small percentages of respondents did not express preferences of whether the district should stick with the current schedule, or go to year-round or 4-day schedules.
Removing the ambivalent responders, 69.75 percent either preferred the district not explore the idea of year-round school or simply didn’t want it to happen at all. The other 30.25 percent either thought the idea should be explored or the district should make it happen. In all categories of responders, 50 percent or more were against the idea. Of high school students 66.7 percent were against the idea.
Four-day school week schedules received a little more support than year-round schooling, but still 60.37 percent were not in favor of the idea.
Considering four-day school weeks for high school students only also received little support, as 66.62 percent of responders were against the suggestion.
“I don’t see much support for any of these three concepts,” Bowman said. “At this point, I think it was a good thing we asked the community. There’s not a lot of support across the community.”
Chairman Brett Berg said he had favored the year-long school idea because studies shows that it helps students retain information. “I’m disappointed in the lack of willingness to at least explore the idea,” he said.
“I think its indicative of society being afraid of change,” he added.
Trustee Brooke Sutton said she was proponent of the four-day week. “But, I don’t think we should pursue it,” she said.
Trustee Teresa Nirider noted that there is some support out there for addressing the Summer learning loss that students experience, and she said the district should continue to address the issue through summer school opportunities and Lights On. “I think there are ways we can still improve that retention,” she said.
“I guess we will not pursue that any further,” Berg said, and the rest of the board nodded in approval.