Garfield Re-2 School District to consider 4-day week

Garfield Re-2 School District School Board members will consider adopting a resolution today that would allow the district to move to a four-day school week this fall.

The board agenda at today’s meeting, which will be at 4:30 p.m. at Kathryn Senor Elementary School, includes an action item to adopt a four-day week but does not include adoption of a 2012-13 calendar. The calendar, with four days per week or five, will be approved at a later meeting.

Board members are considering a shortened school week to help cover an anticipated $1.7 million to $2.2 million budget shortfall for the district’s general fund in 2012-13, according to Garfield Re-2 Director of District-wide Services Theresa Hamilton. Hamilton said the district expects to save 1 to 2 percent of its general fund costs if a fifth day is eliminated from the calendar, which amounts to $350,000 to $700,000 in savings each year the four-day week would be in place.

“Certainly we expect to see fuel savings and savings in the area of food,” Hamilton said, adding the board wanted to tackle the issue this week because it is the only meeting the board will have in March.

“Our practice is to give our principals and our staff the direction of the district by spring break,” which is the last week of March, Hamilton said. “It gives them two months to look at options before summer.”

A four-day week is one of a handful of options the board will consider to help cover the shortfall. Other potential cuts include nearly $600,000 in schools and district departments and a possible fee for students to ride a school bus.

School District 51’s board is expected to consider a four-day week option at a March 27 meeting.


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