Four Day School Week (Parents & Community)
To: Elko County School Board Members
Regarding: 2022-2023 School Year
Dear Board Members,
Parents and teachers have united with concerns about the deficit in our current educational system. A big problem is the substitute teacher shortage. We understand that Elko County School District has hired most existing substitutes as long-term ones. Because of this shortage, students may be forced to leave their classroom to go to another classroom to receive instruction from another teacher with whom they are less familiar. Because of the overcrowding conditions resulting from this situation, children often do not receive the individual attention they need.
With all of these long-term and short-term substitutes, our certified teachers are trying to assist in this crisis, but it often takes a toll of long hours and assisting in lesson plans and implementation. The result of this increased workload is causing many seasoned teachers to resign or retire.
We believe that with a four-day school week, teachers can plan doctor's appointments and family events on Fridays. This will reduce the need for short-term subs and give our teachers a little breathing time from their large workload. It may even reduce our seasoned teachers' burnout, retirement, and resignations.
This four-day school week will also benefit our children. As you know, many families have to go to Salt Lake or Reno for medical care and miss school. This again taxes our teachers as they work with our students to catch them up. Knowing that we have a weekday to plan these appointments makes everyone's life much simpler.
Many sports events are also planned on Friday. A four-day school week would eliminate the absences of the athletes as well as their siblings. In the past, many of our athletes have fallen behind academically because they have missed their Friday classes. A four-day school week will even that playing field.
The parents in our community have diverse work schedules. Work hours are rarely nine to five, and schedules are erratic. Therefore, a four-day school week will allow the families in our community to have more family time together.
Please consider changing the current school calendar to a four-day school week because it is a necessity at this point. We have proved to be a resilient community of support during crisis times. Making a change now would be a proactive decision that would benefit teachers, students, and parents.