La Grande SD 4-Day School Week Town Hall Follow-Up
LA GRANDE – (Release from the La Grande School District) On Tuesday, January 10, more than 120 people attended the La Grande School District Town Hall about the district’s proposed 4-Day School Week concept. The audience attended the event both in person at La Grande High School Auditorium and virtually.
The purpose of the event was to receive input from the La Grande community about the possibility of adopting a 4-Day School Week, which the district is currently conducting research about. At the start of the event, Superintendent George Mendoza stated that the school district and school board are in the information-gathering/input phase of the proposal and that no decisions or actions have been taken.
The district has established a 4-Day School Week Committee, which has met three times about the concept.
At the Town Hall, Mendoza presented a Power Point to the audience with information on a variety of factors that need to be considered in the decision, including state instructional time requirements, student achievement, attendance, transportation, childcare, financial impact, staffing, food service and more.
Mendoza emphasized that the La Grande School District has a robust Strategic Plan it follows, as well as an Equity Lens it employs when making district decisions. “We have policies and procedures we must follow and are pretty methodical in making decisions for the district, always with the focus of ‘we are here for students in support of staff’,” Mendoza said.
Scott Carpenter, Assistant Superintendent, presented three versions of the district calendar, explaining about teacher days and student contact days.
Questions were then received from the audience, with about 10 or 12 people making comments and asking questions in the auditorium, as well as a few online. The audience members voiced a variety of concerns. One commented that a shorter school week could negatively impact student populations already adversely affected by other issues, such as poverty. Another person whose children previously attended school in a four-day week said less time in the classroom seemed stressful for teachers and potentially reduced time for creativity, plus a lower work ethic in the community. Others pointed to the potential of more work-life balance for hard-working teachers with a shorter work week, and that families may enjoy more time together.
At the end of the process, the 4-Day School Week Committee will provide a recommendation to the LGSD School Board to consider. If a change is adopted, the new schedule would start with the 23-24 school year. The La Grande School District has a website about the 4-Day School Week: https://www.lagrandesd.org/page/4-day-week and a current survey that is open and available for the public to take: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScvT3-GztCiL5tVayg2TIRn20I4iQNj9MzaTFOjj7fWBG5Jyg/viewform.