Northland School District Shortened School Week Is Cost Effective
With a four day school week Lake Superior School District has managed to save programs like Calculus, Advanced Biology and Physics.
TWO HARBORS, Minn. – It’s now been eight years since one Northland school district made a major change to its schedule.
The Lake Superior School District, which includes the schools in Two Harbors and Silver Bay, started using a four day school week back in 2009.
The district remains one of only a few in the state sticking with a shortened week.
One of the main reasons the district first went to a four day week is because some of the students had up to a three hour bus ride to and from school.
District leaders believed giving the students an extra day off each week would mean less travel time and more time to spend on their school work.
All these years later, the four day week is still working out for the more than 1,300 students in the district.
The three day weekend has also helped increase attendance for both staff members and students, as well as saving a lot of money on the bus routes.
“Our district on the average is approximately $180,000, that we save and it’s primarily in the area of transportation,” said Lake Superior School District Superintendent William Crandall. “Then for some of the staff that just work on days when kids are here, it’s savings in that salary.”
With Friday off students can use that day for things like dental check–ups, doctor visits or time with family.
Students do not have to be pulled out of school for those activities quite as often like they were with the five day a week schedule.
So when students are in school they have more time to learn.
“What’s it’s also allowed for us to schedule longer class periods in the secondary level, so our teachers are able to, what they found is, they’re able to get through more material throughout the school year,” said Crandall.
The district says both elementary schools were recognized for their achievements by the state as schools of excellence.
There are no plans to go back to a five day school week.