‘It’s a big deal’: Oklahoma State Department of Education approves four-day school week for two rural districts
KOKH - August 3, 2023 6:43 am
ROFF, Okla. (KOKH) — Two rural school districts will be having four-day school weeks after the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) approved their waivers.
Thanks to the OSDE’s approval, Roff Public Schools is about to enter their eighth year of having four-day school weeks.
“For us, it’s a big deal,” Superintendent Scott Morgan said. “Our community has really bought into this concept. We’re a really, really close-knit community, and a really tight-knit school.”
When school begins on Monday, August 7, students will be in the building from 8:05 a.m. to 3:35 p.m., starting a 159-day curriculum.
“For us, it works. In the past, our scores, our state report card has shown this is something that we’ve really invested in. It’s a great thing for our school, and our small community.”
Supt. Morgan says a shorter week helps his district fill staff positions.
“We have had this type of calendar since we did it for the first year in 2017. In those last few years, especially in the midst of one of the largest teacher shortages our state has ever seen, we find that this schedule has allowed us to draw phenomenal educators in an area where we compete with much larger schools to draw in that talent. That has undoubtedly gone hand-in-hand with our scores.”
The OSDE also approved Stonewall Public Schools’ request for 156 school days. Supt. Greg Lovelis says this will mark the district’s eighth year following a four-day week.
“Our community loves it,” Supt. Lovelis said. “I’m also very proud of our very low turnover. We’re able to attract very high-quality educators there at Stonewall.”
Supt. Lovelis shared the following statement with Fox 25:
We are very proud of our report card scores and the achievements of our district that allow for this waiver. The approval from the State Board of Education for this waiver allows us flexibility in our school calendar to remain on a 4-Day week while still meeting statutory requirements. We have been on this calendar for seven years and I believe it has given us an advantage for attracting high quality educators and keeping low turnover. We have a great culture of stability and success in all areas and we’re extremely proud of our school.
Besides attracting new hires and retaining them, Supt. Morgan says a four-day school week does wonders for his district’s mental health.
“That one extra day just allows our students and our staff every Monday to come back a whole lot more fresh, and ready to go at it again,” Supt. Morgan said.