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A quarter of Missouri school districts teach only four days a week

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Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR 89.3
Schools around Missouri are making the switch to four-day school weeks at high rates.

Cutting classes back to four days a week has grown increasingly popular with school districts in the Show-Me State.

Four-day school weeks are becoming relatively common in Missouri with a quarter of the state's school districts having made the change.

Lathrop School District northeast of Kansas City was the first district in the state to adopt the shortened week in 2010. The school now has more hours of overall instruction per year than when it operated on a five-day schedule.

On Mondays, the day of the week with no classes, there are still sports practices, extra curricular activities, and even one-on-one tutoring available for students.

Superintendent Chris Fine says the change has saved money and significantly improved teacher retention.

"In those first couple of years we had more applications than we were getting in prior years. And certainly, that's something that people have to think about if they're going to leave us, is they have to go back to a five-day schedule," he points out.

Even with those clear positives for his district, Fine has three concerns with the setup.

"Number one is the parents have to find daycare," he says. "The second one — the worst one — in our cost savings thing, our support staff are the ones who took the bulk of that paycut... And our third one that we like to mention is, that's another two meals a week that students who need those meals don't get."

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