FAQs: Four Day Student Contact Week

FAQs: Four-Day Student Contact Week (2018-2019)

  • Community Forum

     

    27J hosted three public community forums in January and February 2018 to discuss the four-day student contact week with students, parents, and other concerned parties.

     

    A formal announcement as to whether 27J Schools will move to a four-day student contact week will be made no later than March 23, 2018, pending feedback from community forums, certified and classified employee negotiations, and approval by the Colorado Department of Education.


    DRAFT - Potential School Year Calendar with Four-Day Student Contact Week


  • En Español


    27J Schools must be increasingly strategic in funding the priorities that matter the most for our students and their learning. In 27J Schools, our core mission is to prepare students with the necessary skills and competencies that will enable a future far beyond graduation.


    A prepared tomorrow begins with the best teaching and learning today. Exploring a four-day student contact week is part of a long term plan to invest in the Thinking Classroom today to prepare our students for life and a career into 2038. Essential to the Thinking Classroom is an investment in our teachers, their development, and their ability to support student learning.


  • FAQS: UPDATED 02/06/2018


    New/Updated Q&A's - 02/06/18 

     

    6. How do parents deal with childcare issue on Mondays?

    Answer: 27J Schools will offer child care opportunities for K-5 at several locations, to be determined based on enrollment and interest. We are continuing to work out the details of child care opportunities and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

    13. Will the Educational Service Center remain open on Mondays?

    Answer: Yes, the Educational Service Center will remain open on Monday to provide services as necessary.


    1. Why is 27J Schools considering a four-day student contact week?

    Answer: 27J Schools is considering a four-day student contact week for the following reasons:

    1. To create a schedule that acts as an enticement for recruiting and retaining quality teachers;
    2. To create a schedule that meets 27J Schools’ teaching and learning needs yet creates budget efficiencies that allow for the reallocation of resources to items more critical to our primary purpose of ensuring that all students have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for present and future competence and success;
    3. To reorganize and recreate staff development that allows 27J Schools to achieve high efficiencies in educating our students;
    4. To create a school calendar that elevates instructional time and minimizes disruptions to school staff; and
    5. To achieve these objectives through a schedule that is clean, clear and concise, making it less difficult for families to manage.

    2. Does a four-day student contact week meet the legal requirement of the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for instructional hours?

    Answer: Yes. The CDE requires that districts schedule 160 or more days of instruction for an annual total of 960 hours for elementary school and 1080 hours for middle and high schools.* The traditional instructional day has been six hours. Districts on a strict four-day week normally hold classes for seven and one-half hours for 144 days per year.  Our proposed four-day student contact week District calendar and schedules will meet these requirements and give 27J students the exact same number of teacher contact hours as we do currently in a five-day schedule.

    *Any district offering less than 160 days of school must obtain prior permission from the Commissioner of Education. To date, no school district has been denied permission to move to a four-day student contact week.


    3. How would the four-day student contact week actually work?

    Answer: Students and teachers would attend school Tuesday through Friday, but would not attend school on Monday. If a school day were to be cancelled due to bad weather, three additional days have been built into the schedule. All school holidays would remain the same as in previous years.


    4. What time would the school day begin and end?

    Answer: We are still working out the details, but most likely elementary schools would begin at 7:50 am and students would be dismissed at 3:30 pm. Middle and high schools would begin at 8:30 am and students would be dismissed at 4:30 pm – to honor the conversations staff, students, and parents participated in this fall regarding later start times for secondary students.


    5. How does a four-day student contact week affect student achievement?

    Answer: Nationwide research in academic achievement levels among students attending a four-day student contact week has found that there is no statistically significant gain or loss in student achievement levels. The number of discipline referrals went down in nearly all schools indicating an increase in student morale and motivation. The research suggests that it is less important the number of days that a teacher is in front of the class and more important the quality of the teacher in front of the class. An improvement in attendance for students and teachers was also noted.


    6. How do parents deal with childcare issues on Mondays?

    Answer: 27J Schools will offer child care opportunities for K-5 at several locations, to be determined based on enrollment and interest. We are continuing to work out the details of child care opportunities and will provide additional information as it becomes available.


    7. How would the four-day student contact week affect middle and high school sports?

    Answer: Beyond any schedule changes due to later start and end times for middle and high school students, we do not anticipate this will affect middle and high school sports.


    8. Is there a cost savings if the four-day student contact week is implemented?

    Answer: Yes. School districts that have switched to a four-day student contact week have reported various ranges of cost savings after implementing the schedule. 27J Schools expects to save between $1-2 Million in the first year of implementation primarily due to reduced transportation, substitute, and utility costs.


    9. If 27J Schools go to a four-day student contact week, will charter schools do the same?

    Answer: Charter schools operate independently and are not required to follow the decisions made by 27J Schools. We have been in contact with all our partner charter school boards and made them aware of our exploration of a four-day student contact week. We have requested they make us aware of their intent by the end of February 2018.


    10. How many other districts in Colorado are utilizing the four-day student contact week?

    Answer: Ninety-eight school districts, constituting 55% of the 178 school districts in Colorado, plus one BOCES operated school and select schools of the Charter School Institute utilize the four-day school week as the structure for organizing their school year.


    11. Among the districts that have implemented a four-day student contact week, how has the change been received?

    Answer: Among districts which have implemented the concept, the practice of the four-day week is very popular among students, parents and teachers. Satisfaction surveys indicate that 80% - 90% of community members favor continuing the four-day week in districts which have been on the schedule for several years.


    12. What days would school start and end if the four-day student contact week were implemented?

    Answer: Staff is currently creating a draft 2018-2019 calendar, similar to our traditional calendar. We intend to start school in early to mid-August and end the year prior to Memorial Day as has been our practice in past years.

    DRAFT - 2018-19 School Calendar with Four Day Student Contact Weeks


    13. Will the Educational Service Center remain open on Mondays?

    Answer: Yes, the Educational Service Center will remain open on Monday to provide services as necessary.


    14. Will 27J Schools be pursuing a mill levy override (MLO) in 2018? How will that affect the four-day student contact week schedule?

    Answer: 27J Schools has no intention to pursue an MLO in 2018.


    In conclusion:

    Moving to a four-day school week……… is a great recruiting tool for attracting and hiring new teachers and retaining current teachers for our students.

    Moving to a four-day school week……… improves school culture and reduces absences for students and staff.

    Moving to a four-day school week……… boosts student and teacher morale.  

    Moving to a four-day school week……… allows teachers more time for planning and collaboration to prepare and support our students and their learning.

    Moving to a four-day school week……… saves money that can be invested in serving and supporting our students and their learning.


    For more information:

    The Colorado Department of Education Four-Day School Week Information Manual