The Olympia School District will hear from Capital High School Superintendent Bill Lahmann, who has said that he will approach the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State to waive four of the five days that Capital was closed due to a roof collapse during the latest snow storms. Previously, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire had declared a state of emergency during a severe winter storm that began on December 15th, and the closure of Capital took place during that time. The roof collapse at capital had taken out the library and visual communications center.
State Senators Jim Honeyford and Curtis King, as well as Representatives Dan Newhouse and Bruce Chandler are proposing to give school districts the right to have a four-day week. This would allow school districts around Washington State to hold classes only on Mondays through Thursdays, and give kids the day off on Fridays. The Senate Bill (5112) and House Bill (1292) would give the Washington State Board of Education the right to grant waivers from the 180-day school year requirement that is currently in place if institutions were still able to guarantee that the same number of instructional hours took place each year. The current policy requires 1,000 instruction hours split up by district policies.
The argument behind moving to a 4-day school week is that there could be a cost savings across the board for school districts, which could save money on heating the schools, bussing kids to and from the schools, and the costs of extra staff on those particular 5th days of the week. It seems like an idea that would be great for some of the school districts, and giving them the right to choose how many days per week would be a good idea if they can still maintain the minimum expected number of hours per year.
In less positive news, the Seattle School Board will be voting Thursday on potentially closing down some buildings to save the state money. Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson wants to close 5 buildings in order to save money over the next 5 years, and while funding is at a deficit for education in the state, this would be her idea to help overcome the budget shortfalls. This could be rough on students currently attending schools that would be affected, and Goodloe-Johnson will have to defend her decisions at Thursday’s meetings.
Sources: Olympia School District Report, Possible Seattle School Closures, and Four-Day Week Proposal