By Joel Hillan
BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – According to the Colorado School Finance Project around half of all school districts in the state have switched to a four-day school week, and none of the school districts that have made the change have changed back.
Over the last 20 years Brighton School District 27J has nearly quadrupled in size from around 5,500 students in 2000 to nearly 18,000 now. By the year 2030, they estimate they will serve 30,000 students.
The year 2000 was the last year the district successfully passed a property tax increase to fund schools. The latest attempt was defeated by the voters in November.
Now they are looking at a four-day school week.
School officials say it will save around $1 million, but they hope the real value will come in attracting and keeping quality teachers who would be willing to exchange a three-day weekend for less pay.
“Our real goal is to put the best adults in front of kids in terms of teachers and staff and we see this as a way to recruit teachers,” said District 27J Superintendent Dr. Chris Fiedler.
Becky Mininger teaches third grade at Southeast Elementary. She thinks the change would be beneficial for both teachers and students.
“Having that Monday off, I’ll take that day to really do great planning for my kids and when they come in on Tuesday I’ll be ready to go and they’ll be ready to go,” said Mininger.
Parents we spoke with liked the idea, but also had reservations.
“It gives them a little bit more time on the weekends to rest, and their study habits are a little better. I just don’t know if I like from early in the morning to late in the afternoon,” said Laurie Janak whose granddaughter is in the first grade at Southeast Elementary.
“I work from home so it wouldn’t be a burden on me, and I did think about all of the other parents who work on Mondays and where are they going to be leaving their kids?” Asked Shelly Shultz, she has two children who attend Southeast Elementary.
Parents are encouraged to make their concerns heard at one of three public meetings:
– Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at the District Training Room (80 S. 8th Avenue, Brighton), 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
– Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at Stuart Middle School Cafeteria (15955 E 101st Way, Commerce City), 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
– Monday, February 12, 2018 at West Ridge Elementary School Cafeteria (13102 Monaco St, Thornton), 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A final decision will be announced mid-March.