The Middleton School District will join the growing ranks of Idaho schools adopting a four-day schedule.
Trustees voted unanimously Monday to switch from a five-day schedule to a four-day schedule, starting in August.
“There are many positive reasons to make this conversion,” Superintendent Sherawn Reberry said in a news release late Tuesday afternoon.
The district cited several reasons for the move:
- Cost savings. The district hopes to cut transportation and food service costs, trimming its overall budget by 2 percent. Public schools are being told to brace for potential state budget cuts of 5 percent next year.
- Competition. Nearby charter schools operate on a four-day calendar. Administrators believe a four-day schedule will help Middleton recruit and retain teachers and maintain enrollment.
- Public support. According to a recent survey, 75 percent of employees and 73 percent of patrons said they would prefer a four-day schedule. Moreover, 72 percent of patrons said they anticipated no concerns from a shift to a four-day week; only 18 percent said they were concerned about supervising older students and keeping them engaged, while only 12 percent listed child care as a concern.
About 45 of Idaho’s 115 school districts operate on a four-day calendar, along with 15 charter schools. But Middleton — a Canyon County bedroom community district with slightly more than 4,000 students — will be the largest district to adopt a four-day schedule.
Middleton is the second district to announce a shift to a four-day schedule in the past month. The 3,800-student Blackfoot School District announced a similar move in April.
More reading: Our in-depth 2015 series on four-day schools.