Middleton adopts four-day calendar

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.

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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