Teacher Evaluations

Teacher evaluations were intended to be a tool for teachers to receive feedback and improve, and to identify and elevate the best. Sometimes they are meaningful, but other times a trivial checklist. In this series, we take a look at the state of teacher evaluations – where they are now and how they got here.

Blackfoot adopts four-day school week

BLACKFOOT — One of East Idaho’s largest school districts will transition to a four-day week next school year.

Trustees in the 3,800-student Blackfoot School District voted unanimously Thursday to drop Friday classes, according to a post on the district’s Facebook page.

The decision follows a revived push for four-day schools across Idaho. Blackfoot joins at least 45 districts and 15 charters to make the change, according to 2019-20 numbers from the State Department of Education. 

Blackfoot mulled the decision for weeks, amid concerns over losing teachers to the allure of a shorter workweek in surrounding schools.

The district scheduled a public meeting to gather input on the proposal, but the coronavirus pandemic forced leaders to gather feedback via email.

More patrons supported the change than opposed it, the Bingham County Chronicle reported.

Blackfoot Superintendent Brian Kress said the move had the potential to save the district money. Kress did not respond to a request Monday for more information on community feedback and potential savings.

Thursday’s board meeting happened via teleconference.

A calendar committee will meet to formulate a schedule aligned with state instructional requirements, the district said on Facebook.

Blackfoot is Idaho’s largest district to adopt a four-day schedule, surpassing Southeast Idaho’s 2,400-student Preston School District, which nixed Fridays over four years ago.

Further Reading: In 2015, EdNews took an in-depth look at the trend toward four-day schools in Idaho. Click here for the eight-part series.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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