East End School District surveys community about four-day school weeks

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BIGELOW, ARk.-Making the switch to a four-day school week is a growing trend in districts across the country.

In Bigelow, the East End School District is now surveying the community about the idea.

Superintendent Lori Edgin says they’re just trying to think outside the box and do what’s best for the district.

She’s already been in touch with school leaders in Kirby, Arkansas and who’ve already implemented a four day school week.

Parents and students have mixed opinions about it.

Some say it can help while others say it’s going to make things a lot tougher for parents.

Edgin has been the superintendent for two years.

“We have approximately 615 students right now,” Edgin said.

“We have actually lost about 50 students this year with enrollment which is actually one of the reasons we are looking at 4 day school week,” Edgin said.

Now, the district considering looking at transitioning to a 4 day week for the new school year.

“I’m really on the fence about it because of the different families In the community. We’ve got families we’re both parents have to work 8-5,” Desirae Benson said.

“Well I just think you gotta wake up extra early and you stay there even longer,” Ryan Hernandez said.

This proposal would not include year-round school, but rather a slightly longer school day.

Edgin says it could help save money and she’s already gotten feedback from other superintendents.

“They’re seeing everything from a decrease in student absences to decrease to faculty abscesses to an increase in enrollment and more opportunities for our students to gain employment,” Edgin said.

“You have a whole day where kids that are the age that can stay at home by themselves are probably finding something to do,” Holly Johnson said.

But parents like Holly Johnson still have questions about how it could affect learning.

“Well I’m still a little up in the air about it but the research that I’ve done has not really shown any interest in increasing their academics or helping them out with their school work,” Holly Johnson said.

Edgin says it all comes down to what the district plans to do with the extra day if the proposal goes into effect.

Some districts provide enrichment or volunteer opportunities while others don’t do much.

Edgin says she is going to keep the survey open for a few more weeks and plans to have a few town hall meetings.

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