Park City goes to four-day school week for 2022-23 school year

By 
Jaci Webb Of The Laurel Outlook
Thursday, March 17, 2022

The Park City School District is switching to a four-day school week in the fall to improve teacher recruitment and retention.

Superintendent Dan Grabowska said the Class C school district cannot compete with higher paying districts like Laurel, Columbus and Billings. Offering a four-day work week for teachers can be a real incentive to come teach at Park City, he said.

The school day will be 8 a.m. to 4:12 p.m. Monday through Thursday for all grades, kindergarten through grade 12. This is one hour longer than the school day is this year.

Grabowska said younger students will have an extra snack break and another recess to help them get through the longer school day. Students and teachers will have every Friday off, but classroom aides will be available on Friday mornings to help students with make-up work.

Grabowska said 167 school districts in Montana have gone to a four-day school week, including Roberts.

“This gives families an extra day for family time,“ Grabowska said.

In an online survey on the Park City School district’s website, 80 percent of the respondents said they are in favor of four-day school weeks.

“One of the biggest reasons is this will help cut down on absenteeism because it will mean less time is lost for sports events,” Grabowska said.

Already teaching candidates are inquiring about job openings, something Grabowska attributes to the change in the school-day coming in the 2022-23 school year.

“We were already able to recruit a teacher, and I’ve had 25 other inquiries,” he said.

Three positions during the current school year went unfilled. Grabowska believes that with the shift in the school week, more candidates will come in and more teachers will stay. This idea has been supported by the school board and the community since conversations on it began last fall.

“I was part of a school district in Idaho that was on a four-day school schedule and it worked well,” he said.

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