Due to budget constraints, the Lexington School District moved to a four day week this year.  Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk to Superintendent Brad MacLaughlin:

Brad MacLaughlin

MacLaughlin said a recent survey indicates parents are happy with the change.  “As far as the approval ratings at this point, it’s about a nine to one ratio of positive to negative,” said MacLaughlin,”With the number we have, it’s being overwhelmingly well received.”

MacLaughlin said it’s too soon to gauge student performance for the year, but he feels confident they’re doing well.  “I’m encouraged,” said MacLaughlin,”When we talk about curriculum, you’re talking about pacing, scope and sequence, and efficient use of instructional time.  We’re doing several things  alongside the four day week in an attempt to improve what we’re doing in the classroom.  I’m encouraged because the staff is telling me in their surveys that the scope and sequencing is going very well.”

MacLaughlin said they’re finding additional benefits beyond the bottom line.  “Teacher absenteeism has decreased by over 50 percent,” said MacLaughlin,” And at this time last year, we had 78 percent of our kids in attendance 90 percent of the time.  Only 78 percent.  So far this year, we have 87 percent of our students present over 90 percent of the time.  Logically, you could say that with certified teachers in the classrooms 50 percent more of the time and students in the seats more of the time, we’re going to do a better job of getting instruction to the students.”

According to the surveys, the biggest parent concern continues to be child care for Mondays.  MacLaughlin said the district has a solution to that problem.  “We have established a full day Monday daycare with meals,” said MacLaughlin,” It’s $11 per day which is $2 to $3 cheaper than most daycares you’ll find out there and most daycares will not take a child for only one day a week.  Our program is licensed by the state of Missouri and for those people who are economically disadvantaged it’s free.”  Parents needing to take advantaged of this service are encouraged to contact district offices.

The school district is expected to save approximately $171,000 this year through the change.