SWCSD#1 Board of Trustees begin discussion of continuing the 4-day school week

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Emma Marsing, [email protected]

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING — Sweetwater County School District #1 Board of Trustees gathered together last night for their monthly held meeting. One of the major points of discussion last night was to keep the four-day school week for SWCSD #1 or move it back to five days. With the first day of official discussion last night, the board will not make its final decision until its next meeting on April 11, 2023.

Barbara Rezzonico, Principal of Farson-Eden School, presented their annual four-day schedule proposal. The school would begin for students on Aug. 16 of the 23’/24′ school year and begin on Aug. 14 of the 24’/25′ school year. Per the presentation, Farson-Eden continues to meet accountability measures for academic performance at all levels, and scored above the state average on their Science WYTOPP scores, with multiple grades scoring below the state average for other subjects. 100% of Farson-Eden parents voted in favor, 94% of students voted in favor, and 94% of teachers voted in favor of the four-day school week.

Nicole Bolton, Human Resource Director, spoke to the board regarding the changes to the start and end times as well as calendar dates if they approve continuing the four-day school week for SWCSD#1. The start and end times are as follows for Rock Springs schools: K-3 (7:50 a.m. – 3:05 p.m.), 4-6 (7:50 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.), Junior High (8:30 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.), High School (8:00 a.m. – 3:55 p.m.). Wamsutter’s start and end times are as follows: Elementary/Middle (8:30 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.).

Two options were presented to the board for the school calendars. Those options can be seen below:

SWCSD#1 Calendar Proposals

Based on a survey presented to the students, parents, and staff last May, 82% of students voted in favor and 18% did not vote in favor of the four-day school week, 72% of parents voted in favor with 28% did not vote in favor of the four-day school week, 77% of staff voted in favor with 23% of staff not voting in favor of the four-day school week.

Graduation rates remain steady throughout the years thus far. WYTOPP scores have declined and increased in some areas depending on grade levels and subjects. Bolton stated that they are working on aligning their curriculum maps so that they are teaching the standards that the state has set. This ensures all students have been taught the material on the exams. Bolton also noted that they are not sure they can pinpoint exactly what is causing the score decline, but that there are a lot of factors including the COVID shutdown and learning loss gap, transitioning to a four-day week, illnesses, young teachers, etc.

Pending the approval at the April 11, 2023 meeting, they will then submit the required forms to the Wyoming Board of Education for approval.

Other topics presented at the meeting included Kari Cochran resigning from her position as Clerk on the board (Kari will remain a Trustee on the board and Cole Wright will now serve as Clerk), nutrition service update, and the recognition of various athletes, the Student Council Executive Board, Speech and Debate National Qualifiers, Young Author Winners, and SWCSD#1 staff.

DISCLAIMER: None of the following information has been finalized by the board. All the information presented Tuesday night are current proposals for the upcoming school years. Dates and times to the schedules are subject to change.