Multimedia Journalist

Latham moves to 4-day school week

After months of discussion, the Latham Board of Education voted unanimously to move to a four-day school week beginning in August.

The K-8 district will meet Tuesdays through Fridays. The 2019-20 calendar has not yet been approved.

Superintendent/Principal Jennifer Fletcher said every teacher in the district and 38 parents were present at a meeting on the subject March 18.

The board has been considering the change since November. A survey was sent home to parents over Christmas break.

“We sent it to 37 families; we had 15 respond,” Fletcher said. “The responses were more for it and supportive of it than not.”

Fletcher said some parents were concerned about the socialization of the youth. Most Latham students transfer to California or Tipton for high school.

“The transition for our kids is pretty drastic anyway, but our kids adapt very well to transitions and changes,” Fletcher said.

Another concern was child care for students.

Currently, 57 students are enrolled in the district, which serves kindergarten through eighth grade.

Fletcher said she visited with officials at Harrisburg R-8, which switched to a four-day school week in 2012. She said Harrisburg didn’t provide extra care on Mondays.

“We want the community to trust us that we are going to do the best thing for the school and the community as a whole,” Fletcher said. “I am confident that our student achievement will be high for our students. We’re not going to let that fall through, no matter how many days a week we go to school.”

The board plans to send a survey to parents mid-year to see how the change is progressing.

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