Schools Take Fridays Off

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 10:06am

South Dakota district's budget cuts force schools to adopt four-day week.

State budget cuts have hit South Dakota's Irene-Wakonda School District hard.

The superintendent had to come up with an extra $250,000 and a way to save a fifth of the money that was cut.

Cutting class on Friday cuts nearly $50,000.

"There's a lot of comments and arguments and we looked into schools that have been doing four day weeks, we don’t feel it will have an affect on the students achievement at all," explained Superintendent Larry Johnke.

Johnke, says students stay in each class for an extra seven minutes, adding about an extra hour to the school day.

Sounds from more than 150 students fill the hallways Monday through Thursday, but this year, on Friday, the doors will be locked and the halls will go silent.

"It’s still a new change people are getting use to but so far the people I have talked to they really enjoy," said Morgan Lee, a high school senior.

While it’s a hit with students, the change causes a few hiccups for staff and parents along the way.

"People sometimes don’t like to have their routine disrupted a little bit and there’s no doubt this is doing that for some," said Johnke.

Still, administrators hope the school year will end on a good note.

"We found other schools when parents get use to it in a year, 90 percent of them like it and wouldn’t want to go back," said Johnke.

Teachers will be available from 8 a.m. until noon on Fridays for students to get extra help.

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