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Nampa School District proposes changes, including a four-day student contact week

Nampa School District logo on a grey background, with the hashtag #WeAreNampa underneath it. The logo is a blue circle with the outline of two children's profiles, with one holding a gold star above their heads.
Nampa School District

At the first meeting of 2024, the Nampa School District board discussed introducing shorter work weeks, early release and alternative bell schedules. Out of more than 13,000 school districts nationwide, nearly 900 operate on a shortened schedule.

Deputy Superintendent Waylon Yarbrough said condensing periods each day would cut costs while shorter weeks would help staff retention.

“What the four day workweek will provide, at least from the perspective of hiring and retaining people, is one more pro for being in the district,” Yarbrough said.

The schedule change was discussed for high school grades only, however implementing this change into secondary and elementary schools may be considered later on.

Yarbrough goes on to discuss the impacts on the students’’ school day if they were to change the bell schedule, but at this point, there is no “fiscally responsible” way the District can balance the current schedule and the necessary expenses.

According to Yarbrough, this plan will aim to incentivise higher enrollment and employment rates.

“If we change our schedule to say teachers in the Nampa School District are expected to teach seven of eight classes with minimal to no prep every other day, we will not be able to attract and retain highly qualified staff that will have an impact on our kids from an instructional perspective, and it's just not fiscally responsible from my perspective,” Yarbrough said.

Trustee Jason Su said the measures would help save money and were necessary for the District to survive.

“With the school district's shrinking and the funding mechanisms drying up, we're just trying to stay afloat at this point,” Su said.

Roughly three quarters of the students, staff and parents surveyed by the District this month said they preferred a 4-day school week. Ninety seven of Idaho’s 117 school districts already operate on a shortened schedule.

Board meetings for the Nampa School District are held the third Monday of each month and the proposal will be further discussed as more data unfolds.

Amanda Niess was a newsroom assistant through February of 2024.

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