Iowa City school begins discussion of four-day school week

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) — The Iowa City School Board is discussing new options for its school calendar. Iowa City Superintendent Matt Degner started a discussion during a meeting earlier this month. The two models presented by Degner offer a 4-day school week.

“I think there’s just an opportunity for us to look at our calendar with a critical eye and say that we can probably do better than what the traditional calendar is, but the driving force for that has to be our children. said Superintendent Degner.

The model would include extended breaks throughout the year, but continued classroom work over the summer. A combat effort to reduce the “summer slide”. Studies show that children lose important reading and math skills during the summer holidays.

“I think part of it is trying to learn from COVID. And what’s happened during this time and how to be the best for our kids in school every day,” Degner said.

The Iowa City Public Library says a 4-day school model would allow them to adjust their summer reading schedule to better serve the community and students.

“In fact, it will really be a very organic time to undertake a change like this. And I think that would also give us a reason to dig again, looking at what is this summer slide? How does this affect our particular community? And what elements can we pull together from school and library life to really position our students to succeed,” said Elsworth Carman, director of the Iowa City Public Library.

A big concern for communities moving to 4-day models is child care for that extra day, the school district and library say they would look at options to support families through this challenge.

“We know that we play an important role in childcare in the community. And so when we look at a different, balanced, smarter calendar, we know that’s also something we’ll have to consider during that conversation,” Degner said.

“We are here for everyone. And we would love to undertake it,” Carman said.

The district opens the conversation early about a schedule change. The proposed changes would not take place until the 2024-25 school year.

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