Four-day school week passes first testScores from the state’s Measures of Academic Progress test show that math proficiency and reading skills have improved among first- through eighth-grade students in Two Harbors and Silver Bay schools, even though classes have gone to a four-day week.
Scores from the state’s Measures of Academic Progress test show that math proficiency and reading skills have improved among first- through eighth-grade students in Two Harbors and Silver Bay schools, even though classes have gone to a four-day week.
The MAP tests showed improvement in all grades, except for seventh grade in Two Harbors, where there was a slight decrease in scores.
“Academically, it seems to be working,” Lake Superior School District Superintendent Phil Minkkinen said at a school board meeting Thursday.
He said discipline problems and absenteeism for both teachers and students also is down.
Minkkinen said the MAP tests were done at a different time of the year compared to other years, so correlation for the results is difficult to show.
Students will be taking Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment Tests later in the year, which will be another indication of how the school district is faring with the four-day week.
District principals say they have not seen a lapse in student achievements.
Pat Driscoll, principal at Minnehaha Elementary in Two Harbors, said she hasn’t heard any negatives from parents or kids.
“[I hear] pretty much the same thing,” said Brett Archer, principal. He said there have been focus groups done with students showing positive results, and that teachers are on track with their syllabi or ahead of the game.
Much of the same news came from Principal Joe Nicklay in Silver Bay. He said his community has been upbeat. He said teachers feel like they are on schedule and students are getting more out of the school day.
Others are not so sure about the four-day week.
“I hear things that aren’t quite that way,” said Dwight Moe, school board member. He said he heard that six students from North Shore Community School will not be coming to Two Harbors because of the four-day week.
North Shore is a charter elementary school in Duluth Township. Once students graduate, they either go to Two Harbors or Duluth for the upper grades.
Minkkinen said he wasn’t aware that fewer students were coming to Two Harbors because of the four-day week.
School board member Renee Saamanen said she hears a “surprised positive” from residents on the success of the four-day week.
Students have been given options to participate in other activities on Fridays during the school year.
Chris Olafson-Langenbrunner, the Community Education director who is also in charge of Friday events, said students are not using the school’s “Fabulous Fridays” program very often.
She said the district isn’t getting signups for anything that costs over $15, and that families are figuring out daycare options on Friday. The district is working on a plan for Fridays off next year.