West-central Minn. school district moving to four-day weekby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Another Minnesota school district is moving to a four-day school week.
The school board for the west-central Minnesota Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City school district voted Monday night for the change, which still needs state approval.
The small district near Willmar has about 800 students. Officials estimate they'll save about $64,000 mostly because they'll need fewer bus runs and substitute teachers, but that savings represents less than 1 percent of the district's $8 million budget.
Districts in Minnesota that have moved to four days have all done so to save money, but the change does not solve all their budget woes. Still, Superintendent Sherri Broderius said the estimated savings will help in her district, which has had to make cuts in each of the past six years.
"$64,000 is a lot of money when you think about what it can do for kids," Broderius said.
Broderius also said studying the four-day week found potential educational benefits because each class period will be 11 minutes longer. Students will have Mondays off, but the school day on Tuesdays through Fridays will be longer.
The ACGC vote comes about a month after the North Branch district also voted to go to four days next year.
Those two districts join MACCRAY, Blackduck, Ogilvie and Warroad - who already operate on four-day schedules.