INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence School District held a community meeting to discuss the possibility of a four-day school week on Wednesday
The meeting included several speakers with information on the topic, including ISD Superintendent Dale Herl, Dr. Jon Turner from Missouri State University and Dr. Gregg Klinginsmith.
Klinginsmith is superintendent of Warren County R-III School District. The district located near St. Louis is one of several in Missouri with a four-day school week.
“Teacher retention, that was our goal," Klinginsmith said. "We were able to increase our teacher retention by about 5%, we were at 83% prior to the four-day week."
The superintendent said concerns over a spike in juvenile crime and a hit to the economy never happened. He added childcare concerns were addressed.
“We have a program here in the district that we provide that allows parents to sign up and send their kids to them," he said. "I send my own kids there on Monday’s when I’m here in the office."
Klinginsmith said out of the 3,000 students in the district, about 80 to 100 have used the program. Other students have care outside the school.
The superintendent said one thing the move to four-days did not do was increase cost savings.
"When people are talking about the financial impacts, you’re really not saving 20% of your cost by going one less day," he said. "Because your teacher salaries are still the same. Most of your expenses are still the same."
During dismissal time outside of Nowlin Middle School, parents were split on the idea.
“I don’t agree with it. I think kids need the five-day structure also a lot of children only eat at school, so if they’re off three days, then there’s three days they’re not eating," said Laura Goens, a parent.
Another parent KSHB 41 spoke to is on board with the idea.
“That’s a good idea. I approve. I think the kids enjoy that," Ginger Elbert said. "I mean I work at home, so that’s fine with me.”