District hopes to attract, retain quality teachers with 4-day week

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Academics

By Wyatt Hutchinson
Cougar News Blog

     The Apache Junction Unified School District wanted to change by making schools adopt a four-day school week because they are trying to help keep the quality teachers that they have.
     Whilst competing with Mesa and other school districts, the decision was made to help AJUSD compete with neighboring schools by changing up the usual week by cutting out Fridays from every school week.
     The district needed to cut about $3 million dollars from the budget, which was largely accomplished by closing Superstition Mountain Elementary School.
     The goal of the four-day week is to save money for the school district while keeping all sports and extra activities, and retain and attract the quality teachers that it has and needs. Research shows that a four-day week does not affect student achievement in the classroom.
     “The district has been researching the four-day school week for awhile. The district has looked into other school districts that have gone to the four-day school week and looked at the pros and cons to it,” said Principal Courtney Castelhano.
     The four-day school week was going to cut class time for the students, but AJUSD has already developed a solution to that problem by adding 43 minutes to the usual school day.
     “The time budget affects the school schedule and class time by attracting students to my school and retaining quality teachers that I already have,” said Mrs.Castelhano.
     Since Apache Junction cannot compete with other school districts money wise, cutting Fridays will cut down gas costs for buses, cut electricity costs, and it will also cut costs that are spent on food for students.
     “The goal is to save money through transportation costs and utilities reductions, also the four-day school week could provide a benefit for school employees which may attract and retain quality teachers to work with our students,” said Castelhano.

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