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Schools assess four-day week

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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The Camp Verde Unified School District is taking a look at how the new four-day school week has been going.

It's still early, as the elimination of Friday classes has only been in effect the current school year.

So far, however, results seem mostly positive, according to the school officials.

"It's very preliminary but we've seen a decrease in absenteeism," said Amber Lee, Camp Verde Unified School District superintendent. "We've also noticed a decrease in the need for substitutes.

"We looked at other schools and that seems to be the trend."

The district's governing board implemented the change and will watch how it works and affects student performance over the next two years.

The idea is to keep Friday open for tutoring, academic programs and credit recovery for students, as well as training opportunities for teachers.

Teachers have been coming up with other ideas to help teach students on Fridays.

Lee noted that the programs would be voluntary.

"So far, from August through October, the need for substitute teachers has decreased from last year by 11.8 days. Also, student absenteeism has decreased by 1.81 percent," according to a report from from the school district office.

Lee said that students can sign up for programs if they want to.

"Teachers have put in ideas about what they'd like to teach," Lee said.

The proposed programs so far have been varied.

Lee said that ideas range from a hiking club to a bowling team. There were also proposals for a computer class, weight training and robotics.

The school district used to have a robotics club, but Lee said it disappeared over the last few years. A free Friday group would be one way to bring that back.

Lee said that when this semester is over, the district plans to survey parents to get more detailed feedback.

Lee said that experiences may differ depending on how old a student is.

At Camp Verde High School, Principal Robert Weir said he had met with his leadership team and things seemed mostly positive.

Weir said he had heard complaints from a parent about the lack of classes on Friday, but not much else.

Weir said that students with part-time jobs also seemed to be working fewer late night hours and picking up shifts on Fridays when they otherwise would have been in school.

"Attendance has been better," Weir said.

Weir also said that students had been taking advantage of the extra day to work on obtaining credits toward graduating on time.

Mark Lineberger can be reached at 567-3341 or email

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2014

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