Re-2, D-16 prepare for four-day weeks
It’s nearly back-to-school time for the three Garfield County school districts, including a shorter school week but slightly longer school days for students in two districts.
Both Garfield School District Re-2, which includes schools in New Castle, Silt and Rifle, and Garfield District 16 (Parachute/Battlement Mesa), switch to a four-day week for the coming school year, which starts next week.
Re-2 schools will take Fridays off, while D-16 chose to take Mondays off from its school week.
The Roaring Fork School District Re-1, including schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt, has another week off before students return to school.
Re-1 remains on a five-day week this coming school year, beginning Aug. 27 for all students except those entering kindergarten. Kindergarten classes will begin Sept. 4, the day after the Labor Day holiday.
The move to a four-day week for Re-2 and D-16 was made for budgetary reasons, in reaction to multiple years of cuts in state per-pupil funding.
Re-2 schools will run on a Monday through Thursday schedule starting Aug. 20. The school day will run from 7:55 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Fridays were chosen as the day off following extensive surveys last spring among parents, district staff and community members.
The only exceptions are the weeks following the Labor Day (Sept. 3) and Memorial Day (May 27, 2013) holidays. School will be out for those Monday holidays, and will be in session on the following Fridays.
One, and in some cases two Fridays per month throughout the school year are designated as teacher work days or “collaboration” days. Teachers are to report to work on those days, but it’s still a day off for students.
The district has listed some fee-based Friday programming options on its website (www.garfieldre2.k12.co.us), including:
• An all-day (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Friday Kids Camp at the Colorado Mountain College Rifle Campus for $40 per day, ages 7-14.
• City of Rifle Recreation Department has a variety of Friday sessions throughout the school year, including Sunlight Mountain ski and snowboard days during the winter.
• The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts offers half-day and full-day “5th Day” programs between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
The school district will continue to list more Friday program opportunities as they become available.
For younger children, discussions are also ongoing between the city of Rifle and Garfield County officials to come up with more day care options.
District 16 chose Mondays as its day off from the school week, also after substantial input.
“Mondays were picked to coincide with typical holidays, enabling our calendar to provide instruction four days a week, every week of the school year,” D-16 Superintendent Ken Haptonstall explained in an Aug. 2 letter to parents and community members.
L.W. St. John School in Battlement Mesa will be used on Mondays to provide supplemental learning for all students, grades K-12. The programs are being paid for through a 21st Century Learning Grant that the district obtained last spring.
The first day of school for D-16 will be Tuesday, Aug. 21. The school day will start and end at different times depending on the school on the following schedule:
• Bea Underwood Elementary, 7:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• Grand Valley Middle School, 7:50 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
• Grand Valley High School, 7:40 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.
• Center for Family Learning, 8:20 a.m. to 4:05 p.m.
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