SOCORRO, N.M. (KRQE) – One New Mexico school district is considering a big change to how it operates and is looking for input from families and staff about kids not going to class five days week.
It has been a topic of conversation for a while: Should Socorro Consolidated Schools shorten the length of the school-week to just four days?
“It actually got started a few years ago,” explained board member JC Trujillo.
He says it was initially an idea to save money, but budget problems have since been shored up.
Now, the focus is elsewhere, finding qualified teachers.
“The argument right now is that the four day week would be attractive to those teachers,” he said.
Trujillo says while it may help recruit quality educators, personally, he’s against it.
He says the five-member board wants the hard facts on a shorter week and more opinions. The district recently posted a survey on its website asking whether community members agree or disagree with a four day week.
The district also posted a graph to its website, comparing the number of failing New Mexico schools that use four day weeks to those with a traditional five-day week. Allegedly showing more five-day a week schools are failing.
“You’re not comparing apples to apples here,” said Trujillo, adding many school districts on the shorter week are significantly smaller and often employ a lot of the community.
“And so that would become the problem the biggest thing is what does Socorro do with 1,500 students out while parents are working,” he said.
A shorter week also means a longer school day, possibly extending to 4 p.m., meaning kids who take the bus could end up walking home in the dark.
Overall, Trujillo says there is a lot that still needs to be discussed.
“We really need to be hearing from community members and we really need to encourage our stakeholders to come up and speak.”
The board could vote on this as early as February. Its next meeting is Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Sarracino Middle School.