HAZELTON — The Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock school district has become the latest to move to a four day school week.
“I think it’s awesome, it’s definitely something worth trying and I think it’s really great that we have the opportunity to give it a shot,” said Junior Tara Dahl
And that’s what they’re doing here at the Hazelton Moffit Braddock school, giving a four day week a shot. KX News sat down with Superintendent Tracy Hanzal who told us the idea first came to him when he was a student and needed something to break up the toughest chunk of the school year between New Year’s and Easter.
Last week was the district’s first four day week. They had a normal first semester because it’s already filled with plenty of breaks. To make up for the time, the district lengthened the school day by about 40 minutes or 6 minutes per class. Caitlin Schmidt teaches 7-12th grade math and told us that’s valuable time.
“Before with just 50 minutes, we were getting through maybe one lesson a day, now I’m able to get through two mini-lessons every day,” said math teacher Schmidt.
So what do students think of the new plan? Some KX News spoke with told us it will keep them from getting burned out.
“I personally consider February to be the longest month of the school year, it just seems to drag on and the four day weeks I think will be a big improvement and help kids focus a lot more,” said Senior Delons Schiermeister.
“I really like that I have that extra day to work on maybe one class instead of trying to do all of them, and especially with like weekend speech meets, it gives us a lot of extra time to have practices and to get our homework done before we leave for a meet on Saturday,” said Junior Tara Dahl.
And it’s not just students who can get burned out, but the teachers as well. Cassie Werlinger is a fifth-grade teacher and is looking forward to the extra day off.
“I think the extra break time will definitely be beneficial to me to have the extra time to go to appointments when I need to whether than taking the time during the week and missing school time when I should be teaching the students,” said Werlinger.
The proposal helped to lure teachers to the district long-term, like English teacher Lucinda Haak, who drives to Hazelton from South Dakota everyday.
Hazelton joins 10 other districts across the state that have switched to a four day week.
It’s early, but so far the four day week seems to be getting A’s across the board, meaning it could be something to look forward to for years to come.
If you’re wondering how this new plan impacts the sports programs, the good news is they are in a co-op with Linton, meaning they follow their schedule and having Fridays off will not impact their ability to play.