Parents Have Mixed Opinions On First 4-Day School

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Students in Montgomery County R- II School District finished their second day of school here Wednesday, meaning their week is now half over.  That is because the district will have four-day school weeks for the next two school years. There is no school on Mondays, with school hours extended on other weekdays.

Teasaj Miller has a 16-year-old son and a daughter in seventh grade, and both of them go to school in this district.

"Our children don't get home until 45 minutes to an hour later than they normally got home. And my daughter has to catch the bus at six thirty in the morning," said Miller.

Miller said the kids cannot get the rest they need with the extension of school hours.

"These kids aren't getting the sleep they need. By the time they get home from school, all they had to do is eat dinner, take showers and go to bed, and that's not life for a child. How are they gonna have time for homework?"

Miller also said she could not see the purpose of getting students an extra day off each week.

"What are they supposed to do on Monday? School days are supposed to be from Monday to Friday," said Miller.

However, some students think more off days are always better than school.

Dylan Skeens is a sophomore at Montgomery County High School. "I got sports to do on Monday. But other than that, I won't do anything. Just be bored, better than school," he said.

And Skeens said most of his classmates like the change.

"I think almost everybody likes it that I have been talking to, they just agreed that it's a little longer though, but they like it," Skeens said.

But Dylan's mother Stacy Skeens said it might be inconvenient for parents with smaller kids.

"I am for it, but I don't have small children to take care of," said Skeens.

The new schedule will also extend each high school class period for eight minutes to 56 minutes, and some teachers are happy to see that change.

"It gives us more time preparing. One of the things we found in the last couple of years is that we always had kids...wishing they had ten more minutes try to get something done. As a teacher, I found that I might want to give a quiz or something instead of waiting until the next day, now I have the time to do that," said Jonathan Hoer, a agriculture education teacher at Montgomery County High School.

Besides the high school and middle school, two elementary schools in this district will be affected. The new schedule was approved in April, 2011 and the school board will reevaluate it after two years.