ELDON, IOWA — The Cardinal Community School Board has voted to moved to a four-day week for students and staff starting next fall. The move is something the district has been considering for some time.
“Honestly if you look at some of the demographics for just less people going into the education field, less people completing education degrees, the amount of applications we get is really scary especially some of the shortage areas,” said Joel Pedersen, Supt. of Schools at Cardinal Community. “Some of our teachers want the amenities of a bigger city, but maybe they’re willing to give and take that if they have a four-day work week.
The teachers and staff are excited as the four days are achieved by making each day a little longer. The school by law must give 1080 hours of instruction each year. For bus drivers and cooks, they will be given raises to make up for the lost day of work.
My first thought as a teacher was how awesome that would be for myself and I come in sometimes on this Saturday or a Sunday to prep or get my room ready or pick up from Friday,” said Amanda Jarvis, a Special Education teacher at the school. “For my own kids saying we get to spend more family time, we also have family that lives out of the state so on those weeks that I could call a day off and not have to be here.”
Not all parents are happy about the change. Some students count on the school for a meal on that fifth day. The school is working to put in additional food pantry supplies to assure students will not go hungry. Also they have met with some parents on the question of what to do with kids while they are at work. Supt. Pedersen said that so far has not proven to be a significant issue.
“For for our staff is is when you look at different generations, they value different things and certainly with some of our younger teachers time is important to them,” said Pedersen.