Possible shorter school days for one local school district - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Possible shorter school days for one local school district

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The Mohawk Trail Regional School District's superintendent wants to explore the option of a four day school week.

Superintendent Michael Buoniconti said the shorter week may save money and improve education for students.

Buoniconti will present the idea Wednesday night to the school committee, hoping to get permission from them to look into a shorter school week.

He said because of the small scale economy in the area, they could save on a number of things.

Mohawk Trail is the largest rural regional school district in the state. However, with a small number of students and declining enrollment numbers, they're looking for a way to cut back on some costs when looking at the upcoming budget.

"The issues facing rural districts is very different from schools that are just neighboring, so we have to be creative we just have to think really aggressively. Sort of out of the box to keep things going forward," said Buoniconti.

He continued saying the shorter school week is one of the innovative ideas they're looking at that can also improve education by keeping the arts and other electives in the curriculum.

"While we started from a cost perspective, there's an educational gain that we also see if it's done properly," explained Buoniconti.

Losing a school day can save in transportation and utility costs. Education will stay a priority, so extending the school day 90 minutes is an option to meet state requirements.

Buoniconti said one concept they're looking at is to have teachers in school every other fifth day to continue professional development and offer enrichment programming for working parents.

Pat Colby has children in the school district. He said the shorter school week wouldn't be an issue.

"My mother-in-law lives with us so she'd be able to watch the kids,"said Colby.

If approved for discussion, there will be many hurdles to jump through before going through with the change.

There are some requirements the district needs to meet that will be addressed later down the road. Right now they need to meet 180 days of school per year.

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