LINCOLN, Ark (KNWAK/KFTA) — The Lincoln Consolidated School District will meet with parents again on March 7 at 6 p.m. in the administration building to discuss its four-day school week proposal.
If approved, the four-day school week would go into effect for Lincoln schools next school year, which is causing parents to worry about finding childcare on an extra day students will be off school.
Superintendent Maryann Spears said local organizations, such as churches, stepped up at the last meeting to offer an idea to partner with the district and offer childcare on the day kids would be off.
Other parents were concerned about their kids getting home at a decent time since the district would be adding an extra hour and 20 minutes to make up for the day off. To address this, Spears said the district is looking to add another bus and reroute others to get kids home quicker.
“In fact, a bus transportation company gave us free $25,000 software to study. So my E.A.S.T. lab at the high school is doing a mapping of all our students and where they live. Then, we’re going to restructure some bus routes and possibly add a route in there, so that we get kids home not much later than they’re getting home already,” said Spears.
She said it’s all changes that’ll combat teacher shortages.
Spears said they’ve been hiring teachers fresh out of college, but after a couple of years, they’ve left the rural district for bigger schools, and shorter commutes. She said Northwest Arkansas’ growth hasn’t hit Lincoln yet, so many new teachers can’t find housing near the schools.
She said many staff members have hour-long drives to work, some coming in from outside of Bentonville or Huntsville.
“That certainly is something we worry about. Our culture and our morale of our teachers. We want to keep them pumped up, and we went to attract the best. We want to keep the best here in Lincoln to serve our kids,” said Spears.
Spears said the school board will vote on the four-day school week proposal at its meeting planned for Monday, March 13.