School board flips decision on 4-day schedule

The Weiser School District Board of Trustees, in a tie-breaking vote on May 23, elected to transition district schools to a 4-day weekly schedule for the 2022-23 school year.
 Monday’s special meeting followed the board’s May 11 meeting where trustees, in a split decision, voted to continue with a traditional 5-day schedule but left open the potential for further discussion.
 Board members Melanie Price, Nancy Lazaro, and Dr. Mark Pritchard all voted against a 4-day week, with Jim Brush voting in favor.
 On Monday, after about an hour of comment and discussion among board members and administrators, Brush made a motion to adopt the proposed 4-day week. Lazaro seconded the motion, creating a tie among board members.
 Chairman Justin Erickson, making the required tie-breaking vote under district policy, voted in favor of the motion, which passed 3-2.
 The Weiser School District Board is holding a special meeting tonight, May 25, at 7 p.m. to consider an official school calendar for the 2022-23 school year.
 Once approved, the new calendar will be posted to the district website at www.weiserschools.org.
 “The board, the administrative team, and the staff in the WSD will continue to work on the details of the calendar change in the coming days and weeks,” District Superintendent Wade Wilson stated in a letter to parents, staff, and patrons. “Expect more information to be posted as it become available.”
 “The last thing that I would like to say is that we took the time to put out surveys, and the surveys are to find out how people in the community, our teachers and our students, feel about this,” he said. “Overwhelmingly, the people that chose to take the surveys, 60 percent or more, would like this change. I personally believe and feel that it’s time for us to listen to the people.”
 Lazaro agreed, particularly regarding recruitment and retention, and thanked all those involved in the effort to gather research on the topic and those who participated in the surveys and provided feedback.
“As Jim said, times have changed and it is going to be harder to recruit new teachers in our district,” she said. “We have to be competitive with the other districts. Jim really summed it up.”

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