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Idaho State Department of Education increases minimum school days

Posted at 11:23 AM, Jun 13, 2024

NAMPA, Idaho — On Wednesday the State Board of Education made a change to instructional day minimums in response to the increasing number of 4-day schools.

  • The minimum number of instructional days in a school year has been increased to 152.
  • The Department found that schools on a five-day calendar averaged 172 instructional days. That's 26 more days than the four-day calendar average of 146 instructional days.
  • At the end of this school year the Nampa School District became the next, and largest, school district in Idaho to make the switch to a four-day school week.

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(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

At the end of this school year the Nampa School District became the next, and largest, school district in Idaho to make the switch to a four-day school week. On Wednesday the State Board of Education made a change to instructional day minimums in response to the increasing number of 4-day schools.

State Superintendent Debbie Critchfield and the Department of Ed team worked with education stakeholders to adjust the minimum number of instructional days in a school year to 152. The Department found that schools on a five-day calendar averaged 172 instructional days -- 26 more days than the four-day calendar average of 146 instructional days. During the most recent legislative session, two bills were signed into law requiring schools to meet a minimum instructional hours to be eligible to receive state funding.

Back in January, Superintendent Critchfield outlined her opinions on four-day school weeks in an open letter.

Critchfield saying she "doesn't support 4-day weeks if they are being considered as a money-saving alternative... little to no money would be saved in the long run."

In that letter she also urged districts to do what's best for students rather than what is desired by the adult workforce.

I've been following Nampa's schedule shifts this year for you and I've also spoken with the Vallivue School District that spans across Nampa and Caldwell and, while they explored a four-day week in 2020, they decided it was not in their students' best interest and have no plans to explore it in the future.