Starting this fall, students in the Warren County School District can stay home on Mondays.
The first day of school is Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Last year the Warren County School Board OK’d a plan to go to a four-day school week starting this year.
Going to four days a week is intended to improve student attendance. Students are more likely to come to school four days a week and a four-day work week is likely to attract and retain teachers. Attendance and teacher retention are district goals, said Superintendent Gregg Klinginsmith, Ed.D.
The district will save less than 1 percent of the budget, school district officials said.
School hours this year are 7:40 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The day is extended by about 40 minutes from previous years. Extra recess time will be added in, Klinginsmith said.
“Teachers are off Mondays. They will be on duty maybe one Monday a month for professional development,” he said.
Because there are no classes Mondays, the district will hold “care days” at Rebecca Boone Elementary. Care days are optional and free and are not to be confused with “day care,” Klinginsmith said.
“With the care days, we’re looking to expand learning opportunities that wouldn’t ordinarily be there,” he added.
Activities will be scheduled each day, such as story time with the Scenic Regional Library.
During one of the care days, Lee Gustin, chef and owner of the Blue Anchor Coffee & Bistro, will talk about how he started a business.
More activities, with a learning purpose, are scheduled, and more are being scheduled, said Janelle Stanek, care day and summer school coordinator.
Stanek said 135 students are already enrolled in care day activities. Most of those students are in kindergarten and first grade.
Parents should enroll their kids online for care days on the school district’s website. Registering is important so organizers can plan staffing needs and age-appropriate activities for the number of students who are participating.
Breakfast and lunch will be served at care days. Students will have the same meal pay status that they have during a regular school day.
Any Warren County School District student may attend care days.
Klinginsmith said he does not expect to see high school students at care day.
“A lot of them are working,” he said. “I’m hearing, ‘My boss is really glad I’m available another day.’ ”
Other programs will go unchanged as well. The district’s latch key program is unchanged from last year. It is available before and after school Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Rebecca Boone Elementary. It’s free. Students must be enrolled.
Programs that involve entities outside of the district that generally have activities on Mondays, such as sports, will still have Monday events.
Mondays will serve as snow makeup days.