CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. — The Crystal City School Board approved a 4-day school week, effective the 2020-21 school year. 

Students will be off on Mondays and attend class Tuesday through Friday. The move means the school day will be 40 minutes longer. The board approved the change at its meeting this week.

Currently, students attend school from 7:40 a.m. until 2:40 p.m. With the 4-day school week, students will attend from 7:40 a.m. until 3:20 p.m.

“The two big factors for us that tipped our board into wanting to try this was additional professional development for teachers and some money savings in eliminating that one day,” said Crystal City School Superintendent Steven Barnes.

Barnes said he aims for one professional development day per month for teachers, which would occur on Mondays. He said the increase in professional development could translate into “better performance and better results in the classroom for our kids.”

The shortened school week could help retain teachers, Barnes said.

“We are a small school surrounded by big schools,” Barnes said. “It’s hard for us to compete. We can’t compete salary-wise.”

Currently, 540 students are enrolled in the district, which serves students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Barnes said the district will continually evaluate and see how the change is impacting the students, staff, parents and the community.

The Elsberry School Board in Lincoln County also voted to approve a 4-day school week, effective the 2020-21 school year.

The district has been discussing this move for months. Superintendent Tim Reller previously told 5 On Your Side the change will help the district retain qualified teachers.

It will also help save money on operating and overhead costs. The Elsberry School District serves around 1,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Louisiana School District, Mo. School District is also considering a four-day school week. Supt. Todd Smith said "it's on the horizon," but it would not take effect during the 2020-21 school year. 

Smith said the district still needs to gather community input. "For us, it's an issue of attracting teachers," Smith said.

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