Whittell four-day school week goes for another year | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell four-day school week goes for another year

Roseann Keegan

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. – Students at Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove will continue to attend school Monday through Thursday for at least another school year.

The Douglas County School board voted 6-0 Tuesday, with trustee Keith Roman absent, to extend the four-day week pilot program through the 2010-11 school year.

Changes to the current schedule, adopted last fall, include the addition of Friday classes when there is a holiday during the school week, excluding Thanksgiving. The changes extend the current calendar from 144 to 150 days of instruction.

“That’s a true four-day week,” said principal Sue Shannon. “We don’t have three-day weeks.”

This fall, the school day at Whittell will end at 3 p.m., rather than 3:18 p.m.

If school is canceled for a snow day, those days will be made up during the second week of June.

Trustee Randy Green said he was pleased that certain Fridays were added, but said it could be a challenge to keep students engaged during the make-up days in June.

“When you do these days in June, they’re educationally useless,” Green said.

The four-day schedule was adopted because of the high absentee rate of students in athletics who were traveling up to eight hours by bus to rural Nevada communities to compete. Now the games are mostly restricted to Friday and weekend play.

Whittell High is the only school with a four-day schedule within the Douglas County School District and neighboring Lake Tahoe Unified School District.

Under the traditional, five-day schedule, principal Sue Shannon said students missed an average of 35 classes per year. This year, she projects that number will shrink to seven or eight.

“The teachers are seeing a huge difference in the amount of curriculum they’re able to cover because they have all the students for four days,” she said.

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