Tucumcari school board pushes to keep four-day week on table

By William Thompson: Quay County Sun

At a meeting Monday, Tucumcari school board members unanimously urged Superintendent William Reents to continue looking into the possibility of instituting a four-day school week. Reents told board members he has talked to state education secretary Veronica Garcia about the issue.

“It’s up to the school board if I shall continue negotiations,” Reents told board members. “We’ve received permission from the education secretary to pursue it.”

Reents said the school district needed to conduct several feasibility studies if it wished to proceed further.

Board member Albert Mitchell said he welcomed the public’s input.

“I think we need to pursue it hard to see if the community wants to do it,” Mitchell said. “If it can save us money, it looks good to me.”

New board member Doug Powers emphasized the academic consequences of a move to a four-day week.
“I’m comfortable with it if we are not taking class time away from our students,” he said.

Board members Rex Kirksey, A.J. Williams and Marty Garcia chimed in with their support for studying the measure further. Reents said it will take at least a month to begin initiating feasibility studies and public surveys. Reents said if a four-day week were adopted, it would not take effect until at least the 2006-2007 school year.

Other items discussed at the meeting include:

• The 2005-2006 school calendar was approved. School will begin Aug. 22, 2005 so that students participating in the Quay County Fair may have time for fair activities. The fair runs Aug. 16-19, 2005.

• Doug Powers was sworn in as a new board member. Marty Garcia and Albert Mitchell, recently re-elected, were sworn in as well. Rex Kirksey was elected chairman of the board.

• The superintendent advised that the cafeteria budget may be cut and he is looking into the possibility of contracting the cafeteria food service out to a private company.