By William Thompson
The Tucumcari schools board of education voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve a four-day school week. Beginning Aug. 22, students will attend classes four days a week.
Middle school and high school students will attend classes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Elementary school students will attend school from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Marty Garcia was the lone board member against the four-day week measure.
Garcia said he was “severely disappointed” that the board felt it had to take such a “drastic measure” as a move to a four-day week.
“We don’t know what these kids are going to do on Fridays,” he said.
Board president Rex Kirksey said it wasn’t the school district’s responsibility to take care of children on Fridays but he urged Superintendent William Reents to come up with ideas for remedial education or other activities for students on Fridays.
Kirksey said the move to a four-day week will improve the school district’s ability to recruit and retain teachers.
Reents, who does not vote on board decisions, said his main concern with the four-day week was that some teachers already find it hard to utilize the class time they have.
“We will have to retrain some teachers,” he said.
Reents voiced his recommendation for a move to a four-day week.
Previous public survey results and discussions at a recent public forum indicated support for a four-day week.