Last Thursday, the school board considered two recommendations for addressing the 2013-14 budget deficit; one in four-day week and another in a five-day week. We know the decision how to move forward was a difficult one for the school board, which voted to proceed in a four-day week by a 3-2 vote (school board vice-chair Kirby Ekstrom was absent).
We are very grateful for the challenging questions we received from school board members as we moved through this process. I want to personally thank each of them for their careful consideration and thoughtful votes.
I would also like to invite you to the public hearing on the budget Thursday, 6 to 7 p.m. We will present information on the recommendation to address the projected $1.6 million deficit for next year.
Highlights include free all-day everyday kindergarten with a half-day option for parents concerned about the length of the day, and beginning the process of bringing a JROTC program to North Branch Area Public Schools in the fall of 2014. Because the school board voted to approve a continuation of the four-day week, we are able to retain midday busing for early childhood families, “What I Need” (WIN) time at the Sunrise River School, and lower class sizes than we could support in a five-day week.
We know the community has mixed opinions about the four-day week and we are studying ways to address concerns about the longer day. Please feel free to contact me at 651-674-1011 with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have.