INDIANAPOLIS — Vinton Elementary in Lafayette is considering a four-day school week that will likely begin in the fall 2024 if it’s adopted.
The principal said the district is still in the early phases of planning and knows families will need time to give their input. If adopted, Principal Cindy Preston said an hour and a half would be added to each day, Monday through Thursday.
“It actually would end up being more academic minutes in four days than you would have had with five days,” Preston said.
Preston explained a shorter week gives families and teachers a week day to make appointments. The Lafayette School Corporation hopes it might even ease teacher, substitute teacher and bus driver shortages.
“Maybe some teachers would really like that for their families, too,” Preston said.
With eight elementary schools, this change would give families another choice for school structure.
“So that’s where we have a balanced calendar school already, STEM school, a school that houses our gifted and talented program,” Preston said.
One mom views this possibility as both positive and negative for her son who navigates ADHD.
“I mean, at least the days are longer, hopefully that may be able to help him,” Tiphani Jennings said. “But I’m also scared of the four-day week because it’s so long, and he’s on certain medications that he’s supposed to take throughout the day.”
Jennings also expressed concern over daycare.
“Childcare, for the vouchers not being accepted anymore hardly anywhere, it’s going to be harder because parents actually have a schedule, a set schedule,” Jennings said.
Preston said childcare is a top concern for the school, too.
“Of course we need community support because we need some daycares to open for families that would need it,” Preston said. “Potentially maybe a daycare here on site on Fridays.”
Principal Preston said Vinton Elementary teachers will be surveyed beginning next week. Then, parents will be able to provide feedback after that, both online and during future in-person meetings.
“What haven’t we thought of,” Preston explained, “You try to think from every perspective, but what other concerns or questions do parents have?”