Catoosa Parents Oppose Possible 4-Day School Week At Public Meeting
CATOOSA, Oklahoma - Soon, Catoosa Public Schools will make a major decision on whether to move to a four-day school week.
Tuesday, the school board held a special meeting on the issue and more than 70 Catoosa parents, teachers and staff spoke up.
According to survey results, most parents favored switching to the four-day week, but that was the minority opinion at Tuesday’s meeting.
“It shouldn't be quantity that we're looking at, it should be the quality that we're giving our kids,” one person said.
One by one, parents and staff raised concerns about switching to a Tuesday through Friday school week.
Parent Patricia Cox said, “I know, as a teacher of 28 years, a four-day work week is a bad idea.”
They asked the school board to find other options, and essentially pleaded for anything but a four-day school week.
“I'm asking you, don't do the four-day week. Not because I'm for or against it really, I would like some more information on it. What costs are you looking at cutting? How are you cutting,” asked Catoosa parent Chris Buhler.
Only a few, like Catoosa teacher Rita Coblentz, said they would support at least giving the new schedule a shot.
“If we keep doing the things from the past, we're just going to be in the past,” she said.
It's a stark contrast to the school's survey responses; the district said two-thirds of the surveys said yes to the switch, but nearly everyone at Tuesday night’s meeting was on the other side.
Cox said, “If this is the only one in the area that's four days a week, there's no way my kids are coming here. There's no way I'm buying a house here, there's no way I'm paying taxes here, because I need my kid to be five days a week in school where they can learn.”
Superintendent Rick Kibbe said he expected opposition and he's all ears when it comes to other suggestions.
“I know it's difficult, change is difficult. As superintendent, the easy thing to do is nothing, but our society today, more than ever, requires assist people to step and do something,” he said.
The school board said it will consider holding another public hearing on the issue. If it does not, it will likely put it to a vote next week.