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School In Wagoner To Start Back With Four-Day Weeks

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WAGONER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma schools are opening this year with less funding, and that means big changes in many districts. 

Wagoner is one of the first districts to test out a new four-day school week beginning this Thursday.

Wagoner Public Schools administrators have been juggling the idea of a four-day school week since November.

Now that it's a reality, they'll be able to save four to five teacher positions.

Before the summer ends, soon to be 10th grader Eric Farbes is getting in some last-minute fun on the tennis courts.

He goes back to school on Thursday and the typical five-day school week will be shortened.

"I think it's exciting because we get a three-day weekend," Farbes said.

“I feel like it would be better because we get more time in class and more time for sports after school, so we'll have less homework,” he said.

For nearly a year, Wagoner, just like countless other districts, has been coming up with solutions to cope with state education budget cuts.

"I don't know what it's like to start the school year with more than what I ended the school year with,” Wagoner Superintendent Randy Harris said. “Every year for the last five years, this being the sixth, we've been cut and we've known that going into it."

Harris said a shorter week made the most sense.

The students will go to class Tuesday-Friday.

The school day will be an hour longer.

“It's the lesser of other evils," he said.

Harris said research shows shorter weeks builds morale in students and teachers and cuts down on absenteeism.

But it also saves money. He said it will save Wagoner between $150,000-$200,000 a year.

"What else could we do to absorb that much money?” Harris said.

Farbes says he hopes the shorter weeks last, but he will wait to see how the first year goes.

For those parents and students who have a hard time adjusting to the new schedule, the district is partnering with Latchkey of Wagoner to provide before- and after-school care for those children. You can find more information by clicking here.

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