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Practice Of Four-Day School Weeks In Oklahoma Will Likely Continue, For Now

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Element5 Digital
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The practice of four day school weeks will likely continue widely during the 2021-22 school year in Oklahoma. On Thursday, the state’s Board of Education approved a waiver to rules that would’ve limited the number of districts who could cut days from their school calendar.

Oklahoma has about 100 school districts who are in session four days a week, rather than the typical five.

New rules proposed for the upcoming school year would have limited the practice to districts who perform very well on the annual statewide school report card.

A vast majority of districts taking part in four-day calendars are in rural areas and don’t meet the requirements typically. They couldn’t have met those requirements because there were no statewide tests last year.

That means they would not have permission to go to in-person school for less than 165 days in a year, which allows for four day weeks.

The pandemic has created extenuating circumstances, and board member Jennifer Monies said those schools should be able to continue the practice in the fall.

"But 165 [days] is frankly a fairly low standard when you look across the country. Many other states go 180 days as their minimum," said Monies.

The ultimate fate of the school calendar fight is unclear. The legislature had to table a permanent rule change to the waiver process last year because of the pandemic and could revisit it sometime during the 2021 session.

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