Three times, the Luther School Board considered a trial-run at a four-day school week in an effort to save money. Three times, the board nixed the plan. Technically last time, they didn’t even vote on the four-day but instead opted for a plan to shorten the school year with longer days (Monday – Friday).
The move at the April Special School Board meeting also resulted in the reduction of $800,000 worth of programs and salaries for next year. The separate decision to shorten the school year left several faculty and staff in the audience in shock at the prospect of longer school days with fewer hands on deck, such as several teacher aides. When the news filtered out to parents and students, it was on.Katrina Wilson has four reasons to not give up on Luther Schools – her four children who are committed fourth-generation Luther Lions. She is among the parents and teachers who caught a glimpse of the four-day school week the month of April when Luther closed on Fridays to save money. So she is doing something about it, amassing a petition of signatures to call on the Luther School Board once again to consider the plan at its upcoming May meeting. She has collected nearly 100 signatures so far, and gathered several Thursday night visiting with fellow parents at her seven-year-old son’s baseball game.
Her goal is 300 signatures to gather by Tuesday, May 3, to try to get on the board’s May 10 agenda.
Mrs. Wilson was kind enough to answer a few questions.
Luther Register: What prompted this signature drive?
KW: I am sick of nothing being done in a positive light for the school. The plan that was voted on for a longer summer, breaks, and school days, is too much for the kids and teachers. I am a first grade teacher at Jones so I can understand it from a teacher’s point of view. Kids lose focus especially at the end of the day and then going all five days seems too much. I have heard so many people being for the 4 day so that is why I did the petition. Having that one day off where doctors appointments can be made causes fewer student/teacher absences and need for substitute teachers. For the past three weeks at Jones, we have been out on Fridays, and students seem to be ready Monday morning to work. I have also noticed behavior being better. It’s about the students and teachers as well. There have been cuts made so it doesn’t make sense to make the teachers work harder with less help and longer hours? …Why not try the four-day instead for a year? There is always adjustments for something new but nothing will change if we don’t try.
LR: What are the particulars? Where do we find the petition?
KW: The petition is at the insurance agency and at S & H Mercantile. I will also meet anyone to get their signature. My email is [email protected].
LR: You have a beautiful family (from your Facebook photo)! How has this situation affected your own kids?
Thank you for that. My kids are 4th generation at Luther Schools. My husband’s family has been here forever and I started kindergarten at Luther. My father-in-law, Bruce Wilson, started as the Principal for Luther the year I started kindergarten, then he became the Superintendent. The football field is named for him, Wilson Field. He was an excellent superintendent, a trusted one. He and my mother-in-law, Mary Beth Wilson, are part of the reason I went into education. Luther is and will always be my home. As for our kids, they won’t go anywhere else. The difficult time Luther Schools is having is temporary. If you can do one thing to make a difference for the kids, do it. The students are what this is all about.