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A month to go: Montezuma-Cortez’s four-day calendar survey results released

Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 students will transition to a four-day school week beginning Jan. 4.
November survey shows widespread favor for moving to shorter school week

Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 released survey results Monday that showed substantial community preference for the now-adopted four-day calendar.

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The school board approved the new calendar, which outlines the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year, Nov. 16.

Regular Friday school days are – for now, at least – a thing of the past for the school district. At the November regular school board meeting, directors discussed that the 2022-2023 calendar would warrant further discussion.

Just over 87% of staff favored the four-day school weeks, voting 214-31.

The margin between votes was slightly larger among families sharing their input, although parents and guardians still displayed a majority partiality to the shorter school weeks.

About 77% of 704 parents and guardians endorsed the proposed four-day school weeks, voting 543-161.

The district is joining the Mancos and Dolores school districts — as well as the majority of the state — in shortening its school weeks.

Colorado leads the nation in school districts with four-day weeks, with 114, or 64%, of its 178 districts participating in the model in the 2021-22 academic year, according to the Colorado Department of Education.

The four-day weeks have been discussed repeatedly as a way to ease teachers’ workloads.

Students have less than two weeks before their winter break, which runs through Jan. 3.

The new calendar will not change winter and spring breaks, but it eliminates the April 25 break and the days off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day.

The new calendar lengthens the school year by about a week. The last day of classes now is May 26; previously, it was May 18.

The high school graduation date of May 19 remains the same.

There will be no more early release days after Dec. 17.

Now, there are 160 student contact days. Previously, students were scheduled to attend classes for 168 days at the secondary school level and 166 days in elementary schools.

The district will issue a 12-month calendar later, according to the Monday release.