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Independence (Mo.) school district will switch to four-day week

Dec. 19, 2022
The 14,000-student district is the largest school system in Missouri to adopt a four-day-a-week schedule.

The Independence (Mo.) school district will become the largest public school system in the state to adopt a four-day school week.

The Kansas City Star reports that the Independence board has voted 6-1 in favor of the schedule change despite parent concerns about transparency.

District officials hope the four-day schedule will help schools better attract and retain staff amid ongoing labor shortages. Beginning in 2023-24, schools will be closed on Mondays.

The action has brought mixed reactions from parents, staff and community members. Some are excited to have an extra day off and feel it may benefit staff and student mental health. But others worry about what the shorter week will mean for student achievement, as well as families who cannot afford transportation or childcare, or need additional services.

Struggling to attract and retain staff along, the Independence board agreed to explore the idea of moving to a four-day week.

As of the start of the school year, more than a quarter of Missouri districts, primarily smaller systems in rural areas, had a four-day school week, according to state data. Independence, with roughly 14,000 students, is the largest district in the state — and the first in the Kansas City metro — to adopt the condensed week. 

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