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Caddo Hills approves four-day schedule

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY|dewayne@mcnews.online
The Caddo Hills School Board voted to shift to a four-day schedule for the 2022-23 school year. The vote included a compromise with the Board voting to have Fridays off instead of Mondays as originally proposed.
The meeting opened with prayer and the approval of the agenda. The Board approved the minutes from previous meetings and the financial statement. After hearing reports from Principals Debbie Stephens and Jason Whitaker Superintendent Deric Owens shared enrollment numbers. The district currently has an enrollment of 532 which is just below last year’s enrollment. He reported that the high school enrollment is down from last year while the elementary school enrollment is up from last year.
Jennifer Woodall, a parent of a Caddo Hills student, shared her concerns regarding the four-day schedule. She shared studies which indicated that test scores were lower in schools on a four-day schedule compared to those on a five-day schedule. She also addressed the hardship being off Mondays placed upon families. She added that she thought it might be easier to deal with if they were off on Fridays. She also expressed concerns that some students might miss meals because they weren’t at school.
Superintendent Owens stated that he understood the concerns, but felt the four-day schedule was the best option to help students get the instruction they need. Principal Stephens shared data from a University of Arkansas study that suggested students benefit from a four-day schedule.
Superintendent Owens opened the floor for discussion.
Board President Tammy Whisenhunt stated that she had concerns regarding the four-day schedule. She wondered if the change would save the school money or end up costing more. She also asked about longer bus rides and wondered if they would have trouble with teachers working on the off day which will be used for student remediation. She also expressed a desire to see all students helped through remediation.
Whisenhunt also stated that she had been told by a student that they would rather be in school instead of having a day off.
Boardmember Kinzie Bour responded by saying that she understands the concerns but also pointed out that she has to listen to the recommendations given by school administrators. She also asked if it would be easier for parents to accept if they moved the day off to Friday.
After a few more minutes of discussion the motion was made to move to a four-day schedule with students meeting Monday through Thursday. The new schedule will be in effect at the start of the 2022-23 school year.
In other business:
The board approved the salary schedules for the 2022-23 school year.
The board approved a three-year ASBA Model Policy Agreement at a cost of $2,850.
The board accepted the resignation of Kristin Maines.
Superintendent Owens reported that a survey had been completed at the location of the proposed track facility. Test holes will be dug to determine soil quality. He hopes to have an idea of construction cost soon.
Superintendent Owens discussed upcoming AAEA and ASBA training opportunities.
Superintendent Owens read a thank you note from the Glen Rose School District that was sent to the Caddo Hills archery team. Glen Rose thanked them for helping clean up after a recent meet.
Superintendent Owens shared an updated Spring Sports Calendar.

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