Clinch School discussing future of four day school week

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EIDSON, Tenn. (WJHL) – A K-12 School in Hawkins County will remain on a four day school week until at least February 13th.

The Hawkins County Board of Education voted Thursday to keep the school operating on that schedule until it has had the chance to further evaluate the situation.

However, a school administrator said they are exploring it as a potential long-term option.

Clinch School started a four day school week following last February’s landslides that closed State Routes 66 and 70.

Clinch School Principal Denise McKee said she would like to see the four day school week continue at least for the rest of the school year to see the impact both academically and financially.

“We were really doing it from the standpoint of the hardships it was putting,” said McKee, “but it has blossomed into we are seeing it for ourselves that the morale among teachers and staff is higher, the students their attendance, they want to be here.”

She said the school has discussed with the Hawkins County Board of Education about possibly staying on a four day school week long-term.

“To do it district wide would be somewhat of a challenge and would take lots of planning and prepping,” said McKee, “but we would love to be the pilot school for that.”

McKee said teachers and staff commute from Rogersville, Morristown, Kingsport and even Elizabethton. She commutes from Piney Flats.

McKee said a survey of school parents found 96 percent of them were in favor of the four day school week. Students we spoke to agree.

One teacher said a few challenges include scheduling sports activities and school scheduling during holiday weeks. However, she did note the positive outweigh the negatives.

“Families can spend more time together they can schedule doctor’s appointments, teachers and staff can schedule those appointments,” said fourth grade teacher Pamela Richter.

Clinch School would be the first school in Tennessee to operate on a 4-day school week. McKee says 500 school districts in the United States have schools with a four day school week.

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