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October 09, 2017 10:17 PM

Switching Up The School Routine

Tripp, SD

Several schools across KELOLAND have done away with the typical school week, and instead switched to a shorter one. 

The Tripp-Delmont School District has added its name to the list of schools that now have a 4-day school week. 

The superintendent says the school saw the change as an opportunity to gain more students, attract teachers, improve attendance, and possibly even save a little money. 

Now the school is trying it out for the first time after the school board approved the calendar change in February. 

Senior Jackie Nuss likes having an extra day to unwind and tackle her to-do list. 

"Usually on Saturdays, I have a volleyball game or something and then Sundays with my family. Then Monday, I can go do my homework and usually take the day to kind of rest at night and get back in the swing of it," Nuss said. 

Monday isn't just a day for catching up on school work. 

"Say you have a doctor's appointment that you have to do, you can schedule it on that day so you don't have to miss any school throughout that week," Junior Cade Gemar said. 

Senior Ripley Schafers wakes up early on Saturdays to work at a bakery, so she too puts the third day of her weekend to good use. That's not the only bonus. 

"It does make the week go by faster. It does feel like it because you don't have to deal with Monday and everyone doesn't like Mondays because everyone's down on Mondays," Senior Riley Schafers said. 

Of course, students aren't the only ones experiencing a shorter week in the classroom. 

Ruth Reiser teaches 6th grade and a class for junior high students. 

She says she was excited when she learned the district was moving to a new schedule. 

"I am feeling very positive. Like I said, I'm a person who embraces change and I think it's a good thing," Teacher Ruth Reiser said. 

With any big change comes adjustment, like figuring out how to fit the workload into fewer days. 

"That is kind of a challenge, but we are teachers and we are creative and you just find ways that you can fit what you need to in four days," Geiser said. 

Reiser says she uses Monday to prepare for the week of class, something elementary principal says is beneficial for students. 

"They have time on Mondays to work on their lesson plans, to focus on the individual students, plan lesson plans for those students that they need to capture back in or get them back to grade level," Elementary Principal Mark Sampson said. 

Now that homecoming has wrapped up, Sampson says the school will have a better opportunity to gauge how the shorter week is working for students and faculty. 

"After this month, we should have a better picture and parents should have a better picture of how it goes along those line," Sampson said. 

Still, Sampson has already noticed an immediate change. 

"Student attitude, teacher attitude, you can't put a price on it. When everyone has a good attitude, motivation is so much easier. Getting your work done is so much easier," Sampson said. 

Nuss agrees.

"I feel like I get more of a positive outlook on the week," Nuss said. 

Sampson says some Mondays are set aside for in-service days or for students to come in and get some help with their school work. 

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