The Alexander Public School District made a bold decision this spring (after much investigation and consideration) to move to a 4-day school week beginning in the fall of 2018.
In this episode of The Cutting Ed podcast, we’ll hear about the decision through the lens of a kindergarten teacher.
Deb Hankins started her teaching career as a paraprofessional in special education in Oregon. Following a stop in Utah, she and her husband moved to North Dakota where she has taught for five years beginning in Watford City and now in Alexander as a kindergarten teacher.
Hankins says the idea for the 4-day school week came from students in an innovations class. They pitched the idea to Superintendent Leslie Bieber in 2017. She liked the idea enough that administrators and students visited other schools with 4-day school weeks. Next, a presentation was given to the School Board which provided consent to take the next step, which included a parent survey and public meetings. The School Board approved the application in February and NDDPI approved the application in early March.
Hankins says school staff have been trained over the last two years in Project Based Learning. She says PBL is “my style of learning” and Hankins says she wishes she had been exposed to it when she was a child. She says she loves hands on projects that bring real world experiences to life in the classroom.
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