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The Stampede

Nampa School District Changes to Four-Day Week Amidst Budget-Cutting Decisions

Here is what this nearby school district’s decisions could indicate for Eagle High’s future

The nearby Nampa School District announced on Dec. 18 that it would close three elementary schools, with a middle school later joining that list. On Jan. 26, The district containing around 4,000 high school students later ruled in favor of changing the daily schedules for the four high schools. The district changed its schedules from two semesters containing four classes per-block schedule to three trimesters containing three classes per-block schedule, as well as switching to a four-day school week.

Eagle High receptionists Rachel McEwen and Melissa Morgan hold up four fingers in support of the four-day school week initiative that many Nampa schools have taken. Other schools in West Ada are currently debating whether or not to switch to this schedule. (Annie Ward)

According to idahonews.com, the Nampa School District’s main reasoning for the school closures comes from the financial costs concerning maintenance upkeep and dwindling enrollment. The four schools that are going to close by the end of the 2023-2024 school year are Snake River Elementary, Centennial Elementary, Greenhurst Elementary and West Middle. This leaves over 2,000 kids having to relocate to nearby schools.

“It’s unfortunate because I know a lot of people who are at this school because it’s the only school, they can get to… not every kid can have a ride to school every morning,” said junior Reese Early.

The high school schedule changes in the Nampa School District have opened up discussions amongst students and teachers in the West Ada School District regarding their district. Changes to school budgets are the source of many rumors and contentions in classrooms, and when students hear a possible “four-day school week” schedule, they’re all ears. There are students, however, who disagree with the Nampa School District’s decisions, thinking that a four-day school week and an entire schedule change will hinder student success.

“Honestly, I’m jealous. Having that extra day off, I feel like I could get a lot more done so much more efficiently,” Early said. “If the classes are longer, then I might take it into consideration because over hour and a half classes would be miserable. I know right now I’m sitting through four classes, and an hour in, I’m ready to go to my next class. I wouldn’t be able to focus for that long of time.

If West Ada considered this schedule change, then 15 high schools would be affected significantly by the decision.

“I don’t believe that West Ada would ever consider something like that, just because this is a system that they’ve had set up for a very long time and changing the system would be a lot on our teachers and our sports or activities,” Early said. “Sometimes that extra day is important. I remember when I got out of the hospital, I came back on a Friday, and I was only at school that one day. But I got all my missing assignments from the past two weeks, and I busted it out over the weekend. Not having that day and going back Monday instead, I would’ve been completely overwhelmed.”

Changes to school budgets don’t always have to be negative changes. The Nampa School District will be able to allocate money and pay off debts from the new decisions, rather than pouring money into facilities that wouldn’t give them a profit. These changes affect everyone involved: families of students in these schools, teachers who teach at these schools and outside schools and facilities trying to handle those displaced teachers and students.

According to kivitv.com, Governor Brad Little proposed a plan on Jan. 9 to come up with $2 billion over 10 years, funding Idaho school maintenance and related facilities.

“We must provide for both new facility construction and the maintenance needs for existing facilities,” Little said.

“I think it’s encouraging because it’s something we’ve been trying to address as a district looking our facilities and maintaining the buildings, some of the decisions we made about closing schools all has to do with deferred maintenance so I think it’s encouraging we’re putting a focus on that,” said superintendent of the Nampa School District, Gregg Russell, in the broadcast of Little’s “Idaho Works” announcement.

The plans currently proposed to allocate money for Idaho school maintenance is the bright light needed in a situation as dark as this. Students in Idaho deserve great, affordable education in up-to-code and safe school facilities. The schedule changes and prior announcement of school closures will change the future education for these students in the Nampa School District, which could seep into some future West Ada policies as schools get older, debts get wider and budget gets tighter.

“I feel like cutting back on all this time and all these things could affect the way that we’re able to do our sports or extracurricular activities,” Early said. “…especially because student-athletes need the time to make sure that they have their grades where they need to be and if we’re cutting down education time, it doesn’t always give them a chance to recoup.”

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About the Contributors
Cole McAdams, Copy Editor Team Leader
Hi! My name is Cole, and this is my second year in Newspaper! I am the Copy-Editor team leader this year and I love writing about everything and anything, but my home is in the Entertainment section. You will always catch me listening to Taylor Swift or Olivia Rodrigo and I can't live without coffee!
Annie Ward, Photographer
My name is Annie Ward, and I am a photographer for my first (and last) year of Newspaper. I am a senior and I look forward to taking pictures and writing articles for The Stampede. I run track and cross country, and my favorite events are the 800m and the mile. I love to bake, bike, shop, listen to music (a lot of old Taylor Swift), and recently I have started playing the ukulele.
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