Schedule will be among topics at Jan. 30 school board meeting

The four- or  five-day school week is expected to be discussed in some detail at a January 30 Pelican Rapids School Board work session. 

A separate agenda item on the topic was encouraged by new school board member Greg Larson.  

“I realize that time is of the essence, and the sooner the better,” said Larson Jan. 7, at the first school board meeting of the year. “…I’d like to provide an opportunity for public input.” 

Schools with alternative schedules are regulated by the Minnesota Department of Education.  Pelican has been approved through the 2019-2020 school year, noted Superintendent Randi Anderson. However, with a new governor now in office, and a new education commissioner, it is uncertain how the new administration views shorter weeks, noted Anderson. 

The four-day week was implemented in 2011 as an expense-cutting measure. On average, the school saved about $100,000 per year–with the largest share of the savings being one less day of bus transportation. 

The Pelican schools are likely headed toward another round of budget cuts.  

Reserve funds fell below $1 million at the end of the 2018 fiscal year.  And projections for the end of the 2019 fiscal could reduce reserves as low as $500,000. 

The Jan. 30 meeting will be aimed primarily at school finance and budget; and the four-day or five-day week will be a crucial factor in planning the school’s finances.