WEST JORDAN – The Jordan School District is trying to determine if schools will continue with a four-day in-school schedule next year after results from a survey showed two out of three respondents prefer it.
The response was the biggest the district has ever had from a survey.
"I don't think the initial survey about what to do for the pandemic was that big," said Bryce Dunford, vice president of the Jordan District Board of Education.
And that was a highly divisive issue. The district released the survey in late February after receiving a handful of emails and phone calls from parents about how the current schedule was working for them.
Dunford said the board determined they needed to hear from the silent majority to see whether the four-day week was working for families, so they reached out to the entire district — parents, teachers, administrators and students.
"We have never had a survey with as many responses as we got — 16,000 — and it was resounding what they said," Dunford said. "Two to one. Two to one parents, students — they want to repeat the Friday schedule."
Across the district, most people like having Fridays as an online learning day.
We have never had a survey with as many responses as we got — 16,000 — and it was resounding what they said.
–Bryce Dunford, vice president, Jordan District Board of Education
A final decision has not been made. Dunford said a committee consisting of three board members, the associate superintendent and administrator, along with teachers and parents will first find out if it's a viable option — meaning if it's legal.
This year, the district didn't need a waiver to keep students home on Fridays. But it's unknown whether that was due to the pandemic.
Also, Dunford said "ease" isn't the goal. He said there are two ways, among others, to look at the issue.
"We deliver education best when students and teachers are together in the classroom," Dunford said. "That is where we are at our very best."
However, he acknowledged the changing social environment in the workplace.
"It is very appropriate to teach our children to succeed in a digital world," he said.
Board members hope to have a decision by May and said they don't even know if they legally can keep this schedule through next year. But they know parents need to plan for next year and they are going to work to accommodate families as long as they feel it's in the best interest of students.