Coatesville School District Ponders Four-Day School Weeks

COATESVILLE, Pa. (CBS) – A four-day school week?  One Chester County school district is pondering that radical schedule change in the name of economy.

To put this in perspective, there are about 14,000 school districts nationwide.  Little more than a hundred of them have a four-day school week.

Coatesville would be the first around here, if the board approves it as option 40 of a 40-option list of changes to address pending cuts in state funding.

District spokeswoman Kathy Feeney says there would be 154 days of classroom instruction instead of the current 180, but the total number of instructional hours would be the same.

“At the secondary level, the students would go to school for an additional 45 minutes, and at the elementrary, they’d go for an additional 90 minutes,” she explains.

The change would save about $1.7 million, according to school officials, and is part of a plan that could lower the number of anticipated teacher layoffs, which now stands at 54.

Of course all this depends on how the budget in Harrisburg plays out.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • grumpy

    Just one more reason why America is continuing to fall behind the rest of the free world in educating our children!

  • L

    Why is the district–top heavy with administrators–looking to cut the least paid among them? Eliminate the positions of Transportation Administrator. To read the transportation web page on CASD site, one would think that she personally drives each child to school, equalling 3 trips to the moon per year. Eliminate the Directors of various levels of Education, including the Director of Elementary Education who has so little to do that she increased costs of elem. report cards by turning them into booklets of cardstock stationery. This, at the very least, had to quintuple the cost of report cards in the elementary schools from just a few years ago, and that does not include the cost of the behind-the-scenes paper work teachers now must fill out in order to justify the minutia categories of 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s. The schools across the board waste paper as though they own stock in trees. They have websites and email for everything from newsletters to announcements yet insist on sending everything home on paper. For instance, Home Access no doubt costs a substantial sum to operate per month yet the faculty also sends home weekly or biweekly grade reports to be signed for each student regardless of academic success. This all costs money. To eliminate all of the unnecessary district administrative positions and assistant principals and one guidance counselor per middle school would more than match the 1.4 milllion the district claims to save with this four-day week. According to, the average administrative staff salary is $88,937.00, not including benefits and retirement pension contributions due to increase from 8.2% this year to 33.6% by 2014-15, according to an article published in the Daily Local in May of 2010. This is a large sum of money, especially with benefits and pension added in. The range of salary for adminstrative staff is $64,516.00 to $134,000.00, and I am sure that these numbers are old because a 1996 source ( declared Supt. Como’s salary at $155,000.00. Surely, he’s been receiving steady raises over the past 14 years.
    Do we really need a Director of Elementary Education when each small school has a principal and guidance counselor on the premises to address children’s needs at the very basic, local level? Isn’t it better to have principals meet during in-service days to address what works for students in each of their schools rather than pay for top-down administration from one who has no clue about each community, its needs, and wants. Had Dr. Powell any clue, she would not be mandating along with the school board uniforms in gangster black, blood red, and “I-surrender” white for elementary students under the guise of equality. What’s next, arm bands? Conformity does not equal Equality. Equality allows for individualism and differences, quite the opposite of conformity. Placing painted beadboard over rotting wood does nothing to fix the real problems that these district adminstrators need to tackle, and the weakness and eye-wash approaches that they take in dealing with the real issues shows just how dispensible they are. We do not need to pay millions for this kind of incompetence.
    On a financial level, the district has now put an unnecessary financial burden on our family in these trying economic times by mandating uniforms. So much for the “hand-me-downs” to curb cost and so much for saving water and electricity when the couple uniforms I purchase will have to be washed daily. The schools are always touting to “save the planet” but make policy that does anything but. Typical for group think.
    On the point of group think, if the four-day week is all that the administration at Coatesville can come up with to answer the need for them to balance the budget, I rest my case. We have quite the incompetent administration that would never make it in a CEO position where one must investigate the fine details to come up with the big cuts, not just take a path of least resistance and thought to do so.
    It always astounds me that, when administration has to make cuts, the last place that the administration looks is in the mirror and at each other.

  • N

    Joy thats the last thing that school needs. None of those kids need to have another day to be on the streets. Not to mention the teachers have enough trouble trying to teach a class on a regular hour school day. when I was at that school half the class was spent trying to get the students to shut up and the other half was left for teaching stuff I had already learned when I was in private grade school.

  • kat


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