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home : education : schools June 25, 2016

3/21/2014 3:12:00 PM
School board takes four-day week off the table - at least for now

The Sisters School Board has taken moving to a four-day school week off the table as a means to combat an approximately $800,000 budget shortfall for the 2014-15 school year.

The board met Friday afternoon in a workshop to review community suggestions on how to make up for the budget deficit. The consensus was that the community does not want a four-day week and that implementing such a program could reduce enrollment, worsening the budget crisis.

Board chair Don Hedrick sounded a note of caution, however. The four-day week may still have to be considered if other options do not realize enough savings.

"The board does not want to do it, but it's not dead," he told The Nugget.

The board is exploring a variety of suggested alternatives, including cutting school days both this year and next (saving about $32,000 per day); marketing the district to recruit out-of-district transfers; raising pay-to-play fees; looking at consolidating some facilities and several other options.

Board members also said that the district will also have to seek a construction and technology upgrade bond, regardless of what they determine for immediate solutions to the fiscal crisis.

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014
Article comment by: Robin Kane

Wow, I am disappointed to hear this. We are planning to relocate to Sisters in another year. Our son will be a junior. After doing the research, a four day week looked to be a very good plan--as opposed to the alternative.

Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Article comment by: Julia Huni

At the meeting, there was all kinds of talk about listening to the community, and forming working groups, but when it comes down to it, the board has made this decision based on what they *think* the community wants. They specifically said "no decisions will be made until May 7" but here it is, barely 10 days after getting everyone riled up, and they've decided to completely eliminate what they claimed was the best option, a decision apparently based on listening to the loudest complaints. As far as I know, there wasn't even a straw poll at the meeting, but they know what we want. What's next?

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Article comment by: Vikki Rullman

Our family moved to Sisters from the valley last year, choosing this community over Bend even though our jobs are in Bend. Our choice was influenced by the quality of the Sisters School District. It seemed that most everyone we met during the relocation process told us about the wonderful school district here. Our daughter has had a good 4th grade year, but now we are disenheartened to say the least, about the "actual" situation facing the school district. After reading all the facts and attending the March 12th public meeting, I felt that the 4 day option was the best choice offered, and would also be the best for our family. Instead we now may be losing facilities, instructional time, and other resources that keep a school system robust. 2 days ago I was in the position of being the local community member, talking to an aquantance about why her extended family should come to Sisters rather than Bend with their 12 year old - for the great schools - when they relocate to Central Oregon next summer. Now, I would not make that recommendation. I wonder how long we will stay here with our bright young student if the schools decline in quality. Consensus? Not mine - there was never a poll that went out to parents. Those most opposed to the 4 day week spoke out strongly at the public meeting. I hope this did not sway the district to make a decision without knowing how everyone feels.

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