tree: Okay. So, parents are biased. I guess parents don’t know what’s best for their kids?
tree: Sorry, I get your point. So, WHOM do you suggest we ask about how well the four-day week is working?
tree: … Errrr, the…teachers?
hill: Bingo, the teachers, and who else?
tree: … The kids?
hill: Double bingo at the elks lodge on a summer Friday night, tree! The KIDS and the TEACHERS.
tree: Why ask the kids? You seem so convinced that most kids want less school.
hill: True, that’s why we need to pay attention to reports coming from other rural schools and look hard at those local attendance, graduation, testing, absenteeism and homework success stories — and again they look really good. When we listen to kids, I’m suggesting we look at impact.
tree: …So, back to the teachers. Most working people probably want a four-day week, it would seem like a highly-biased group?
hill: Perhaps, but educators are curious creatures. Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t get into it for the money.
tree: Who’s sarcastic now?
hill:… Ahem, look, great educators want to educate, and in Salida, where we have pretty much the lowest paid teachers in the state (don’t tell the teachers, tree), they are less biased than you’d think.
hill: Hang on, hear me out. There is something being overlooked by many people, and it’s this: The teachers love it. They are happy and it’s a good thing. The community has given them some very good new tools recently, and yes, they love the four-day week for a variety of reasons. So, how do you think extremely happy teachers translates to education?
tree:I see where you’re going here
hill: … You can do the polling, but most kids appear to like their Fridays off. So, especially as kids get older, they are happier as well.
tree: You’re suggesting a survey would have a difficult time getting at the psychological aspects of how happy teachers and happy kids translate to good education, huh?
hill: Exactly. We can survey all day long, but our teachers are saying it’s working, and the kids are showing us it’s working.
tree: So why would we return to a five-day week?
hill: Why indeed.
stack: Sorry, I was snoozing, but I kinda sorta heard the end part. Can you repeat all of that? …No? … Well, Hill, it seems like it’s kind of a lot of smack-talk nonsense to the single, working parent. You guys can be all lovey dovey, but it’s just plain bad for some people. ‘Scuze me English, but it sucks for some people, and that’s not a philosophical position.
hill: You’re so right. Hopefully, the community will pull together and make it less hard on Fridays. I can see it happening.
tree: I guess if we put our energy into taking care of those people who are truly challenged on Fridays, we will really be looking good as an education community.
hill: No doubt.
tree: I have to admit, the transition to a four-day week is hard, but it will get resolved. Clearly, there has never been more unity in the district and our results have never looked so good. A wide range of people with varying views are working together with open minds about new ideas and new paradigms. These are exciting times for Salida Education. When we solve Friday, we will be a statewide, if not national, model of success. Hopefully, as a community we will put energy into making something beautiful and great on Fridays.