Students and teachers in the McLoud School District will have a four-day school week next school year, with every Friday off when the fall semester starts in August.

Students and teachers in the McLoud School District will have a four-day school week next school year, with every Friday off when the fall semester starts in August.

The McLoud Board of Education, at its meeting Thursday evening, voted in favor of the change for the 2018-19 school year.

With the vote, the school day, starting in the fall of 2018, will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The current schedule going through May is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. five days a week.

McLoud High School Principal Rhonda Hockenbury said the district is excited for the change, which is aimed at attracting and retaining quality teachers, all while improving academics.

“It' a progressive move for our school,” she said.

Students and teachers will be out on Fridays, she said, but support staff will continue to work that day. Some of the Fridays will be used as professional development days for teachers, she said, and any sports on Fridays won't be impacted.

She said Superintendent Steve Stanley, in exploring the idea of a four-day week, indicated that 20 percent of the schools in Oklahoma are currently going four days, with studies showing the plan also promotes better attendance.

Asher Schools has a four-day week, she said, and was one of the schools they looked at when discussing this idea for McLoud.

The following message, along with the 2018-19 school year calendar, is now posted on the district's website.

“McLoud Schools will be moving to a 4 day calendar next year. The reason for this is to improve the instructional program we offer. The school day will be longer to make up class time. The decision was not based on saving money, it was based on attracting and retaining the best teachers. Research has shown increased attendance, decreased discipline and improved morale which all help learning process. More information to come.”

Watch for updates.