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Central Point students likely will attend school four days a week

The Central Point School District of about 4,600 students likely will have a four-day school week next school year to help make up an expected $3.4 million in lost revenue.

Classes would convene Tuesdays through Friday under the plan, which will still must be approved by the school board. The proposal will be heard at Tuesday's school board meeting.

(See correction note below)

The move would save $2.5 million in salaries plus the cost of utilities and transportation on Mondays, said Vicki Robinson, business services director.

The shortened week would mean a 10 percent pay cut and workload for all employees, a change that the teachers' union has already tentatively agreed to, Robinson said.

"The result of setting this calendar is that we will not be cutting any teachers or eliminating any programs," said Central Point schools Superintendent Randy Gravon in a Wednesday letter to parents. "Students will continue to have access to the full array of offerings we provided during the 2008-2009 school year. Even though students will have fewer days in class, we believe by maintaining programs, teachers and class sizes, we will provide a better quality education."

The school year would begin Sept. 1 and end June 17 next year. School days would not lengthened to make up for lost instructional time, but the school year would be eight days longer, Gravon indicated.

Early release and late starts on Wednesdays would end. All teacher in-service and professional development days would occur on Mondays so as not to interrupt instructional days.

The district sought public comment on the proposal through two budget hearings May 14 and May 21, Robinson said.

In addition to the shortened week and reduced pay, the district will eliminate 2.8

(Note: this figure was corrected) administrator positions next year through two retirements and a leave of absence. Five retiring teachers won't be replaced.

The budgets for every other expenditure, including materials and supplies and travel, also have been reduced by 10 percent, Robinson said.

— Paris Achen

Correction: The first version of this story incorrectly made reference to the plan as final. In fact, the school board still must vote on it.