One of the handful of rural Minnesota school districts with a four-day school week is considering going back to a five-day week.
North Branch adopted a four-day week in 2009 as a way to save money on energy, transportation, and substitute teacher costs.
But last session lawmakers made a change to the state education funding formula. That will give the 3,200 student district a boost of more than $1.5 million in per pupil funding starting next fall.
Superintendent Deb Henton is recommending the district use the funds to return to a five-day week.
"I know that our kids in North Branch deserve to have the schedule that most of the kids in the state of Minnesota have," she said. "We've always taken the position with our community when we went to the four day week that if the state had fixed the funding formula that we would look at going back to a five day week."
Henton said the four-day week hasn't hurt student performance, but she wants North Branch's schedule to match those of most other Minnesota districts.
The North Branch School Board will vote on the schedule in March.
Only nine of Minnesota's 333 districts have four-day weeks. They are:
• Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, approved through July 1, 2016
• Belgrade Brooten Elrosa, approved through July 1, 2015 subject to local board continuing to approve
• Lake Superior, Approved through July 1, 2014
• MACCRAY (Clara City), approved through July 1, 2014
• North Branch, approved through July 1, 2014
• Ogilvie, Approved through July 1, 2014
• Onamia, Approved through July 1, 2014
• Pelican Rapids, Approved through July 1, 2014
• Warroad, approved through July 1, 2015