Ontario school district moves to four-day week

Students at the Ontario School District will move to ay four-day instructional week beginning Nov. 19 (The Enterprise/Les Zaitz)

ONTARIO – On Nov. 19, the first Friday of the second trimester, Ontario School District students will have their first “Asynch Friday” as the district moves to only four days of traditional instruction per week.

The term “Asynch Friday” references the concept of asynchronous learning, which involves virtual lessons that students complete at their own pace.

Students will not be expected to come to school for Asynch Fridays, though district officials said that those families who need their students to be in person because school provides a form of child care will be given options by the district.

“We are still planning what Fridays will look like and are still problem-solving how we will address the child care barrier, but we hope that we can lean on our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club and our buildings to support families through this transition,” said a press release from the district.

Students will have to engage with school through conversations with their teachers and submit assignments to be counted as present during Asynch Fridays.

The decision to introduce Asynch Fridays was proposed by Superintendent Nikki Albisu at the September board meeting and voted on Monday, Oct. 25. School board members Tom Greco, Blanca Rodriguez, Eric Evans, Craig Geddes and Matt Stringer supported the measure.

District officials began to consider an asynchronous day while dealing with staffing shortages, a Covid surge, and the challenges of returning to school in-person after more than a year of mostly virtual instruction. In surveying the community, the district found widespread support for Asynch Fridays.

The Asynch Fridays schedule change is still temporary at this stage; it will last until the end of the second trimester on March 3, and then the district will reassess. Along with changing the schedule on Fridays, the district is also eliminating late starts on Wednesdays, meaning that school will now start at the same time as every other day of the week.

Previous coverage:

Legal invoices show Ontario School District spent thousands to resolve complaints

Enterprise sues Ontario School Board for records leading to censures

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