UPDATE: Bisbee schools to go to 4-day week to save cash

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UPDATE -- APRIL 24:

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- The Bisbee Unified School District's governing board has given final approval to a plan to switch to a four-day school week starting in the fall and to close one of the district's four schools.

District Superintendent Gail Covington says the plan should save more than $680,000 next year and is needed because she expects $600,000 in state funding cuts. That could have led to teacher layoffs and cuts in art, music and physical education programs.

The district now has an elementary, middle, junior high and high school. Bisbee Middle School will be closed and boarded up. Its fourth- and fifth-graders will go to Greenway Elementary School and sixth grade students will attend Lowell Junior High School.

Teachers voted to designate Friday as the day off, and the five-member unanimously board agreed at its Thursday night meeting.

Information from: Sierra Vista Herald

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

ORIGINAL REPORT -- FEB. 13:

BISBEE, Ariz. -- Bisbee schools are going to switch to a four-day week starting next school year as part of plan to save cash and teaching jobs.

Bisbee school Superintendent Gail Covington says closing the schools on Fridays will save $500,000 per year and avoid the alternative -- laying off 13 teachers.

The school day will be lengthened by an hour to make up the lost instructional time.

Besides a shortended school week, Covington also proposes closing the district's middle school -- a proposal which will be taken up by the school board next month.

Information from: Sierra Vista Herald

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)