School district calendars built around a four-day week have been in existence for decades. Early research cited savings in energy and transportation costs prompting the increase in schools adopting the four-day week. In recent years, studies have focused on the instructional benefits of making the switch from a five-day to four-day school week. Effective use of time as an instructional resource plays a meaningful role in educational leadership activities of school district superintendents.
This multisite case study sought to describe the perceptions of 10 South Dakota superintendents employed in school districts using a four-day calendar regarding the quality of their professional development programs. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview based on the McREL Professional Development Audit. Additional data gathered by the researcher included school district demographics, professional development planning documents, school calendars, and district websites.
Superintendents believed the four-day school week calendar provided the time to make a positive impact on the vision and goals, planning, design, resources, and evaluation components of a high quality professional development program. The study supported current research that district planners should provide professional development time that is organized, structured, and purposefully driven. Common themes among respondents included (a) articulate and set as a strategic goal during the calendar adoption process the importance of implementing a high quality professional development program for teachers and set specific dates within the calendar assigned for professional development (b) incorporate student remedial activities into the calendar (c) provide fiscal resources to support the professional development program, and (d) demonstrate effective administrative leadership to ensure fidelity in the design and implementation of the district's professional development program.
|Commitee:||Aderhold, Fred, Bright, Larry, Hauge, Joe|
|School:||University of South Dakota|
|School Location:||United States -- South Dakota|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education Policy, School administration, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||Alternative school calendars, Non-traditional school calendars, Perceptions, South Dakota, Superintendent|
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