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Sandy Valley students enjoy a three-day weekend

Reported by: Denise Rosch
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Updated: 9/19/2013 11:01 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- There's no class for students in Sandy Valley tomorrow.

It's not a holiday or staff development day. It is just a typical Friday. Sandy Valley is one of only two campuses in Clark County that follow a four-day school week.

There's a lot to be said about life in a small town.

And here in sandy valley, it's the school that stands out. With less than 250 students, grades pre-kindergarten through 12 are all on the same campus.

“I feel in bigger schools you don’t get one on one time with teachers,” said one student.

Beyond the camaraderie here's something else unique about this school.

Students are on a four-day schedule with every Friday off. This is part of a two-year pilot program now in its second year.

Principal Jerry Cornell says it began as a way to accommodate sports.

“Tomorrow morning our football and volleyball teams are going to Tonopah. They leave at 7 a.m. They used to miss school, now they don't,” Cornell said.

But a funny thing happened during the two-year experiment.
Attendance and student achievement went up and both students and staff say a longer day from 8 a.m. to 3:30, is worth it.

The school board will re-evaluate the pilot program sometime in December of January. Figure out if it is working for students, and decide whether to expand to other rural communities such as Laughlin or Indian Springs.

“We had to get permission from the state because there are fewer days but the same amount of time,” said school trustee Carolyn Edwards.

Edwards says while the schedule saves a small amount of money on transportation, the cost, was never the point. She says it's not currently on the table for all schools in the Las Vegas valley.

“I don’t think the superintendent is leaning that way at all,” Edwards said.

It's a something that has worked in sandy valley where upper classmen watch over the little ones.

This is just part of that life in a small town that, for now, includes four-days of school.
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