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Lansing schools to switch up schedule - and the changes will have the biggest impact on younger learners

A preschool classroom
A preschool classroom

The Lansing School District is modifying its schedule for the next academic year.

As many as 700 pre-Kindergarten and early childhood special education students will switch to having Fridays off during their four-day school weeks. Currently, those children are off every Wednesday.

Top administrators and the president of the Lansing Education Schools Association teacher's union announced the changes during a joint news conference Tuesday.

Angela Barry, the district's universal Pre-K supervisor, hopes the shift will benefit teachers, students and their parents.

"What we know about young children is that they really thrive best with consistency and a routine," she said. "So having these four consistent days of school in a row before breaking for the weekend is really, really important.”

At least seven professional development days for teachers throughout the district also will be switched from Wednesdays to Fridays, giving students more three-day weekends.

It's a move that could boost attendance, Superintendent Ben Shuldiner said.

"Wednesday is one of the highest attendance days of any day in the week" he said. "Why would we willingly not have school on a Wednesday?"

Additionally, beginning in 2022, students will have the week of Thanksgiving off while teachers attend remote training that Monday and Tuesday.