(The story has been updated to include DESE’s updated numbers)

The number of Missouri school districts holding class four days a week continues to increase.

State Rep. Bill Reiboldt (R-Neosho) speaks on the Missouri House floor in March 2017 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) spokeswoman Nancy Bowles says the number of districts on four-day weeks, or that have reported plans for a four-day week, has increased from 18 in September 2017 to about 34 now.

Bowles tells Missourinet these are preliminary numbers for the 2018-19 school year and will not be finalized until school ends in May, which is when districts make their final report.

North Callaway R-1 in mid-Missouri and Drexel R-IV in western Missouri are two of the districts that have gone to four-day weeks, in the past year.

Former Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed the optional four-day school week into law in 2011. The bipartisan bill moved from requiring 174 days of instruction to a total of 1,044 hours for districts that wanted to go to four days.

Missourinet Moberly affiliate KWIX reports the Bucklin and La Plata School Districts in northern Missouri are considering going to four-days. The La Plata district’s website says 88 percent of students and 66 percent of parents support a four-day school week.

Harrisburg R-VIII Superintendent Steve Combs tells KWIX that four-day school weeks have increased teacher retention in Harrisburg and have saved the district money with transportation and food service.

The 25 districts with four-day school weeks are all smaller districts, in rural communities.

Outgoing State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho, who helped pass the 2011 law, has described it as another “tool in the toolbox” for districts. Reiboldt has said he’s received great feedback from rural communities in his region.

Northwest Missouri’s Lathrop R-II was the first district to make the change, after the 2011 law passed.

DESE’s Nancy Bowles says the 34 Missouri districts that are on four-day weeks or have reported plans for a four-day week are:

** Community R-VI

**Miami R-1

** Warsaw R-IX

** Harrisburg R-VIII

** North Callaway Co. R-1

** East Lynne 40

** Drexel R-IV

**Stockton R-1

** Lathrop R-II

** Clinton County R-III

** Everton R-III

** Albany R-III

** Walnut Grove R-V

** Jasper County R-V

** Laclede County C-5

** Miller R-II

** Pierce City R-VI

** Maries County R-II

** Holliday C-2

** Wellsville Middletown R-1

** Montgomery County R-II

** East Newton County R-VI

** Bakersfield R-IV

** Pike County R-III

** Halfway R-III

** Higbee R-VIII

** Roscoe C-1

** Orearville R-IV

** Schuyler County R-1

** Galena R-II

** Crane R-III

** Bradleyville R-1

** Forsyth R-III

** Niangua R-V

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