Waco, TX (FOX 44) — Several school districts in Central Texas are getting ready to have their first year with four-day school weeks.
Some districts hope this will solve the national teacher shortage and better support the well-being of students and teachers.
Connally and Marlin ISD have had great back-to-school experiences, but their four-day school weeks won’t start until September.
Both districts wanted to first lay down the groundwork for expectations.
“Between now and when we start losing those Fridays coming into September. What we’ve really been working on is making sure that our students have acclimated to the school year, make sure that they understand all the rules, procedures and protocol, and make sure that they are really prepared to find their success,” said Michael Donaldson, Connally ISD director of communications.
Donaldson says instead of the traditional four-day school week, Connally will work on what they call an intensive intervention calendar.
“Starting in September, pretty much every other Friday is colored green. What that means is that on those days from the morning arrival time until noon or so, select students are required to attend school for additional intervention time,” said Donaldson.
Student involvement on the intervention days would be determined each school quarter based on test scores and grade averages.
Marlin ISD will have a traditional four-day school year.
To meet required educational hours, the district extended its school year to start early on July 31 and end June 7.
“In the months of August, January and May we’re going to go to school all five days because we believe in a strong start and a strong finish. However, it is important to focus on students mental and emotional health,” said Dr. Darryl Henson, Marlin ISD.
Marlin ISD worked with the community making this decision and is able to help any parent needing support.
“We do have a Boys and Girls Club and other resources here within the community to support all families, but overwhelmingly the support was there from parents and students to enact a four-day workweek here in the Killeen Independent School District,” said Dr. Henson.
The four-day school weeks in Marlin and Connally ISD will also help teachers prepare lesson plans and time needed for rest.