Is a four-day school week the next trend in education?
Across Texas, a growing number of smaller school districts are adopting a Monday through Thursday schedule.
Amid teacher shortages and burnout due, in part, to the pandemic, the switch to a four-day week is seen as a way to recruit and retain educators.
Olfen ISD in central Texas became the state's first district to switch to a four-day week in 2016.
Since then, at least 12 have followed suit with several making the shift recently, like Chico ISD in Wise County which will shorten its week in the fall.
In Tioga, a small town in Grayson County, parents sounded off Monday on a proposal to switch to a Tuesday through Friday schedule.
It’s an idea many opposed.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“One of my main concerns is that the employees that I employ might have problems with child care and maybe not be able to work on a Monday. Unfortunately, with the line of business that I'm in, that's not acceptable. If they're not able to work Monday, then I've got to find people that can,” said
Sean Hailey, a Tioga parent and business owner.
Athens ISD is another district in our area with a four-day week.
It made the switch during the 2019-2020 school year.
Last month, Jasper ISD in east Texas announced its move to a four-day model after 64% of parents and staff, and 84% of teachers voted in favor of it.
"It's got its pros and cons. We talked to many districts, but the main thing is teacher recruitment,” said Jasper ISD Superintendent John Seybold.
For most districts, shorter weeks mean slightly longer school days.
In a statement, the TEA said, "School calendar decisions such as this are completely local in nature. As long as a school system meets the operational threshold of 75,600 minutes, they have some flexibility in terms of how they structure the school day/week."