DEVERS, Texas – Summer has come to an end for some students in Liberty County.
Devers Independent School District kicked off the 2019-2020 school year Thursday, and while that means getting back to routine, not everything will be the same.
In March, the district approved a four-day school week. According to Devers ISD, the change had a 92.6% approval rate.
Students will still receive the state-required 75,000 instructional minutes by adding 35 minutes a day, and students will still get normal holiday breaks.
Superintendent Elizabeth Harris believes it will be beneficial for everyone.
“I think allowing (parents) to have one more day with their kids to be able to do some fun things, even if it’s just chilling out, that’s great,” said Harris.
However, Devers students headed back to class Thursday will have to wait for the change to take effect. The district will have Friday classes for the first three weeks of school.
Even though they have to wait, students are excited about the change.
“It’s just nice having a day off after a full week of school,” said fifth-grader Braelyn Baucom.
Sixth-grader Dominic Sykes said, "(I'm) happy and excited ... cause I can sleep late."
The new structure is part of a three-year pilot program that students, teachers and parents are welcoming.
“It gives the kids an opportunity to rest, kinda recover, regroup (and have) more family time," said parent Tracy Pavliska. "They’ll get to spend every Friday with their grandparents, so that’s a bonus for us."
Parent Rachel Dinsmore said it's a relief to have the extra day.
“We have more time to spend with the kids," Dinsmore said. "It’s not just hustle and bustle and rushing through the week."
The district said in part:
"Not having school on Friday will allow kids additional time to learn, explore, imagine, play, travel, have fun with friends and create memories with their families. Learning will be more productive with a room full of students that are rested on Monday morning. Student burn out is real … Being able to maintain our high expectations with a 4-day instructional week (with the same amount of instructional minutes as a 5-day week) will require changes from all of us, but we see these changes as new challenges that will make our district even better."
Students will still be required to come in Fridays in May before the last day of school May 28.