FORT BEND COUNTY – The implementation of a four-day school week is gaining some traction across Texas.
Jasper Independent School District, located about 130 miles northeast of Houston, is the latest district to change its schedules for the upcoming school year.
“It’s got its pros and cons,” Superintendent John Seybold said. “We talked to many districts, but the main thing is teacher recruitment. There is a nationwide teacher shortage [and] that’s the main driving force behind a four-day week.”
Seybold says 64% of parents and staff were in favor of the new plan.
As part of the move, the school board approved a $3,000 retention incentive for teachers and $1,500 for staff. Both will be paid in three installments.
“Ultimately, we are in the kid business, and the best thing we can do for kids is put the best possible teachers in front of them,” Seybold said.
Over in Sugar Land, many parents from the Fort Bend Independent School District had mixed feelings about the thought of switching from a normal five-day school week to four days.
“Not the greatest idea because of work schedules and things like that,” parent JP Murphy said.
“I think it’s a good idea. I mean, most kids can get everything done within four days and stay on track with curriculum,” parent Frank Ochoa said. “And they get to spend more time at home with their families.”
Jasper ISD will join a number of districts that have already made the switch.
Here’s the schools adopting the new policy.
Dime Box ISD
West Hardin ISD said they are considering the option.
The Texas Education Agency issued the following statement:
“As long as a Texas public school system meets the required threshold of 75,600 operational minutes, school calendar decisions - such as electing to transition to a four-day week - fall under local purview.”
Seybold says they are working on a plan to help parents on Fridays with childcare.