Another DFW District Moves to Four-Day Week

Row of lockers in a school | Image by NBC DFW

Another school district in North Texas has instituted a schedule change for the 2022-2023 year, voting at a board meeting on Tuesday night to move to a four-day school week, giving students Fridays off.

Mineral Wells Independent School District, which serves Palo Pinto County, west of Fort Worth, announced the change on its district webpage.

In a Facebook post, the district revealed that the first day of school will be August 8, 2022, and the final day will be May 25, 2023. The post also says plans are in the works to provide optional remediation classes on Fridays for struggling students who may benefit from the lower student-faculty ratio.

Students receiving free school lunches will not miss out on Fridays, as a non-perishable breakfast and lunch will be given to students at the end of the day on Thursdays.

As part of the change, the web post reveals that the length of the school day will increase by 10, 15, or 25 minutes depending on the individual school. The exact details are still a work in progress, and the district will release them as they become available, according to its Facebook page.

The move came one day after Tioga Independent School District in northeastern Grayson County announced that it would also be switching to four-day weeks.

Like the program offered by Mineral Wells ISD, school lunch students can receive food to take home — not only on Fridays but for holidays, too.

Tioga’s school year will only increase by three weeks, only 11 total days will be missed, and students’ summer break will only be one week shorter than in the 2021-2022 school year.

ABC News reports Chico ISD also announced a similar switch in March of this year, with school days starting 10 minutes earlier and ending 15 minutes later to account for the additional weekly day off. The school board vote approving the measure passed 6-1.

The idea of a four-day week has been floated in the past. A Harvard Graduate School of Education post in 2018 discussed the concept when it had been approved in a few districts around the country.

In the post, educator Paul Hill of the Brookings Institute shared a less-than-enthusiastic opinion on the matter.

“In an environment where young rural adults already suffer from isolation and low economic opportunity, the shorter school week could exacerbate their problems,” he said.

The exact impact of the schedule change on Texas students remains to be seen and will not likely be known for several years.

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