Mesquite Independent School District (ISD) announced that it has decided against moving to a four-day school week.
In February, the district announced that it was considering the four-day school week option due to a shortage of teachers. The district opted against the change due to “concerns about a negative impact on learning and achievement,” according to WFAA.
As previously reported in The Dallas Express, a number of smaller school districts in North Texas have been struggling to fully staff their schools. Many claimed that adopting a four-day week would make their districts seem more attractive to potential hires.
Mesquite district officials told WFAA that the superintendent disclosed to the board that he did not recommend the switch to a four-day week.
Some of the factors that deterred the superintendent from recommending the extra day off of school every week included the potential lack of supervision for students on the extra day off, longer school days cutting into extra-curricular activities, concern for the safety of children who might not have a good home life and generally have less access to school services.
Had Mesquite ISD switched to a four-day week, it would have been the largest district to do so in the area. Data from the 2021-2022 school year indicated that 38,378 were enrolled at Mesquite ISD that year.
While the district has managed to maintain itself enough to yield a 93.5% on-time graduation rate for its Class of 2022, its STAAR scores resemble that of the nearby Dallas ISD.
Only 42% of Mesquite ISD’s students scored at grade level on the exam during the 2021-2022 school year, just above Dallas ISD’s 41%.
Still, Mesquite ISD graduated considerably more students on time last year, with Dallas ISD only managing to graduate 81.1% of its Class of 2022 in four years, despite the hard work of the district’s dedicated educators.
In a list compiled by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published in January, there were a total of 15 North Texas school districts either currently operating on a four-day-a-week schedule or planning to in the coming year.
These ISDs include Anna, Chico, Gordon, Gorman, Graford, Merkel, Mineral Wells, Montague, Moran, Palo Pinto, Perrin-Whitt, Petrolia, Prairie Valley, Tioga, and Woodson.
The education profile company Niche maintains statistics on the students-to-teacher ratio for Texas school districts, including the 15 North Texas ISDs that adopted the four-day week. However, it is unclear how up-to-date their figures are:
Anna – 3,979 students, 15:1
Chico – 588 students, 13:1
Gordon – 220 students, 13:1
Gorman – 276 students, 9:1
Graford – 316 students, 11:1
Merkel – 1,097 students, 12:1
Mineral Wells – 3,116 students, 15:1
Montague – 151 students, 13:1
Moran – 118 students, 10:1
Palo Pinto – 84 students, 8:1
Perrin-Whitt – 316 students, 10:1
Petrolia – 446 students, 11:1
Prairie Valley – 152 students, 10:1
Tioga – 737 students, 12:1
Woodson – 161 students, 11:1