Texas School Districts Initiate Four-Day Weeks

Students of various ages getting off a school bus wearing backpacks. | Image by Fat Camera

Some school districts in Texas have decided to implement a 4-day school week, and while it appears to be working, some business leaders oppose the idea.

Olfen ISD was the first district to adopt a 4-day schedule in 2016. Since then, approximately a dozen additional school districts have elected to follow a 4-day schedule, with others contemplating the switch.

Jasper ISD in east Texas announced last month that it would transition to a Monday-through-Thursday schedule for the 2022-2023 school year. Prior to the decision, the district conducted a community survey that found 64% of parents and staff and 84% of teachers favored the change.

“It’s got its pros and cons. We talked to many districts, but the main thing is teacher recruitment,” Jasper ISD Superintendent John Seybold told NBC.

Recruiting and retaining teachers is commonly cited as a reason for shortening the school week.

“Teacher burnout has been an issue for a long time, but since COVID, it has seemed to expand, and it’s becoming more and more of an issue,” Seybold told Good Morning America.

“The four-day week kind of makes it a little more manageable for them because there’s so much pressure placed on our teachers,” he said, adding, “As a school district, ultimately the best thing we can do for kids is put the best possible teacher in front of them every day.”

According to NBC News, parents and business owners in Tioga, a small town in Grayson County, spoke out on Monday about a proposed change to a Tuesday-through-Friday school schedule.

“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.

Another concern is shorter weeks equating to longer days. Chico ISD extended school days by starting 10 minutes earlier and ending 25 minutes later in the 2022-2023 school year.

“This will make a working family’s life a little more difficult. Add extra cost for daycare too… We typically work 5days a week. … just an inconvenience for a lot of people. Just my opinion.” wrote Facebook user TB Brown on the district’s post about the subject.

However, according to the TEA, there are flexibilities when it comes to how students, teachers, and administrators meet the operational threshold of 75,600 minutes per year. During the 85th Texas Legislature in 2017, the 7-hour school day was repealed, allowing school districts and charter schools that meet the requirement to release students from class early and still receive full funding. 

Jasper ISD’s calendar for the next school year does not extend the school day, according to the district’s announcement. According to an academic calendar on its site, the majority of the year will comprise 4-day weeks, with some 5-day weeks. Most 5-day weeks occur in August, September, and May.

The Impact of the Four-Day School Week on Student Achievement study conducted in 2011 concluded that the 4-day school week resulted in financial savings for the district and improved attendance, discipline, and participation by the students, with little effect on academic performance.

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  1. d j

    The story is centered around adults and the benefit to teachers and staff. Brief mention about troubles ahead for parents and day care. But NO MENTION AT ALL about the negative impact to kids and the difficulty they will have learning in a 4-day week. 3-day weekend, every weekend ?!?!? What a joke. This is another aspect of woke school administrations ruining public schools. They just can’t leave things alone and teach readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic.

    • Corona

      Your comment is 100% correct! When did the interest of students in public schools switch to coddling teachers and staff??????
      Teachers knew what they signed up for when they went to college to BECOME a teacher! They get THREE MONTHS OFF EVERY YEAR IN THE SUMMER. When did that become not enough?????

  2. Roby

    I study in Italy grammar and High school classes: 5 days a week…Vacations: 2 weeks Xmas, days Easter. 3 months summer

    In Chile: I finished my high school 5days a week. 4 morning hours.(2 hours went home for lunch with my family) afternoon hours including Latin and a foreign language. I took French. Summer vacation from 20 December till 5 March. I was prepared to enter college and to receive my degree in Chemistry.

    Why US students need so many hours in class?

    They need to spend more time with their family.


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