TEXAS, USA — Over the last couple of years amid the COVID-19 pandemic, North Texas schools have faced staff shortages, virtual learning and attendance challenges, and canceled extracurricular activities.
Now, some North Texas schools have decided to move from the traditional five-day school weeks to four-day weeks for the upcoming 2022-2023 calendar year.
The most recent school to announce this change is Mineral Wells Independent School District in Palo Pinto County, west of Fort Worth.
Mineral Wells ISD board members held a meeting on Tuesday and approved the new four-day school calendar, according to a post to families via the district’s Facebook page. The new school day start and end times are increasing by 10, 15 or 25 minutes – depending on which campuses students attend.
The district said its still working on plans to offer optional remediation classes on Fridays for its younger students, transportation and meal plans.
The Mineral Wells decision came after the Tioga Independent School District, in Grayson County, also held its school board meeting this Monday, approving a four-day school week calendar. The district noted a plethora of reasons why it decided to change for the upcoming school year, including increased time for in-service training, work-life balance, student engagement and retaining teachers.
According to the proposal document, Tioga ISD will be changing its start and end times by 10 and 20 minutes depending on which campuses students attend.
Tioga ISD also noted that the new school year will be three weeks longer and the summer will be 11 weeks – a week less than in 2021.
The Chico Independent School District made a similar announcement in March 2022, after its school board approved a change to a 4-day week after a 6-1 vote, according to the Wise County Messenger.
Before the vote, principals and teachers shared their support for the four-day change, saying that it was needed due to declining student enrollment and will help with retaining teachers in the district.
Once the 2022-2023 school year begins, Chico ISD officials said the school days will start 10 minutes earlier and last 25 minutes longer each day.