ATHENS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – An East Texas school district approved a four-day instructional week for its next school year, which would allow students to have a three-day weekend.
Athens ISD voted to approve the new school week on Friday, and it will begin in the 2019-2020 school year. It’s also part of a three-year pilot program that will make the school week Monday through Thursday.
“This is a bold move,” said Athens ISD Superintendent Blake Stiles. “We’re asking a lot of our parents, our community and our kids. We know change is frightening. But we’re willing to push through uncertainty because we believe it’s the best thing for our students.”
During the meeting where the school week was proposed, district officials addressed concerns about moving to the four-day instructional week. They assured parents and teachers that: students would not receive less instructional time than they do currently, teacher salaries would still be a priority, Friday meals for students in need will still be provided and extracurricular activities will still happen on Fridays with the district providing transportation.
To make up for the time missed from Fridays and to comply with state requirements, Athens ISD said a school day will be 50 minutes longer than normal.
Officials are continuing to find solutions for child care on Fridays.
The next school year for Athens ISD students starts on August 5 and ends on May 28.