NEW SUMMERFIELD, Texas (KETK) – New Summerfield Independent School District is one of the latest East Texas school districts that is moving to a four-day school week for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.
According to superintendent Joe Brandon, the district approved the schedule change during a special meeting on May 23. The school week will only run from Monday through Thursday. Staff and students might use a few of the Fridays during the school year for professional development or tutorials.
“The number one reason was recruiting and retaining teachers,” said Brandon.
The district has had some difficulties hiring new teachers. Another reason why the district decided on this change was to increase student and staff morale. Brandon said the pandemic was difficult on the community and the new schedule could have a positive impact on people.
New Summerfield ISD spoke to other school districts in the state that have a four-day school week, including Athens ISD and they said they have enjoyed the new schedule.
This change will also allow students and staff to have more time to schedule doctor’s appointments and other events without having to miss a day. Other school districts said this schedule increased attendance rates for students and staff.
Brandon said employees’ and parents’ reactions to the change has been overwhelmingly positive, but some people with younger children have expressed concern about finding childcare on Fridays.
This year, Timpson, Pewitt and Jasper Independent School Districts decided to change to a four-day school week.