Citing teacher shortages and burnout, a school district in Texas has announced its plans to move to a four-day school week next year.
The Jasper Independent School District said in a Facebook post that after polling parents, teachers and staff, the board of trustees voted to move to the four-day school week beginning in October.
The school will hold five-day school weeks from August until the switch in October. Teachers would have Fridays as planning days when the switch takes place.
John Seybold, superintendent of the Jasper Independent School District, said teacher burnout was a major reason the system considered the change.
“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.”
According to Seybold, the district plans to give teachers and school staff members a financial incentive if they stay in their positions. Teachers would receive a $3,000 stipend to stay on at the school and staff members would receive $1,500.
School begins on Aug. 10 and runs through June 1, 2023, with the four-day schedule beginning the week of Oct. 3. According to Seybold, “The kids are going to school virtually the same amount of time,” said Seybold. “They’re still getting their required minutes.”
The school district is in Jasper, Texas, which is about 134 miles northeast of Houston near the Texas-Louisiana border. The district serves more than 2,230 students in pre-K through 12th grade.
Other districts around the country have tried a four-day week with varied results.
Benefits of the shortened week include fewer discipline referrals for students, better morale, improved attendance and a reduction in costs such as bus fuel and maintenance and utility costs, seattlepi.com reported.
Disadvantages include the cost of child care for the day students are not in school, longer days leaving no time for extracurricular events such as sports and band, and more pressure on kids having to sit in school for a longer time, a study from Lamar University showed.
Help a Deserving Family Get a New Roof for Free!
LISTEN LIVE: Listen to Houston’s Eagle now!
SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream and Spooktacular
Dean & Rog’s Thousand Dollar Minute
Play the Harley High Roller Contest
Dean & Rog Mornings
On-air surprise: Joe Buck learns he is joining father in Pro Football Hall of Fame
‘Leave him alone’: Adele halts Las Vegas show, scolds security for ‘bothering’ fan