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Full Armor Christian Academy plans for another year of 4-day school week

Full Armor Christian Academy receives positive feedback after their first year operating on a 4-day school week.
Updated: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:26 PM CST
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HENDERSON, Texas (KLTV) - It’s been almost been one year of longer weekends for one East Texas school. Full Armor Christian Academy in Henderson is wrapping up their one-year pilot program for a four-day school week. Now, they’re looking forward to keeping the new schedule for the 2020-2021 school year.

“We recently put a survey out to our parents... and those that were ‘highly in favor’, ' in favor’ or ‘neutral’-- 96% of our families,” says Faull Armor Head of School Josh Woolridge.

After the one-year pilot program, parents like Jennifer Johnson say they’re excited to keep the four-day schedule going into next year, even after coming to Full Armor from a five-day school.

“It’s been a smooth transition-- moving here, attending this school, this schedule,” says Johnson. “It’s just all been a blessing, honestly.”

“We take the one day we have off anxd we can take care of appointments, or we can just have fun girl days. Or we can just do family things together. So, it works out really well for us,” Johnson says.

Johnson’s daughter, Kali, says the schedule gives her more time to do things she enjoys and doesn’t mind the longer class times.

“I’m perfectly fine with it, because I love school,” she says.

Full Armor added ten minutes to the start of their day and thirty minutes to the end of their day in order to meet state requirements. They also lengthened class times to fifty-five minutes.

“Students have adapted to the lengthened schedule.” says Woolridge. “The fifty-five minutes has really helped our classes. Whether it’s in the lab, they can take more time in the lab rather than--you know--having their instruction in 20 minutes in the lab. They’re able to dig a little bit deeper in that subject, and they don’t feel rushed.”

Woolridge said that transitioning into a new schedule during COVID-19 was a challenge but that the families have been supportive during the process.

“Our family is gracious and they’ve been very patient as we navigate these unchartered waters, as many people have called it,” Woolridge says.

Full Armor did implement asynchronous learning last year during the pandemic. But since they’ve started the four-day week in August of 2020, they have been able to remain in the classroom.

Woolridge says that, as they wrap up their first year of the new schedule, he’s gotten positive feedback from both teacher and parents.

“They’re enjoying that extra time. Whether it’s preparation, whether it’s taking a short trip-- just giving that back to them. We’re highly into Deuteronomy 6, where it puts the focus on the family, and that’s what it’s truly about.”

Woolridge says he thinks more schools should consider a four-day schedule.

In East Texas, Athens ISD also operates on a four-day instructional week. They began that in the 2019-2020 school year.

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