Alba-Golden superintendent says 4-day school week will give teachers more planning time

Alba-Golden superintendent says 4-day school week will give teachers more planning time
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 10:16 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 9:59 PM CST

ALBA, Texas (KLTV) - Alba-Golden ISD recently approved a three-year pilot plan for a four-day school week for the school year beginning in Fall 2023.

Superintendent Macie Thompson explained this came about as a way to give teachers more planning time for their lessons as well as for teacher recruitment and retainment.

“Research shows that the biggest indicator of a student’s success, the best thing we can do for them is to put an excellent teacher in their classroom and so we are dedicated to finding and retaining the best at Alba-Golden and in doing that looking at recruitment, looking at what we could do to add more teacher planning time to our calendar, that is what led us to a four-day school week,” Thompson said.

Thompson said the changes they are making will not impact the amount of instruction students receive.

“So students will go to class Monday through Thursday and we are adding 42 minutes to the school day each day and so they are still getting the same amount of instruction as they do under a five-day school week, this is just a restructuring of our calendar that allows us to work in more planning time for teachers who can plan excellent lessons for students,” she said.

The Alba-Golden community has mixed reactions.

Wendy Price is an Alba-Golden ISD parent and a former teacher. She said having a Friday off can become a workday for teachers.

“It’s a better experience than if a teacher had to teach another lesson the next day because she didn’t have time to grade the assignments from the day before and then she finally has time to grade and can talk to the kids about feedback the next day you know what I mean so it’s making sure that learning is sequential,” Price said.

Although parents we spoke to did not want to go on camera, some tell us they are worried about how this schedule impacts childcare costs and transportation timelines with the additional time per day.

“We know that there are challenges that come with changing the school week and we’ve weighed the pros and the cons. We’ve done our research. This was not a decision that was made lightly and our hope is by releasing our calendar in January that gives our parents enough time to adjust to a new schedule,” Thompson said.

“Moving to a four-day instructional week is going to increase our recruitment and our retainment and it’s also going to give teachers quality planning time that they can use to create great learning experiences for our students,” Thompson said.