2 East Texas superintendents give positive review of 4-day week
LEVERETT’S CHAPEL, Texas (KLTV) - Several school districts across East Texas have switched to a four-day school week for the new school year and are still adjusting to the change, including Rains, Alba-Golden, Alto, New Diana, Frankston, Overton and Leverett’s Chapel.
Leverett’s Chapel Superintendent Matt Everett said one major reason they made the switch was to fill their teaching staff.
“It’s hard for us to compete with the bigger districts with the salaries from the surrounding schools here, and post-COVID and even a year or two before COVID, we’ve been in – it’s been hard to find teachers – good, quality teachers – and we looked at it as an opportunity for us to step out there and incentivize good quality educators to come to Leverett’s Chapel,” he said.
For the first time in a few years, he said they were able to hire all of their teachers for this school year by June, and all of the positions have been filled. Additionally, Everett said their new schedule had no effect on teacher salaries.
Their schools operate on a 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. schedule from Tuesday to Friday. In order to ensure teachers have enough time in the shortened weeks for their lessons, the school day has lengthened by 35 minutes compared to last year.
“Our parents have embraced it, our community’s embraced it. The board and, you know, all of the stakeholders have really, really come together on this one for us,” Everett said.
Rains ISD Superintendent Jennifer Johnson said they also are receiving positive feedback from the community and are learning how to adjust to the longer days.
“If it’s a little longer day as opposed to going five days a week, I think they’ll take that little bit longer day,” Everett said. “As far as the academic prowess of this, that’s yet to be seen, but, that’s every year, how that’s going to affect our overall standing, but I feel really good about it.”
One concern from parents and guardians is finding childcare for the day their students are not in class. Everett said he has not heard this concern from the community. He said the district will reevaluate the schedule at the end of the school year to decide whether to do it again next year.
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