Texas

Four-Day School Week: Has Academy ISD Started a Trend at Other Central Texas Schools?

WAKO, TX (KWTX) — Following Academy ISD’s recent announcement of moving to a four-day school week for the 2023-2024 school year, other Central Texas schools are weighing whether they will make the same decision.

KWTX spoke to areas in Killeen, Temple, Copperas Cove, Waco, Salado and Jarrell. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to either join a growing trend or stick to a tradition.

For Killeen’s ISD, Fort Hood’s affiliation with the county would require extensive planning, which could be complicated by the four-day work week.

“Because of Fort Hood, we have to make sure they are available and able to support,” Mystery Maya, Killeen ISD public relations manager, told KWTX. “Our surrounding childcare options here are limited. Just by throwing it at them very quickly, we may not be able to provide some of our students with home care.”

Other districts, such as Salado ISD, are open to the growing trend but have decided to wait a little longer as teacher retention is not a concern, as is the case with Academy ISD.

“We’ve been talking about this because there is a small but growing number of areas in the state that are transitioning,” said Mike Novotny, communications manager for Salado ISD. “The reason we’ve given up on this is because we’re lucky that we can still keep all the positions filled.”

But for some, like Jarrell ISD, the county has been exploring the four-day week since last April.

“We sent out a questionnaire to staff and most of the staff were in favor of a four-day school week,” said Nick Spinetto, communications manager for Jarrell ISD. “When we sent it out to members of our community, the reaction was much more mixed. That doesn’t mean the committee wouldn’t recommend it as a potential calendar for the coming school year.”

Regarding Waco ISD, the district says they will not stick to a four-day week because they “believe that five days a week is what’s best for our students and their families.”

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