Texas School District to Attempt Four Day School Week

Jordan Groening, Staff Writer

***Opinion pieces reflect the opinion of the newspaper staff, not the student body, administration or school faculty.***

One school district in west Texas has opted to try a schedule of a four day school week to save cost and relieve stress.

History was made when Olfen Independent School District of Rowena, TX., near San Angelo, a kindergarten-through-eighth grade district comprised of 56 students, transitioned into a predominately four day school week. OISD is the first district in the state to implement this change.

Despite the shorter school hours of a five day week, a shorter week provides the most satisfying option with the most opportunity. This is something our district should pay close attention to next year as a possible option for the following year.

The new OISD calendar will have 160 class days that total more than 77,000 minutes, only 25 minutes are added to the original school day. This time shift creates a few extra minutes for class work, which allows students an extended opportunity to ask for help on assignments, or time to complete work. While some teachers may argue the loss of a day is too complex for weekly lesson plans, the concept allows for much more local control, meaning their lessons can be altered to fit their needs while fitting the four day schedule. Relatively, the loss of a day is a gain of time management for students and teachers alike.

The fifth day of the week still proves effective for fifth classes, such as extra-curricular outside of student’s four core classes. OISD provides an option for Fridays, for students who are wanting or needing extra tutoring, and ‘Super Saturdays’ which include additional tutoring and activities such as pottery, tumbling and karate. This can be compared to work days many schools already participate in on Saturdays for activities with large groups such as yearbook, dance classes and theatre. With the chance for an additional work day on Friday, these large groups can complete an exponential amount of work in two days, or work one of the days without having a day of their weekend consumed.

When schools consider the time shift in means of classwork management, extra-curricular opportunity, and changes that have already proved positive purpose, the remaining schools in Texas can favor the arrangement.