Texas school district to shorten to four-day school weeks

Posted at 7:58 PM, May 13, 2019

Mondays will be optional for students in Dime Box Independent School District starting next school year.

They will be renamed as “flex Mondays,” and they will be a different format from the regular school day.

Teachers will still be at the school.  Although teachers and staff will get to take some of the Mondays off they will not get to take all of the Mondays off.” the school district said in an FAQ they released, “Therefore, students will get to work with different teachers on a number of enrichment or intervention activities. Flex Mondays will give the school more time to do things that are just very difficult to accomplish in the regular school day.”    

This would mean the regular school week would technically start on Tuesday. However, certain Mondays in August and certain Monday’s during STAAR testing will be required.

The students won’t be losing out on any instructional time with the change. The regular school day will be extended by 35 minutes, and the school year will start earlier in the year.

“The best way to look at this is in grades 6-12.” the district says, “Right now those classes meet for 55 minutes per day.  There are now 167 full days and two half days, or 168 total days of school.  If you multiply 168 x 55 to total minutes of class time is: 9,240. If you divide 9,240 by 156 (the number of days proposed the total is: 59.23.  Therefore if each of the classes is stretched to one hour or 60 minutes then the students are in class more! In addition, if they need extra help or more time at school to work on academics, they will still have the flex Monday available.”   

Another school district in Texas implemented a similar change at the beginning of the 2016 – 2017 school year, and they have seen the benefits.

“Olfen ISD needed something to distinguish itself,” Olfen ISD Superintendent Gabriel Zamora told KXAN. “It’s worked out — it was a tremendous boost to our enrollment.”

According to KXAN, Zamora’s district had an “improvement required” rating and was looking into closing until the change was made. They accomplished a “met standard” rating that year, and have been improving ever since.

Other school districts are interested in possibly considering a similar plan.