CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Tuesday, Kingsville Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to move to a four-day school week beginning in the fall.
For the first two Fridays of the month, students will have the option to go into school for half a day, for some individualized learning or other enrichment. The next two Fridays, will be planning days for teachers.
When this option came up, conversations needed to be had with community organizations. Their commitment to helping was a factor in why the board passed the new calendar.
“There were discussions with parks and rec, with the city manager to see how we may be able to combine some of our amenities here within the City of Kingsville, with the needs that our students may have in the future,” Janine Reyes, public information officer for the city said.
Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Kingsville, Communities in Schools and the Kingsville Parks and Recreation Department are all on board to find ways to provide students productive things to do. A lot of their programs already exist.
“The only difference we would have would be opening Fridays all day compared to opening, say at 2:45 (p.m.) when we normally let kids come in," John Perez, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club said.
He said it would be similar to a summer day of programming. Students come in at 7:30 a.m., meet people and catch up with friends. Programming begins at 9 a.m. where the students go through three core topics.
However, the program isn't free. It costs $50 a month to attend the club.
“We’re currently offering three components every day aside from our feeding program. Everyday, we’re doing education, life skills and physical activity/healthy lifestyle,” Perez said at the special school board meeting on Tuesday.
Gloria Taylor, executive director of Communities in Schools, said they are already in four KISD schools providing free services.
She said in the high school they may be able to help with credit recovery, building resumes or filling out college applications. In elementary schools, they can help with specific tutoring.
"Communities in Schools, we have dedicated ourselves to mold our program per the schools needs,” Taylor said at the school board meeting.
Communities in Schools also has a food pantry open to any KISD families.
They also have a small budget thanks to some fundraising in the community. It's how they are looking to provide scholarships for students to be able to attend the Boys and Girls Club.
The Kingsville parks and rec department is in a similar spot. They’ll be able to offer a lot of the same programs they do during spring break and the summer.
The director of parks and recreation said offering more swim lessons would be one of the ways to effectively use Fridays.
They have programs take place at Dick Kleberg Park, Brookshire Pool and could possibly have some at the L.E. Ramey Golf Course.
“I think it also opens the door for some community service opportunities; particularly for some of the older students. We already do network with the youth in our community to see how we can meet those needs,” Reyes said.
She said they aren't at the stage to determine what, if any, cost there would be for students.
The news is, however, still fresh. These organizations need time to iron out details and plan calendars with the KISD. More information will be available closer to the next school year.
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