CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In a split 5-2 vote, the Kingsville Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a four-day school week that will begin in the 2023-24 school year.
The school year will begin on July 31, and end on May 23, 2024, with "added wellness day Fridays to promote mental/physical wellness."
The calendar goes Monday through Thursday with optional enrichment being offered two Fridays a month for students.
The enrichment opportunities allow students to get one-on-one time with teachers, participate in clubs and travel for extracurricular activities and athletics.
An elementary school day for students will be from 7:30 a.m. to 3:55 p.m., middle school day from 7:50 a.m. to 4:15 a.m., and high school day from 8:10 a.m. to 4:35 p.m.
On March 23, the KISD held a town hall meeting and discussed three school year calendar options for the 2023-24 school year, which included a four-day school week.
Following that meeting, KISD administrators sent out a survey to receive feedback and gauge interest on all three calendar options on the KISD website for 10 days.
On March 29, KISD Superintendent Cissy Reynolds-Perez hosted a district wide zoom meeting with students to provide information on the calendar options. She also sent out a call to parents to review the calenders with their children.
The next day, students were able to access the survey for 30 minutes on their school laptops.
An additional survey went out on March 31, in case other students had a substitute the previous day.
On Tuesday, KISD assistant superintendent Juan Sandoval presented the findings from the survey, and said they included some alterations to the original proposal for option three.
229 teachers of the nearly 475 on all campuses responded to the survey, with 171 voting for the four-day school week, while the remaining 25 percent voted for one of the other two options.
H.M. King High School science teacher Cory Scarborough spoke in favor of the change.
“I plan on doing more in my classroom on those kinds of days. Maybe doing extended labs, maybe planning a field trip,” he said.
More than 630 students responded to the survey, with more than 56 percent of the students agreeing with the third calendar option.
The district received 364 responses from parents, as 44 percent voted for option three, while option one was behind the response with nearly 30 percent of the vote.
One parent made her reservations clear at the special meeting, saying KISD has other issues that need to be focused on.
“There’s so many things KISD hasn’t gotten right and (you all) jumped on the bandwagon so quickly, (you all) didn’t think of the repercussions the superintendent will push on you,” said Elizabeth Ramos, a parent.
Sandoval then moved on and said the district reached out to organizations in the area, including the Kingsville Boxing Club, Boys and Girls Club of Kingsville and the Kingsville Parks and Recreation Department to see if they have the support for parents who will be effected by the four-day week.
"They all stepped up saying 'We can help out, we can assist,'" Sandoval said. "We know that there are programs out there that can assist on those Friday's (...) we want to make sure that we don't leave our parents out there without the support that we need."
"We also made sure that transportation and food services are going to be provided," Reynolds-Perez said after Sandoval. "What's beautiful about this is that we found out that (these organizations) are ready to help now (...) They've got so many (after school programs) that our parents and children can take advantage of."
Pl. 6 school board member James Glusing said he was skeptical of option three, only because other details need to be ironed out.
"I'm not saying that this is a bad option; I just don't know if we're ready for it yet," Glusing said. "I think there may be some infrastructure that needs to be put in place first."
After further discussion, the board held a roll call vote, as Glusing and Pl. 4 board member David Garcia voted no.
"I'm concerned about the parents and those that are working and how they're going to adjust," Garcia said. "So, for that reason, only that reason, I'm OK with it. I just think we're too premature and early and that's why I'm going to say no."
This is a developing story. Check back with KRIS 6 News, for updates.
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