Teacher burnout drives school system to 4-day school week in Texas district (DTM)
Citing teacher shortages and burnout, a Texas school district announced plans to move to a four-day school week next year.
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The Jasper Independent School District said in a Facebook post that after polling parents, teachers and staff, the board voted to move to the four-day school week beginning in October.
The school will run five-day school weeks from August until the changeover in October. Teachers would have Fridays as planning days when the change takes place.
John Seybold, Jasper Independent School District Superintendent, said teacher burnout was one of the main reasons the system considered the change.
“Teacher burnout has been a problem for a long time, but since COVID it seems to be spreading and becoming more and more of an issue,” Seybold said “Good Morning America”. “The four-day week makes them a little more manageable because there’s so much pressure on our teachers.”
According to Seybold, the district plans to give teachers and school staff members a financial incentive if they stay in their jobs. Teachers would receive a $3,000 stipend to stay in school and staff members would receive $1,500.
School begins August 10 and ends June 1, 2023, with a four-day program beginning the week of October 3. According to Seybold, “the children go to school practically the same time,” Seybold said. “They always get the required minutes.”
The school district is in Jasper, Texas, about 134 miles northeast of Houston near the Texas-Louisiana border. The district serves more than 2,230 K-12 students.
Other districts across the country have tried a four-day week with varying results.
Benefits of the shortened week include fewer disciplinary references for students, better morale, better attendance, and reduced costs such as bus fuel and maintenance and utility costs, seattlepi.com reported.
Disadvantages include the cost of childcare during the day when students are not in school, longer days not allowing time for extracurricular events such as sports and groups, and increased pressure on children who need to stay in school longer, a study from Lamar University showed.
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