Rural school districts moving to 4-day school week to help attract teachers in area

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Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 5:18 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Some rural school districts in the Panhandle have made the move to having less days in the school week to help attract teachers and raise students attendance rates.

Happy ISD began it’s new schedule yesterday, adding 13 more days off during the school year and increasing the learning day by 28 minutes.

Students and teachers have expressed support for the change, saying the extra days off will help with doctors appointments, and other activities outside of school, but there has been some concern from parents with younger children having longer school days.

The decision came after the school board brought up the idea last fall.

The community took a survey and many were in favor of the new schedule change.

Superintendent of Happy ISD, Ray Keith, says the change can help bring up students attendances since they can choose which days will be off.

“They’re random throughout the year. If we know that we’re traveling to a football game that is a long ways away, then why not wait and be off that day, so we’re not missing school. We get the benefit, if we select our days wisely, our students are actually missing school less,” said Ray Keith.

The change will also benefit teachers and other staff, so they can schedule doctors appointments, and won’t have to request the day off.

“We do think that it will reduce absenteeism, normally select Fridays as your days off, they’re not all selected. We do know that some physicians and, doctors offices and things like that, they’re closed on Fridays. That was a conversation that was of a concern, it gives us a chance to go to a dental office or whatever is needed,” said Ray Keith.

The school district wants to continue doing what is best for students and staff.

“If it benefits our kids, our students and it benefits our staff, your environment is so important, if your staff is encouraged by it and its a positive result, then why not have anything that benefits them,” said Ray Keith.

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