China Spring ISD school board approves 4-day school week

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Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 12:32 PM CST
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CHINA SPRING, Texas (KWTX) - The China Spring ISD school board on Monday night unanimously approved a switch to a 4-day school week for the 2023-2024 school year.

Officials say it’s called a “hybrid 4-day” calendar. Students will attend school four Fridays throughout the year, one each of the 9 week-grading periods.

The district had previously asked parents for feedback on the proposal and held several community meetings.

At one of those meetings, China Spring ISD Superintendent Marc Faulkner told parents the four-day school week could be beneficial for the district. Faulkner said back then that the switch to a shorter school week could help the district address some of its “bigger challenges, such as teacher retention, a teacher shortage, the substitute shortage ... and student attendance.”

However, China Spring ISD parents like Kerry Wheeler are wondering what childcare options there are with this switch.

“There’s just a whole plethora of problems that come with it,” Wheeler said.

The original proposal presented to parents earlier in the year included an option for some students to attend school on Fridays. Parents would be responsible for providing transportation for their children and food would not be served on these days. However, the program called “Supplemental Remediation Days” are not yet included in the approved version of this calendar.

“It hasn’t been approved yet, because we’re putting a task force to address some of those challenges,” Faulkner told KWTX on Tuesday.

The goal is for this task force to eventually put together a comprehensive list of area childcare resources by the end of this school year.

”We want to give our families time to plan and potentially use these services that we will provide,” he said.

One potential service the district is looking at offering to parents is a new program on Fridays with Champion Zone, which an after school care organization China Spring ISD already works with.

”They’ve already agreed and are working on a plan to house at least 100 students,” Faulkner said.

Some parents like Chris Bryan are celebrating the switch to the hybrid 4-day model as he is able to work from home on most days.

”I do understand some of the hesitation from some community members who have younger kids and can’t really watch themselves and that will be a struggle, but we’ll have to adapt,” said Bryan, who has a 4th and 6th grader in the district.

Others like Wheeler said, for parents, this change could come with a cost.

“Having been a single parent I understand that you have a single and sometimes two incomes, but it just doesn’t go that far in this economy these days,” Wheeler said.

The Academy Independent School District in Central Texas recently announced it was moving to a four-day school week in the 2023-2024 school year.