After a recent public survey and staff poll were favorable of four-day instructional weeks, North Lamar ISD will take the topic to the District Improvement Plan Advisory Committee as an agenda item.
The poll reached a 62% majority of parents and community members in open support of a possible four-day school week.
Should the district change the typical five-day instructional school week for students down to four days, it’ll more than likely eliminate either Monday or Friday from the set school year.
Upon this conclusion of support, North Lamar ISD will be meeting with the District Improvement Plan Advisory Committee later this next week in order to discuss the potential move to a shorter instructional school week and begin to sort out what steps need to be taken, as well as consider and address any concerns by parents and faculty.
“This committee is composed of NL administrators, teachers, community members and business representatives who serve two-year staggered terms. Once the committee discusses the plan further, it will advise the Board of their findings,” said Public Relations Director Carla Coleman.
Benefits in moving to a shorter instructional school week, of course, include financial savings, a cost in facility maintenance, custodial hours, transportation fees and vehicle maintenance.
Many districts that have adopted four-day school weeks have shown improvements in student class attendance, particularly if the free day is taken on a Friday. In that case, student-athletes school band members, guard members, cheerleaders, and other extracurriculars would no longer have to miss a class day in order to participate in occasional away events.
Lower disciplinary actions are also taken as students are better rested and moral is higher among both students and faculty.
A concern for most is, of course, that of what parents are supposed to do with their children on a free day on which they may still be required to go to their everyday jobs.
Another concern is for children from lower income homes that may rely on school days for proper meals.
It is not yet known if North Lamar ISD will take steps to provide childcare for children on the selected free day if they do indeed move forward with the four-day school week.
Paris, Texas is of course home to the local Boys & Girls Club who always have open doors for children in need of a place to go.
Local business owner, Skyler Burchinal of NETS (North East Texas Sports Complex) said should the district moved forward with these plans, NETS will open their doors to accommodate those without care.
“We understand the concerns parents have with moving to a four-day week in terms of having somewhere for their children to go while they are at work,” said Burchinal.
“Should North Lamar ISD move forward with a four-day school week, we will absolutely open our doors and offer extended hours with our after-school care program to accommodate those children who may need a place to go.”
Currently, NETS plan to offer after-school care from 3:30 p.m. onwards and is willing to extend their hours to a full day on Friday’s if need be.” NETS is expected to open by Fall of 2019.