An East Texas superintendent explains why more school districts may go to a four-day week

DeKalb ISD is one of several districts in the area that went to a four-day week to fight staff burnout.

By Michael MarksApril 26, 2022 1:02 pm,

A group of school districts in East Texas will go to a four-day school week at the start of the next school year. The move is primarily a response to burnout among students and staff due to the pandemic.

Chris Galloway is the superintendent of DeKalb Independent School District, a small district west of Texarkana, that will go to a four-day week next year. He spoke with Texas Standard about the district’s decision. Listen to the interview with Galloway in the audio player above or read the highlights below.

Highlights from this interview:

– Galloway says the idea came from a conference where he and colleagues learned about other districts that shifted to four-day school weeks to improve work-life balance for teachers.

– Having one less day of class instruction gives teachers an extra day to lesson plan and offer students any remedial instruction outside of regular class.

– A district survey found a majority of parents – 64% – were OK with the change. About 20% said “absolutely no.” One likely contributing factor for the support is that Red River Army Depot is one of the largest employers in the area, and its employees have Fridays off.

– Galloway isn’t worried about student learning loss as a result of a shorter week. In part, that’s because schools will be giving students more instruction overall because of newly extended class periods. The district also got rid of the February winter break.

– Galloway expects more Texas districts to follow suit, especially because it’s also happening in other states.

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