Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tiny school district in rural Texas becomes first in state to switch to four-day weeks

One of the smallest and most rural school districts in Texas will become the state's first to transition to a four-day week this fall, under a new law allowing schools more flexibility in setting calendars, Madlin Mekelburn reports for The Texas Tribune. The move will allow the 56-student, K-8 Olfen Independent School District in Runnels County (Wikipedia map) to offer more opportunities for tutoring on optional Fridays.

That's especially important for students who live as far as 35 miles from campus. Olfen Superintendent Gabriel Zamora "Zamora said the schedule is compatible with the unique needs of his rural district, where only one student lives within the district boundary," Mekelburn reports. The district would need to create additional bus routes for students who chose after-school tutoring.

While Monday through Thursday will be mandatory and Friday mostly optional, "students who do not receive passing marks on progress reports will be required to attend school on Fridays to receive tutoring, while passing students will have the choice to stay home," Mekelburn writes. "A handful of weeks during the year will have a full five days of instruction."

Zamora told Mekelburn, "We think this is going to be something great for our students and something that can also benefit a lot of parents out there. I just saw the possibility, once the law was passed and everything. I never thought I would be in the district that had the right circumstances." (Read more)

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