Oakwood ISD - 4 Day School Week FAQ
We have had a very positive response to our survey regarding the 4-Day School Week and hope to continue to get additional information as others find time to take the survey as well. There have been several common questions and concerns that have been brought forth that I would like to answer below. No decisions have been made as we are still in an information gathering phase.
What will working parents do for child care? Any proposal that is considered will include provisions to make sure that the school addresses this need. Child care will not be an issue.
What would the daily schedule look like?A preliminary look at a possible schedule would be 7:45am – 3:50pm.
When would school begin and end? School would start around August 11 and end around May 28.
What holidays would students give up? All currently scheduled holidays remain in place.
What day of the week would the students get out? This is something that needs to be looked at more carefully, but preliminary research indicates Monday would work best in the schedule.
Would students have enough instructional time? Yes, all students would receive the same amount of instructional time and many others could receive substantially more depending on how the Mondays are used to support struggling students, remediation, acceleration, etc. State law requires all students to attend school 75,600 minutes, but does not specify how those minutes are broken up. All calendar proposals will exceed this requirement.
Would the required number of work days changes for employees? Yes, currently teachers are contracted to work 187 days. The district could amend that policy to accommodate a new calendar.
Why is the district looking at this change? There are many reasons, but here are a few of the main reasons:
-Recruiting and retaining high quality teachers and staff members is near the top of the list. Having a 4-Day school week would give us a competitive edge in bringing in top quality candidates for positions within the district. Research has shown lower turnover rates and greater applicant pools at schools that have 4-day school weeks.
-Attendance is another reason. Having a day off during the week to schedule appointments, take care of personal business, etc. would be a benefit to school attendance for the students as well as the staff.
-A 4 day school week could help attract additional students to Oakwood ISD which will allow us to expand programs and educational opportunities.
-Schools that have made this change feel like it has helped both the students and the staff morale.
Would there be a cost savings to the district? While a small cost savings could potentially be realized and would be welcomed, that is not the primary focus of such a change. The district is more focused on maximizing the opportunities that our students have for individualized instruction and to create other learning opportunities.
Could students come to school on Monday? Yes, one option that we are considering would be to call the additional day off “Flex Mondays”. Flex Mondays would be open to all students in order to accommodate parents that are working and to allow for students who are struggling (ie, failing, need extra help, want to get caught up, etc), or for students who want to accelerate or advance their learning opportunities to have additional time with teachers in a small group or one on one setting.