PORT ARTHUR, Texas — A four-day school week is coming to the Jasper Independent School District next school year.
The district's goal is to retain and recruit as many quality educators, but there are a lot of questions from parents.
Jasper ISD made it official Tuesday. The school board voted 'yes' to a four-day school week.
It's happening, but it's being met with mixed reactions.
“I have some mixed feelings,” said retired teacher Christine Gobert.
A lot of people are just now digesting what a four-day school week will mean for families.
Gobert said if teachers support the new schedule, she supports it, too.
“In rural Jasper, we want to have teachers that want to have a job, and that are certified to teach and know the curriculum. If this is something they are happy about, let's give it a shot,” Gobert said.
It’s a shot that many on the board of directors wanted to take.
The school district took a poll to find out how teachers felt about moving to the 4-day school week. Most of them supported the idea. That's why Jasper ISD superintendent John Seybold said they decided to move forward.
“Each community is going to have to do what's right for them and each school district's going to weigh that this probably isn't right for everybody,” Seybold said.
Jasper ISD isn't the first school in our region to implement a four-day school week.
Devers ISD in Liberty County voted 'yes' to this new schedule in 2019.
Seybold said he hopes parents are open-minded and give it a chance.
“We want the best for our kids here in Jasper, and we will have to be supportive. The biggest concern we've heard from parents involves childcare,” Seybold said.
12News asked the superintendent if they are any plans for the school to offer any. He said they are considering a few after-school programs as options.
“Teacher's mental health as well as our student's... So trying to balance those needs, and the Fridays off were a concern for us, for our kids. But as a school system the best thing we can do is put excellent, excellent educators in front of our kids,” Seybold said.
The Texas Education Agency paved the way for changes like this several years ago.
When it switched from requiring 180 instructional days to roughly 76,000 minutes per year, that gave districts the freedom to decide which days students attend school.