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COURTESY PHOTO/Springlake-Earth ISD

Superintendent Denver Crum

For Springlake-Earth ISD students, the traditional Monday-Friday schedule will be shortened by one day this school year.

Superintendent Denver Crum says 2022-2023 will be a pilot year for the Tuesday-Friday school week.

“The main purpose of going to a four-day week is to give teachers back their day of prep,” Crum said. “Since the late 80s when Texas introduced statewide assessment, each time the tests are updated, they’ve become more complicated and difficult. It puts so much stress on teachers and kids.”

Another reason for the four-day week is the possibility of attracting teachers to the school system and retaining them.

“As a small rural school in one of the economically challenged districts, we need to find other ways to make the school inviting for college students,” Crum said. “The four-day week will provide an incentive to come to and stay in Springlake-Earth. It can help us to become more creative, a more exciting profession.”

Schools will be open on Mondays, and teachers will have the option of working from home or coming in to the school.

“It’s a scheduled day of planning,” Crum says. “Most teachers will choose to come to work on that day.”

Staff development days will be held on Mondays, and students who participate in UIL activities will have their normal practice time on Monday.

“Another benefit is that so many school holidays are on a Monday that we’ll be able to make up the 13 extra days that we take off fairly easily,” Crum said.

The school will add 15 minutes to the beginning of each class day and 15 minutes to the end of it in order to cover the extra day that students are not at school.

SEISD began the process of transitioning to the four-day school week in the fall with a series of public meetings and votes from the community.

“Parents and staff were overwhelmingly in favor of it,” Crum said.

Crum calls the 2022-2023 school year the pilot year to see how the program goes before they decide whether or not to continue it.

“At the end of the year, we’ll hear back from our community, our staff and our parents, and also look at our scores to see how well it worked,” he said.

Two Region 17 schools, Motley County and Lockney, went to the four-day school week during the 2021-2022 school year. Along with Springlake-Earth, Meadow and Patton Springs have decided to try a four-day school week this year.

“Lockney and Motley County showed that test scores have improved slightly,” Crum said. “We hope we have the same experience.”

Gail M. Williams

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

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