BRECKENRIDGE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Breckenridge ISD announced a move to the 4-day school week for the 2023-2024 term. The move is a growing one, as there are now six Big Country districts that have made that move. In Breckenridge, some concerns were brought up by parents about situations like childcare. When parents have to work five days a week, what will they do?
Darlene Hill, owner of Dar Dar’s Building Blocks, located right down the street from one of Breckenridge ISD’s elementary schools. Because of this, Hill said she’s already picked up 60+ students from this school. Now, her staff is expecting more because of the response they have received since the district announced the change.
“Literally within 30 minutes of it being on Facebook, we started getting calls, ‘please, put my daughter on the list,’ or, ‘please, put my son on the list,’ or, ‘are you going to be able to accommodate my second grader, or my third grader,’ and I said, ‘yes. We’ve got several months to plan, and we will start planning now,’” Hill assured.
Hill and her co-director, Krystal Hash told KTAB/KRBC they are not concerned about the influx they are going to receive in children, because this actually came at a good time for them, as they are in the process of expanding.
“We should be able to fit about 50 – roughly 50 more students,” said Hash.
With encouragement, Hill said the challenge shouldn’t be too big for her daycare. There are also two other local daycares, and other home daycare centers in the area. Hill said, together, she believes they can take care of these children.
Superintendent of Breckenridge ISD, Bryan Allen, explained that hearing that local daycares can take more children helped in this decision, “I think there’s a world of positives.”
Addressing another concern, Supt. Allen told KTAB/KRBC each employee’s pay will stay the same – whether they are keeping their salary the same or getting paid more hourly.
“So, they work less hours for the same amount of money,” Supt. Allen detailed.
Supt. Allen said this decision was mainly made because of an ongoing teacher shortage.
“We can give teachers two things: We can give them time or money,” said Supt. Allen. “The money part is kind of a limited resource, but the time was something we felt like we could tap into.”
So far, most of the feedback from Breckenridge ISD teachers has been positive.
“We surveyed our teachers before, and you know, it was about 80% who were going to be in favor,” Supt. Allen shared.
Even some of the teachers’ families are excited for it, like Rob Durham, whose wife has been a teacher for over 40 years.
“I really wasn’t surprised, simply because there are so many school districts going to it,” said Durham. “A lot of Sundays, you know, she might spend four or five hours doing lesson plans. If a 4-day week will kind of help alleviate that, and give them more time to focus on that, you know, I think that can be a positive all the way around.”
Superintendent Allen told KTAB/KRBC there are a lot of things the district is sorting out since making this decision, including which day they will have off – either Monday or Friday.