ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – With Merkel and Gorman ISDs moving their normal five-day school schedule down to four, eyes have been on other schools to see if they will do the same.
Cassidy McBrayer, Superintendent of Hawley ISD, said she has been getting questions from parents, students, and staff about a condensed school week.
“We’ve had three years of interrupted instructions, and so for me, I’m just not ready to make that recommendation for us to give up any more time,” McBrayer said.
The questions caused McBrayer to speak up on Facebook about her concerns with this, and when KTAB/KRBC met with her, she expressed the same concerns.
“We have a lot of families that would still have to have some kind of childcare, so we would be in a position as a district where we would have to meet that need,” McBrayer explained.
This would affect teachers getting that day off. Amber Lanphere spoke to the childcare concern as an elementary school teacher of 10 years.
“I think it would be a different role for us – going from a teacher to, in a sense, a babysitter,” said Lanphere.
With the fifth day off, Lanphere said teachers wouldn’t actually have an extra day off. Instead, they’d have to watch the students, grade papers and plan for the week ahead.
“I think it might be a little bit more tiring for teachers to have to work those longer days and still come up on days that the kids are out of school,” Lanphere said.
Believe it or not, even a Hawley ISD student said they weren’t ready to see the doors closed an extra day a week.
Paisley, Lanphere’s daughter, told KTAB/KRBC, “Most people would be like, ‘oh yay, we get to relax Friday, saturday, and Sunday,’ but what they don’t realize is the athletic kids will have to be here a lot more often.”
To this student’s point-of-view, Paisley said athletes would be at practices later because a longer school day would cut into practice time. She said she’s concerned her peers would still have to go to school on Fridays to practice. What’s more, the straight-A student said grade averages could also be affected.
“You’ll have that day to forget everything you’ve learned in the past week,” Paisley said.
McBrayer’s main concern, on the other hand, is the education of the students.
“I just haven’t felt like there is strong enough information about how this is going to impact the kids academically,” McBrayer explained.
While the topic isn’t completely off the table, McBrayer said she wants to wait a few more school years to see if more information could be gathered on how the change might affect a student’s education.