Athens ISD students won't have classes on Fridays next year

Students in the Athens Independent School District will soon have a four-day school week.

The school board approved the district’s proposal and will begin a four-day instructional week next school year.

For now, the change is part of a three-year pilot program. Athens ISD believes that what helps students succeed in the classroom is having great teachers. And in order to keep and attract great teachers, the district is trying out the shorter week.

Students won’t receive any fewer minutes of total instruction time. Their school day will be extended by 50 minutes each day.

Friday meals will be available to students in need through a backpack program and extracurricular activities such as athletics, band and debate will continue to take place on Fridays.

Childcare on Fridays was the biggest concern for parents and employees in the district. Athens ISD said it is committed to continuing to find a solution.

Those in favor see benefits for the students including more downtime and more time to process the lessons they’ve learned.

The new school year begins on Aug. 5.