The Jasper ISD school board unanimously approved the academic calendar at a March 16 meeting. The school district said this new calendar was due to teacher shortage and retention.
The calendar developed by the district-wide Educational Improvement Committee, consisting of teachers, staff, parents, and community members, is a 4-day model. The length of the school day was not extended and the calendar includes the required 75,600 minutes plus 5 bonus school days of student instructional time.
On Fridays that teachers come in they will be able to have PLC’s and Professional Development without missing class time.
"Retaining and recruiting quality teachers is very important to all school districts during a nationwide teacher shortage and the board of trustees is working diligently for our JISD staff," the school district said.
The calendar development process began in November and consisted of 4 District-wide Educational Improvement Council (DEIC) meetings. Input was gathered from all staff members and the community through surveys.
- The first survey was community wide and emailed to all parents and staff and placed on the district’s social media pages. The results were 64% in favor of a 4-day week. This survey had 438 responses.
- The second survey was sent to all JISD teachers. The results were 84% in favor of a 4-day week.
Other Texas school districts that have adopted four-day school weeks include Devers ISD and Athens ISD, which promotes its "four-day instructional week" on its district homepage, according to Good Morning America.
The school district in Jasper, Texas, is about 134 miles northeast of Houston near the eastern Texas and western Louisiana border.
Along with the new academic calendar, the board also unanimously voted to give teachers and staff retention incentives for the 2022-23 school year.
Teachers will receive $3,000 and all other staff will receive $1,500, each to be paid in three installments.