LUBBOCK, Texas — Last year, Lockney ISD had some adjusting to do as they adopted a new four-day school week schedule in which students would attend school from 7:40 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Having Fridays off allowed teachers more time to plan out curriculum for students.
Lockney ISD superintendent, Jim Baum, said parents and members of the district were able to adjust to the change by communicating and working as a community.
“We did a parent survey in the community as well as a teacher survey, and it was overwhelmingly supported,” Baum said. “I think there were a lot of questions on how [it would be] implemented, and [what would happen] with our kids on the days that they’re not in school… but it was supported within the community.”
At first, some parents were concerned with what to do with their kids on Fridays, so the district implemented the ‘Fifth Day Camp,’ where educators and aids would supervise kids at the school. However, the district realized after the first few months that fewer kids were showing up.
“By spring break, there were actually no kids coming to Fifth Day Camp, so the community was able to absorb that and be able to take care of those kids on those days. In the second year, we didn’t see the need to offer it.”
Baum said teachers were the most affected by the change, with many finding more time to focus on planning, grading, and being able to effectively do their job with the extra day.
“If a teacher has 60 kids in a class or 60 kids throughout the day, and they’ve only got 45 minutes to do their planning, preparation, grading, communicating, and all of that, that’s less than a minute per kid,” Baum said. “The real benefit comes from allowing our teachers to have that time to effectively plan and prepare for their classes and grades and communicate.”