China Spring, TX (FOX 44) — China Spring ISD had a packed room Monday evening to discuss next year’s school calendar.
The main focus is over the district’s proposal to move to a four day school week.
In the 2022-2023 school year China Spring has already seen nine teachers leave or retire – not including instructional aides.
Seeing a decline in staff in the middle of a teacher shortage and a decline in attendance rates has the school looking for solutions.
Their proposal is to shorten their school year from 170 days to 160 taking off on Fridays.
Some benefits that can come with this proposal include teacher recruitment and retention, reduced absences, increased planning time to better aid students, and reduce need for substitute teachers.
Parents asked questions on how this schedule will support children with special needs and how it will feed children who are food insecure.
Superintendent Mark Faulkner says they won’t be able to provide food on Fridays but the school has partnerships with outside agencies.
“I have some opportunities with China Spring Cares and with Pack of Hope and we can work with those guys,” said Faulkner. “Currently we end up sending bags of food loaded with some kiddos on Friday. Right now that gives them some great meals for Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday.”
In their proposal, China Spring will still be above the state requirement of teaching minutes.
China spring is following behind the trend of other school districts in Texas trying to maintain a high quality of education.
While the school board shared the benefits of this proposal some parents think other options should be considered.
“Those are not the kids problem. We’re supposed to figure this out,” said one China Spring parent. “Going to school four days a week….y’all saw what happened during COVID, the whole nation went down, and that’s all this is gonna do.”
Other concerns and questions parents had were in regards to what ways the four day school week helped teachers in other districts teach students.
What alternative ways are available to help take care of teachers and the question was made whether the year-round school calendar could be considered.
The school is planning to present the same information next Wednesday for anyone who has questions.