Why RRISD Should Switch to a 4-Day School Week

About 60 school districts in Texas have made the switch to a 4-day week of instruction since March 2023. Many districts have decided to switch in order to help with teacher planning and prevent teacher turnover. 


In 2015, a bill was passed that Texas school districts no longer had to provide 180 school days, but 75,600 minutes instead. This change offered lots of flexibility to how schools plan their school days. 


RRISD should switch to a 4-day week of instruction as it will help with teachers’ planning, student workload and will offer a weekday for extracurricular activities students can attend instead of on the weekends. RRISD could add more days to the school calendar or make school days longer to reach 75,600 minutes. 


This also offers students more time to spend with family and rest as students spend the majority of their time at school, doing afterschool activities and then homework and possibly time at their job. Oftentimes, doing homework could last till night which takes away time from a student’s sleep. This results in not getting enough sleep on school nights and attending classes with a tired brain. 


Not only does this give more time for students, it also gives teachers a specific day every week for planning and grading. Teachers stay after school to finish grading assignments or to plan future lessons. With the switch implemented, teachers could save their work and get it all done in one day every week.


This switch also helps with teacher shortages. Many teachers have been retiring since the start of COVID-19 and this can lead to a teacherless classroom and lessons being self-taught. With an absence of a teacher during the time the school is looking for a replacement teacher, there is a significant drop in the students’ grades.


Overall, switching to a 4-day week of instruction helps manage student and teacher time more efficiently, prevent work-overload and stress building up. While more districts have been making the switch and it being a common request from both students and teachers, it would be a much more beneficial change than a negative one.