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Rains County ISD 4-day School Week

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Rains County ISD school board voted to approve a four-day instructional week beginning with the 2023-24 school year.

Rains ISD is focused on teacher retention and recruitment, academic achievement and time to plan meaningful instruction, and the social and emotional well-being of students and staff. Rains is also faced with a substantial substitute shortage. With a 4-day instructional week, Rains believes they would entice more talented teachers and staff to join RISD and decrease the ever-rising turnover rate. There would be dedicated intervention days scheduled on Fridays throughout the year for more focused instructional time.

According to the 2022 Texas Teacher Poll performed by the Charles Butt Foundation, the percentage of teachers considering leaving the profession in 2022 was 77%, up from 58% in 2020.

85% of Texas teachers report more time to plan quality lessons would aid in teacher retention.

The report also showed that 53% of teachers currently work at least 60 hours per week with 19% working over 70 hours per week.

Rains ISD will not be lowering anyone’s pay. A teacher’s daily rate of pay would increase to make up for the lower number of
contract days so that pay does not go down.

The students would go to school Monday through Thursday and be off on Friday. Teachers and paraprofessionals would work 1 Friday per month. At a minimum, half of this Friday staff day would be devoted to Lesson Planning. Many RISD employees would be off and have at least 3 Fridays each month off to spend with family, schedule appointments, rest, or take care of personal business.

Students will go to school 153 days while Teachers and paraprofessionals that are not on extended contracts will work 169 days. Rains instructional staff has more time to prepare quality lessons as well as an opportunity for increased professional development
throughout the year.

Childcare will need to adapt to the 4 day week as well. School days will be longer, and after-school care may not be needed. However, Friday care will be necessary. Care providers are revamping fees and schedules. Parent are advised to plan ahead for the change.

No word yet from other school districts in the area of plans to follow this trend.

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Author: Ethan Klein

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