At the May 18, 2020 school board meeting, the Meadow lSD Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the 2020-2021 calendar, which includes a four-day school week for students.
The board made this decision after careful consideration of both the advantages and disadvantages of conducting classes four days a week, as well as staff
and parent/community surveys. This action is a concerted effort by the Board to provide the best instructional environment for both students and staff.
Students will have an extended school day, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. This student schedule will provide 77,980 minutes of instructional time for the year, which is 2,380 minutes more than the state requirement and more than most school districts across the state. Longer instructional days will provide teachers additional opportunities with students to focus more uninterrupted time on both instruction and remediation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Superintendent Darrian Dover stated, “With the additional time teachers have with students over the course of four days, we believe students will achieve greater levels of learning as teachers have a longer time to focus on key instructional concepts and necessary remediation to ensure mastery of learning. Allowing the students to condense their concentration levels on school work will maximize their learning capabilities. In fact, I anticipate that the level of homework will decrease on school nights because of what is occurring during this extended school day.”
It is the hope that this calendar will also have a positive impact on school attendance by encouraging parents to schedule appointments for their children on Mondays rather than during the four days of instructional time. Another advantage is that teachers will have identified Mondays to focus on instructional coordination, parental communication, data analysis, and other meaningful professional development opportunities.
A key factor in the Board’s decision was survey information received from teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and other community members. Survey results from staff indicated 78% in support of a four day school week, and 72.6% of parental/community respondents also were in favor of the schedule. Two challenges that emerged from the feedback were centered around the length of the school day and childcare concerns for Mondays.
In an attempt to mitigate the length of the school day, the district will provide three daily meals for the students and sufficient time for intellectual breaks. The district fully understands that childcare could be an additional responsibility for some parents. It is the hope that the longer school day on Tuesday through Friday will better align with the parental workday to alleviate before/after school childcare needs, and therefore help offset the additional childcare needed.
School Board President Keith Harrison stressed, “I am very excited about the new changes that we are making at Meadow ISD. I truly believe that both students and teachers will benefit from a four-day instructional week. Tonight’s board action, we hope demonstrates that we are committed to providing a school learning environment that provides a pathway to success for all those associated with Meadow ISD.”