Harlandale ISD to explore 4-day school week

New schedule would go into effect next school year, if implemented

SAN ANTONIO – Harlandale ISD is looking into the idea of a four-day school week.

According to a news release, the district has started gathering input from teachers, staff and the community to gauge interest about a new instructional week.

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If implemented, Harlandale ISD would be the first school district in San Antonio to adopt a four-day instructional week. The new schedule, which will take effect at the beginning of the next school year, will provide staff with an additional day off on most weeks.

The decision to look into the four-day school week was made after monitoring the positive impact it has made in other Texas school districts, including a better work-life balance, increased productivity and job satisfaction among staff, the district said.

A Texas Teacher Poll survey conducted by the Charles Butt Foundation last year revealed that one of the main reasons teachers are leaving the profession is because of mental health issues, and not enough time for planning.

“We are committed to hearing the voices of our teachers and staff and considering all options to improve working and learning conditions in our district,” Harlandale ISD Superintendent Gerardo Soto said. “We are in the process of gathering all research and input necessary to make an informed decision about the potential implementation of a four-day school week. It is no secret that many teachers are leaving the profession, so we also want to be proactive when it comes to retaining and recruiting teachers for our District.”

Since initially asking staff for input in December, the district has since released two surveys for staff and the community to share their thoughts on two potential calendars.

The district will continue to consult with other school districts that have successfully implemented similar schedules and will ensure that the change does not negatively impact student instruction.

Teachers, staff and the community will be informed of any decisions and updates as they become available.

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.

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