Harlandale ISD considers plan to retain teachers, support their mental health

Calendar change may make it easier for educators who feel overworked

Harlandale ISD emailed parents and teachers a survey asking them if they’d support the three-day weekend for teachers to give them time to de-stress and reset.

SAN ANTONIO – Harlandale ISD emailed parents and teachers a survey this week, asking families if they would consider a three-day weekend for teachers and extending the school days by a few minutes.

Samantha Santos, a first-grade teacher for Harlandale ISD, loves her job. “I love being there for these kids,” she said.

But after five years of teaching, Santos has learned it can be hard to balance work and home life with her schedule.

“I don’t always have time to plan as effectively as I want and to take care of myself,” she said.

Santos said she supports the possibility of changing the school calendar to four-day weeks.

Harlandale ISD emailed parents and teachers a survey asking them if they’d support the three-day weekend for teachers to give them time to de-stress and reset.

The consideration is based on a survey by the Charles Butt Foundation that found teachers said mental stress was forcing them to leave their profession.

Districts are limited in being able to raise teacher pay, and this change might make it easier for educators who feel overworked.

Harlandale ISD has about 12,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The district hopes everyone will participate in the survey to decide next year’s calendar.

The district spokesperson says they are in the early stages of the proposition, and there will be many board meetings and votes before a final decision is made.

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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.