Austin ISD is considering closing schools for two Fridays in the spring

Austin ISD is considering closing school down for two Fridays next semester for teachers and students. The proposed change is hoped to give teachers some relief, and it will be discussed at their meeting this Thursday.

"Our teachers are working really hard. We've heard from them that they need a break. and we're proposing giving them two [days off]," said Cristina Nguyen, Media Relations Manager for Austin ISD.

Two Fridays off in the Spring semester for teachers and students is what is being proposed as an option. The Austin ISD Board of Trustees plans to consider it in their Thursday night meeting.

"We have extra minutes in our calendar because you have to have a total number of minutes throughout the whole year so we do have some time that we can build in some rest for our teachers without having to add it on at the end of the year," said Nguyen.

It is an option AISD Administration came up with after receiving feedback from more than 20,000 parents, students, teachers, and staff last week from a survey.

"One of the options was a longer, earlier release fewer times. and then we also had an early release nine times in the Spring semester, or the third option was no early release period," said Nguyen.

Around 90% of all parents, students, and staff said yes to some sort of early release, but 19% of just parents surveyed did not want early release at all.’

"There were concerns about childcare, so we came back, had our discussions, and came with a proposal that having two full days off. [This] would allow our teachers to rest, it wouldn't give that back and forth of having to deal with childcare for only a couple hours of the day after school or ends early," said Nguyen.

Sharyn Vane is an AISD parent who participated in the survey. She agrees teachers do need a break after such a tough pandemic year, but admits she is confused how AISD made the decision they did based on the survey results. She hopes it does not present a problem for parents who rely on school to watch their kids.

"I think the intent, at least the way it's been presented, is good. I'm very concerned that parents were clearly saying early release is a problem, so I feel like if early releases a problem, then I feel like two days off would also be a challenge for a lot of our district families," she said.

AISD says if passed, they will use those two days off to have staff deep clean the schools.

SUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter