4-day school week: Rockdale ISD adopts new calendar starting fall 2023

Rockdale ISD is now one of many school districts in Texas to adopt a four-day school week for students.

"This year, we've done a four-and-a-half-day week, and we had a half day on Wednesdays, and it allowed our teachers to have some planning time in the afternoons and that worked really well," says Rockdale ISD Superintendent Dr. Denise Monzingo

Rockdale ISD Superintendent Dr. Denise Monzingo says the school board worked closely with students, teachers and community members to make this decision.

"We want to increase the at the level of academics, and the only way to do that is to work with our teachers," says Dr. Monzingo.

Teachers will use Fridays as professional development days to prepare for the following week.

"In a smaller district that we're struggling so much with is trying to get teachers with more experience. And so, we have quite a few first-year teachers that are that work here and younger, and we need to be able to provide them support," says Dr. Monzingo.

Dr. Monzingo says she hopes by having a four-day school week, it will attract more teachers to teach a Rockdale ISD.

Now, what will a four-day school week look like for the students?

"Our kids will actually start back on August 8. So, it's about a week earlier. What we did not want to do is some schools that go to four-day weeks, they extend the school day, and we did not do that," says Dr. Monzingo.

And for the parents who plan around the school calendar, Dr. Monzingo says holiday breaks will remain the same as previous school years.

"If there's already a four-day week, like, for example, Labor Day week. So, we wouldn't have that Friday off because you're out on Monday because of Labor Day," says Dr. Monzingo.

Dr. Monzingo says this change will still allow the district to meet the requirement minutes. Rockdale ISD has a total number of 77,895 minutes in their calendar.

Before making the decision, Rockdale ISD did a poll asking parents if they approve the calendar, 87% agreed and 13% percent disagreed, with a complaint about child care.

The district released a message to parents about the childcare concern.

"District administrators are working on options for childcare on Fridays through our ACE program."