AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – As community members and families prepare for the start of the 2023-2024 school year for Amarillo and the High Plains area, many have already made note of what day their local school district heads back to class. However, some families have also started to prepare for a shorter school week during the upcoming year.
According to the most recent information available through the Texas Classroom Teachers Association and published school calendars, seven school districts around the Texas Panhandle will have a four-day week going into the next year.
Districts around the Texas Panhandle that have switched to four-day school weeks include:
- Follett ISD
- Channing ISD
- Spring Creek ISD
- Kelton ISD
- Groom ISD
- Happy ISD
- Silverton ISD
Follett ISD, Groom ISD, and Happy ISD have adopted a “hybrid” schedule with four-day weeks for part of the year, while the others have adopted a four-day week for the entire school year.
As noted in previous reports on MyHighPlains.com, dozens of districts around the state have adopted at least a partial four-day week schedule with various hopes of improving attendance, teacher retention, and saving money. The move has appeared especially popular with rural school districts, which have often reported benefitting from the opportunity to have a more flexible schedule.
Such a schedule change, as reported previously, was also made possible with a 2015 Texas law that changed the timing of classroom instruction. Districts no longer need to provide a specific number of days in class, but rather a minimum of 75,600 minutes.
However, there have also been reported concerns from districts such as Channing ISD regarding families needing to adjust to cover childcare on Fridays. Officials with Channing ISD previously told reporters that it was looking into ways to provide an activity or an open building for those impacted, though the extra day has remained a strategic obstacle for many districts and families headed into the new year.
Further information and 2023-2024 school year start dates for districts around Amarillo and the High Plains can be found here.