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Lockney I.S.D. to adopt 4-day school workweek

Published: May. 12, 2021 at 11:09 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After a 7-0 vote at Tuesday’s board meeting, Lockney ISD is moving to a four-day week for the 2021-2022 school year.

Students will go to class Tuesday through Friday from 7:40 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., adding about 45 minutes to their school day.

Superintendent Jim Baum says the main reason for the change was to give teachers an extra day to plan.

Right now, they only get about 45 minutes a day to grade and prepare lessons for up to 90 students.

He says many teachers take that work home, taking them away from their families.

“And so, their value goes way beyond what we pay them. And so, what we were looking for was an opportunity to say, we value what you’re doing, we understand that it’s difficult, and we want to give you time to do it to your best,” Baum said.

Baum says teachers will take the student-less Mondays to prepare more effective and engaging instruction and provide more in-depth feedback on assignments.

Kindergarten teacher, Brittney Wilson says COVID-19 put even more pressure on teachers, so, the extra planning day is a blessing.

“We’re finally kind of getting the acknowledgment that we’ve always deserved because we don’t, not only do we put a lot of time, but we put our heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into this job, all of our resources and our family,” Wilson said.

The school’s 2020-2021 calendar exceeds the state requirement by more than 3,000 minutes and Baum says it will still exceed the minimum after the switch to four days.

A district survey shows a majority of staff and parents support the move.

Brandi Pritchard says her kids are pumped for “no more Mondays” and it means more time for camping trips.

“Lockney’s always been about family and I think this is going to allow families to have more time. I think it’s going to draw people in from the surrounding towns and that might transfer in,” Pritchard said.

“It’ll open up a lot of opportunities for the district, so they can allocate funds in a better way,” another parent said.

Other parents had some concerns about how students will adjust to the schedule.

“The kids are going to have an extra day, so with them not doing nothing I feel like they’re going to be like, kind of, a little lazier. For the parents who work too, it’s going to be a little hard to find childcare,” Denise Holguin said.

Baum says there will a camp for students who qualify and don’t have family members who can provide childcare.

He also says meals will still be provided on those days off.

Baum says administrators will look to other schools in the area that have already made the switch for advice, like Motley County, Patton Springs, and Meadow.

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