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La Vernia ISD moves to four-day school week

A school building with benches, doors, a sign that reads "La Vernia High School" and a flag pole flying the U.S. and Texas flags.
Camille Phillips
Texas Public Radio
La Vernia ISD's high school sits between the district's junior high and the district's auditorium and gymnasium.

The La Vernia ISD board of trustees voted unanimously Monday evening to move to a four-day school week.

Dr. Helen Whisenhunt, chief instructional officer at La Vernia ISD, toldTPR's The Source the four-day week will attract more teachers and be a budget savings.

"We started this academic year, lacking a few positions in the classroom that we were really trying to get filled," she said. "So this fall, we started thinking about some innovative ways to kind of help with recruitment and retention."

La Vernia ISD has started seeing more applicants in recent weeks, according to Whisenhunt.

Some negative effects of a four-day school week disproportionately impact students from low income households. They include longer school days, issues related to finding childcare, and problems for some children having access to meals on non-school days.

Just a few years ago, one tiny Texas school system decided to try a four-day school week. Now, nearly 50 districts use them. Officials hope the schedule attracts quality teachers and helps retain the rest, as many schools struggle to stay fully staffed. The schedule is still being tested in many schools; but in others, results are in.

More than 40 school districts around the state have made the switch to a four-day school week.

La Vernia is the first district in the San Antonio area to make the switch. Harlandale ISD is also considering the move.

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