To improve the students’ performance in class, the Olfen Independent School District will implement the four-day school week by fall. The transition is the first of its kind in the state. Currently, the school has a population of 56 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. The school’s decision was in response to the new law passed by the Legislature to allow districts more flexibility in setting their school calendars. In order for the school to meet the required minutes, they will extend each school day by 25 minutes.
Olfen Independent School District is one of the smallest school districts in Texas, which makes the schedule advantageous for them. As cited by the spokeswoman for Texas Education Agency, other districts who tried the same set-up but failed, mainly because of their large population. Given the small number of students in Olfen, the possibility for it to succeed is high.
According to Olfen’s Superintendent, the four-day school week will benefit both the students and their parents. The new schedule will have four mandatory instructional days and an optional day on Friday. Fridays will be mandatory for students who do not receive a passing mark. For those with passing marks, they have the option to stay at home.
The schedule will be a great way to help students who are in need of tutoring. Teachers can focus on them and they will get the academic help they need in order to perform better in class. The previous schedule hindered these tutoring sessions given the distance that teachers have to travel to get to student’s homes. Aside from tutoring sessions, there will be fun activities offered in the afternoon like karate, tumbling and pottery.
The free day is not only a time to improve grades, but also a time to enhance skills based on the extra-curricular offered by the school. Even parents have expressed positive response to the new schedule.