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2024-25 Calendar Planning

4 day instructional week header

Texas is experiencing a statewide teacher shortage, particularly in rural areas. Rural school districts in Texas cannot compete with the pay and benefits packages offered by larger districts. Just like the rest of the state, the shortage is affecting Sanger ISD. For example, eighteen teachers and paraprofessionals have left our district since August 2023 for various reasons, including leaving the profession.  

According to the 2022 Texas Teacher Poll performed by the Charles Butt Foundation, the percentage of teachers considering leaving the profession in 2022 was 77%, up from 58% in 2020. 85% of Texas teachers report more time to plan quality lessons would aid in teacher retention. 

Sanger ISD is focused on teacher retention and recruitment, academic achievement, time to plan meaningful instruction, and students' and staff's social and emotional well-being. To achieve our goal of recruiting and retaining the highest quality teachers for our students, we must think outside the box. 

In a growing trend that has proven successful in other districts across the nation and particularly in rural school districts in Texas, the transition to a 4-day school week has proven to be an effective recruiting/retaining tool for teachers and all staff. With a 4-day instructional week, we would entice more talented teachers and staff to join Sanger ISD and decrease the ever-rising turnover rate.

 

 

 

Survey Results

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Sanger ISD 2024-25 Student Academic Calendar

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Sanger ISD 2024-25 Teacher Academic Calendar

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4-Day Instructional Week Town        Hall Presentation

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Frequently Asked Questions Header

What are the reasons for considering this change?

  • To help recruit and retain certified, highly qualified teachers.

  • We are unable to pay our employees the same salaries as the larger districts in our area. This would help give Sanger ISD a competitive edge in hiring employees.

  • We have found that other districts that have 4-day instructional weeks are able to fill positions with high-quality teachers, aides, bus drivers, etc.

  • Hiring and retaining the highest quality teachers and support staff will increase the effectiveness of our instruction and promote student success.

  • Fewer substitutes are needed.

  • It will assist in keeping student and staff morale high.

  • Having one day off a week will potentially increase the attendance rates of students and staff alike and improve work/life balance.

What day will we be out?

  • We are currently creating a draft calendar with Fridays off. 

  • Students would attend a traditional 5-day week during August and September and a 4-day week throughout the remainder of the year. 

  • Teachers and staff will be scheduled to work one Friday a month. 

  • Sanger ISD employees will have at least three Fridays off each month to spend with family, schedule appointments, rest, and take care of personal business.

Will this make the school year longer?

The school year will start approximately one week earlier but end on May 22nd. 

  • Teachers will return on  August 1st.

  • Students will start on August 7th. 

Will we lose instructional time?

  • The total number of instructional days for students on the draft calendar is 156 days, with 495 minutes of instructional time each day. This total of 77,220 minutes for the year meets the state's requirement of 75,600 minutes of instructional time. 

  • No early release dates are built into this calendar. Early release days have typically been used on Fridays before holidays or extended breaks in the calendar. Since we will not attend school on Fridays, early release days have been removed from the calendar.

What are the start and stop times for Elementary (PK-5)?Elementary  - 7:40 - 3:55

Teachers - 7:30 - 4:05

What are the start and stop times for Secondary (6-12)?

Secondary - 8:05 - 4:30

Teachers - 7:55 - 4:40

What are the start and stop times for Linda Tutt High School?

Elementary  - 7:40 - 3:55

Teachers - 7:30 - 4:05

What are the start and stop times for Tenderfoot Daycare?

Opens at 7:05

Closes at 5:00

Will a 4-day school week shorten holidays during the year?No! Holidays will not be shortened.

  • Thanksgiving Break will still be a week.

  • Christmas Break will be the same length.

  • Spring Break will still be a week.

How will this affect extracurricular activities on Fridays (ball games, etc?) if a Friday-off calendar is chosen?

  • Sanger ISD will continue to compete and participate on Fridays in athletics and other extracurricular activities, as required by the UIL. 

  • Transportation will be provided on Fridays as needed for such activities.

  • Pep Rallies will be held on Thursdays when we are scheduled to be out on a Friday. 

Will educational opportunities be provided on Fridays?

  • The district is in communication with several programs, including AlphaBEST Education, to provide educational opportunities on Fridays.

  • The program selected will conduct a parent night and manage all registration.

  • The program will be provided on Fridays (free of charge) for up to 300 students (K-5) who meet specific educational need criteria. The only expense for parents will be a $75 registration fee.

  • Any student (K-5) who doesn’t meet the criteria and wants to take advantage of the program may do so at the parent’s expense.

  • The expense of the program has yet to be determined but will be shared once a program is selected.

  • Any student who misses three (3) Fridays will be removed from the program.

  • Transportation will not be provided.

  • The program will be evaluated after the first year to determine the rate at which it was utilized.

How is an educational need identified?

  • The results from universal screeners will be used to prioritize student’s academic needs in grades K-2.

  •  The results from STAAR Math and Reading assessments will be used to prioritize student’s academic needs in grades 3-5.

  • Any student(K-5) who failed with a grade below 70 in Reading or Math during the current school year period. 

How will child nutrition be affected?

  • Student lunch times will be later in the day to provide sustenance for a more significant period of the school day. Students can bring healthy snacks from home to consume later in the day.

  • All students will still have access to breakfast and lunch on Fridays.

    • Families will need to pick up meals at a designated location.

    • Students attending Fridays will have access to breakfast and lunch.

  • The “Friday Backpack” Program will be provided for a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for those enrolled in the program.

  • The “Friday Backpack” Program currently serves 85 students.

Will this lower the pay of teachers or other support staff?

Teacher salaries are based on the minutes of instruction provided, as required by Texas law. As teachers will continue to meet the required minutes of instruction during the longer school days and shorter school weeks, salaries will not be reduced.
 

How will Curriculum and Instruction change?

The academic achievement of our students is always at the forefront of any decisions made at Sanger ISD. The transition to a 4-day school week will extend the instructional time in each content area. Due to the increased length of the school day, elementary teachers will provide multiple opportunities within each class for varying instructional delivery. This will allow them to incorporate additional student engagement strategies, such as movement and discourse, within the class period. By providing “brain breaks” and more recess time, students can maintain focus and stamina for maximized student learning. Curriculum and instruction will not be negatively affected since curriculum resources used by the district are designed based on minutes. Sanger ISD will ensure that the TEKS will be covered thoroughly in the 4-day school week.

How will teachers continue to learn and grow?

A 4-day work week can benefit teachers in several ways regarding planning and professional development:

  • Extended Planning Time: With an extra day during the week, teachers have more uninterrupted time to plan their lessons, create teaching materials, grade assignments, and collaborate with colleagues. This can lead to more effective lesson plans and better organization of teaching materials.

  • Professional Development Opportunities: The additional day can be utilized for professional development activities such as attending workshops, conferences, seminars, or engaging in online courses to enhance teaching skills and stay updated on educational trends and best practices. 

  • Flexibility and Creativity: Having an extra day each week can encourage teachers to explore innovative teaching methods, experiment with new instructional techniques, and incorporate more creative and engaging activities into their lessons. This flexibility can lead to a more dynamic and stimulating learning environment for students.

Is the 4-day instructional week being introduced for financial reasons?

No. The 4-day instructional week is revenue-neutral. Again, our goal for implementing a 4-day educational workweek is to create an attractive incentive for recruiting and retaining teachers and staff. 

How will the district know if a 4-day week is successful?

If we move forward with the 4-Day Instructional Week, it would be a 3-year Pilot Program. We will examine the following data to determine its success:

  • Numbers of certified and highly qualified applicants for each open position.

  • Student academic success (STAAR Tests, reading levels, math skills levels).

  • Employee retention rate.

  • Employee attendance rates.

  • Student attendance rates.

  • Student enrollment numbers.

  • Percentage of students participating in extracurricular activities.

  • Parent climate surveys.

  • Student climate surveys.

  • Employee climate surveys.