CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Kingsville Independent School District is expecting to lay out its 4-day school week plans.
The plan will leave more room for teachers to complete administrative work and more extracurricular activities for students without missing classroom instruction.
Educators and lawmakers across South Texas attended the third annual Kingsville 'State of the District Luncheon' on Thursday. They discussed the latest in education, including Kingsville ISD's 4-day school week, which attracted the attention of those as far away as Japan.
"Japan is actually in the same situation we're in. They're in a teacher shortage and they're trying to figure out ways to retain and recruit teachers," said Kingsville ISD Superintendent Cissy Reynolds-Perez.
Perez said that she hopes the new school week, that begins July 31, will help reignite student's passion for learning.
"Bring back the joy of learning. Where students can do these fun activities, and learn like whether it's crocheting or chess or welding, or whatever they want to learn. Something new. It's not going to be for a grade, it's going to be to learn it on Fridays," she said.
Perez said the new schedule will allow students to go on college visits without missing instructional time. It will also give teachers the time to take care of administrative work.
"From Mondays through Thursdays it's going to be about 35-40 minutes longer than normal. We're adding 15 minutes in the morning, and about 20 minutes in the afternoon," she said.
The new schedule will also alter time for high school classes. Instead of 45 minutes, they will be 56 minutes.
"I always say, teamwork works, and that's what it's going to take to make sure we take education to the next level," she said.
Perez said that in order for their district to get to the next level, having more teachers will be essential. With instructors being denied pay increases, the task proves to be increasingly difficult.
Texas Representative J.M. Lozano represents Texas House District 43, which encompasses several Coastal Bend areas such as Jim Wells, Bee, Kleberg and San Patricio Counties. He said that a lot has to be done to address teacher shortages in the area.
"We have to do everything at the state level to have teachers see that teaching is a desirable profession again," he said.
Lozano said that House Bill 100 died due to an amendment attached to the bill.
"I've specifically asked the governor to add increasing teacher pay to the special session. In doing so, no amendment would not be able to be attached to it," he said.
Lozano said teacher pay raises won't be discussed in the current special session. There will be two or three more special sessions. He's hoping in July or August, representatives like himself will be in Austin to discuss teacher pay raises again.
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