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Llano ISD could adopt hybrid 4-day and 5-day calendar

Llano Junior High

Llano Independent School District campuses, including the junior high, could switch to a combination of four- and five-day weeks. The Board of Trustees will vote on the change during its regular meeting on Feb. 27. Photo by Stennis Shotts

The Llano Independent School District could switch to a combination of four- and five-day school weeks. The Board of Trustees will vote on the potential change during its regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 27. It starts at 5:30 p.m. in the LISD Community Building, 1400 Oatman St. in Llano.

If approved, the new schedule would include several four-day weeks, reducing the overall number of school days to 161 from 171. However, the school day would be extended by 30 minutes to maintain state-mandated minutes of instruction, which is 75,600 minutes per year. Schools would start 15 minutes earlier and end 15 minutes later than they do now.

Monday’s meeting is open to the public. Anyone wishing to speak on the issue during the public comment portion may register before the meeting begins. 

The LISD board posted surveys on the change on its Facebook page on Feb. 1 to gather input from parents and guardians on how the new calendar would impact families. 

About 40 out of the 1,026 school districts in Texas have moved to alternative calendars that include four-day weeks. The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District board voted against transitioning to an alternative school calendar during its regular meeting on Feb. 20.  

A study on four-day school weeks conducted by the Rand Corp. in 2021 found no meaningful correlation between shorter school weeks and saving money, retaining teachers, or reducing student absences. However, the study did note that four-day school weeks seemed to improve school satisfaction among students, families, and teachers.

“Families and students reported highly valuing the extra time that the (four-day school week) allowed them to spend together, and the data showed that, overall, stakeholders experienced high levels of satisfaction with the (four-day week),” reads an excerpt from the study.

According to a Llano ISD report, the district has experienced a 20 percent teaching staff turnover rate since February 2022. The report also shows that on Fridays in the fall of 2022, student attendance was at 90.49 percent and staff attendance was at 90.8 percent. 

The LISD survey asks about one of the main concerns parents would have with a four-day school week: child care.

“As a parent of an LISD student, will removing 10 student instructional days from the school calendar cause you to need outside child care?” reads one of the questions.

No representative of Llano ISD was available for comment at the time of this article’s publication.