The Shift to 4-Day School Weeks Within Conroe Independent School District

The Shift to 4-Day School Weeks Within Conroe Independent School District

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Senator Schillinger started this petition to Conroe Independent School District Dr. Curtis Null and

Stop. Before you read further, this petition isn’t about working less or being lazy. It’s about taking an inefficient and flawed system and fixing it; to make it more efficient and achieve its intended purpose. Don’t immediately dismiss this petition or scold my fellow petitioners based on your ignorant conclusion that we all just want to work less, because 4-day school weeks lead to students working more than they would with 5-day school weeks; except students will be more mentally healthy and more productive. How? Keep reading.

Why should we have 4-Day school weeks?

The first thing you see when you open Conroe Independent School District’s webpage is a claim made by the district itself, stating that “ConroeISD is a community of individuals working together to achieve what is best for students.”. Two very important terms of this statement are “community of individuals working together” and “best for students”. I am calling upon the Conroe Independent School District to change and to live up to its own words, working together with the very students which it claims to want the best for. 


While there are many issues present within the Conroe Independent School District, one change that could benefit everyone is the shift from a school week consisting of 5 days to a school week consisting of 4 days. You might be asking, “How would we implement this change? How is this change beneficial?”. Both of these presented questions are easy to answer. 


According to Texas State law, school districts must provide 75,600 minutes of operational time per year. This traditionally translates to 180 420-minute school days, or 36 school weeks. However, according to the Texas Education Agency, or TEA, HB 2442 repealed the 7-hour, or 420-minute, school day. This means that school districts are allowed to alter the length of a school day, as long as they reach the required 75,600 operational minutes. The standard CISD school day consists of 435 minutes. If we remove one day from each school week and, instead, divide the 435 minutes of the removed day between the 4 remaining school days of each school week, we get 544-minute school days. When we shift to using a 544-minute day, we increase minutes spent in instructional and athletic periods weekly, while reducing minutes spent in passing period weekly and minutes spent at lunch weekly. Why? When we take the 435 minutes of the removed day from the school week, we also account of the time spent going between classes and spent at lunch. That time is then used purely for academic and athletic periods, meaning that students receive more time to learn and work. This can be implemented by adding an additional 29 minutes to each period. The additional time added to each instructional or athletic period allows for teachers to go more in-depth on subjects, while also allowing for students to have more time to digest and process information. The additional time can also be spent on “homework”, or assignments given to be completed in or out of class, which means students will be less stressed, prepared for the next day, and, for once, actually receive a full night of sleep.


Many other benefits will result from this change, and they don’t only extend to students, but parents and teachers alike:


Transportation and finance: 

While 5-day school week requires the use of transportation to/from school 10 times a week, the 4-day week would only require transportation to/from school 8 times a week. This means all students, parents, and teachers spend less money on transportation; while the school district spends less money on gasoline for bus transportation. Furthermore, this would lead to a reduction of greenhouse gases emitted by Conroe Independent School District.


Occupations/Jobs: 

While parents and CISD staff have jobs, students deserve the ability to experience a full-work day, too, in order to be prepared for the real world. With students having a day of the business week off from school, they can choose to use it to work a job. This means they can experience a full work day, giving them the experience, skills, and money needed for their futures. 


Religion: 

While the 5-day school week works for non-religious people, it impedes the religious beliefs of some people. For example, Christians are expected to observe Sabbath. For those who wish to observe Sabbath on a Sunday, it is impossible, for then they won’t be ready for school the next day. Therefore, when we remove Monday from the school week, we allow for students to have more religious freedom.


Mental health of students: 

CISD has tried to improve mental health and lessen stress and anxiety for its students through scarce presentations and small positive announcements. It is in these very presentations where students are neglected, not helped, and misinformed with statements such as “seratonin is the cure to anxiety and stress”. While such acts are made in good manner, they are not only incorrect and may inspire the use of SSRIs or other drugs in students that misinterpret the presentations. Instead of misinforming students and potentially leading to drug abuse, the shift to a 4-day school week would be an effective, efficient, and non-lawsuit-inspiring way to solve mental health problems among students; reducing apathy, anxiety, and stress among students (and parents/teachers who have to deal with said students).


Athletics: 

Students in athletics deserve a time to stretch and condition themselves to provide a safe and productive experience. The 29 additional minutes per school day would allow for such a time. Furthermore, by having a day off, all athletic students would receive more time for their bodies to heal from extensive exercise; and students with private physical education could use their extra day to ensure they are meeting their required hours. 


The subsequent creation of a habitual and more efficient schedule:

While having an alternating day schedule works, it is more beneficial to adapt to using a weekly schedule. Students would be able to plan and work better when they know, for example, that their English class is every Tuesday and Thursday and their Algebra class is every Wednesday and Friday. This would create a scheduling system easier to follow and more beneficial to all students; which would result in a more effective system and allow students to be more organized.


While there are many, many more benefits to the implementation of a 4-day school week, rather than a 5-day school week, within the Conroe Independent School District, I don’t have much time to do things that aren’t school related, such as revise this article before publishing it. So, enjoy the probable grammatical fallacies and incoherent ramblings of a junior at The Woodlands High School who wrote this using the hyperfocus of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Hopefully I can edit and revise this soon, because I didn’t even add a conclusion. :)

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!