MINERAL WELLS -- School trustees in Mineral Wells this week approved a four-day school week that will start in August, Superintendent John Kuhn reported.
"There was a long discussion," he said of the special called meeting debate, much of which concerned the need of some parents to find care for younger children on Fridays.
"We'll be looking at offering an optional Friday remediation program for some grades — younger ones," Kuhn said.
The new calendar had not been posted to the district's website by Wednesday afternoon but was expected to go up soon. The address is www.mwisd.net and the calendar will be under the "Parents and Students" drop-down menu at the top of the main page.
The school year will begin on Aug. 8 and end on May 25, 2023.
"The last day of school is unchanged," Kuhn said. "And graduation is unchanged."
Kuhn said the switch to Monday through Thursday classes will mean elementary students start less than 10 minutes earlier each day and end 25 minutes later.
The junior high day will last 10 minutes longer, and the high school day will have 15 minutes tagged on. First bells will not change at both of those campuses.
Trustees began consideration of the shorter school week at their May 9 regular meeting. Kuhn said public input has been collected since then.
"Polling indicates the majority of our parents, students, staff and community are in favor of the change," he said, outlining potential benefits: "We will save money on bus fuel, we will save money on electricity," he said. "We will save money on substitute expenses. It's going to benefit kids in a lot of ways, too."
Kuhn said standardized test scores and other indicators of student performance will be "very closely monitored" throughout the coming fall semester.
"We're going to look at it in December," he added. "What we believe we'll see is a reduction in discipline (referrals) and an improvement in the attendance rate."
Other local districts either test-driving the shorter week next fall or entering a second school year with it include Graford, Perrin-Whitt, Gordon and Woodson.