FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Could a four-day school week be on the way?
It’s a proposal one Pee Dee superintendent is asking district officials to consider in an effort to help retain teachers.
According to the plan proposed by Florence School District Three Superintendent Laura Hickson, classes would be Monday through Thursday, with school days extended 1.5 hours per day.
Students will not report on Fridays if they are passing and meeting standards.
Additionally, the plan calls for the first and third Fridays of the month to be used for academic assistance and student tutoring. Plus, all FSD3 schools with 21st century grants will see students attend on these same Fridays.
According to Hickson’s proposal, four-day school weeks continue to gain a best practice among districts across states. The benefits listed were improved student and teacher attendance, increased teacher retention, and a positive recruiting tool.
WMBF News spoke with several parents about the idea. Some people are all for the shorter week, but others are concerned it may put more strain on parents’ work schedules.
“I think every incentive the teachers can have, I believe that they need to have that," Lake City resident Tommy Shaw said. "I think that they are very much underpaid.”
“How is it going to impact everybody? What may be good for my family, may not be good for four, five other families,” Tracy Shamrock said.
Shamrock, a mother of two, said she’s against the idea.
“Personally, I wouldn’t like it just because of my work schedule and home life," she said.
On our WMBF News Facebook page hundreds of people weighed in.
Some like Shamrock are concerned about childcare. While others, like mother Carissa Floyd, support the possible plan.
“For the older kids I think it would be a great idea because they’re so worn out by Friday. I think an extra day off would be good for them," Floyd said.
There are currently 43 teacher vacancies across the FSD3, according to district statistics.
School District officials stress there are no plans to implement a 4-day week for the next school year. If they decide to move forward with the idea, the next step would be to hold public hearings for feedback.