Leadership Prep School, a public charter school in Frisco, is cutting its week short.
Officials with the charter school voted to implement a shorter four-day week starting with the 2023-24 school year. LPS board members approved the calendar Feb. 9. LPS will continue the four-day week measure for three years following its initial application.
To fit the curriculum into fewer days, LPS officials are adjusting each school day to be longer. LPS elementary campuses will have a schedule from 7:40 a.m.-4 p.m. The secondary school schedule will be from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The new instructional week is Monday-Thursday, and the weekend is from Friday-Sunday.
LPS held an informational meeting for parents about the four-day instructional week Feb. 6. Members of LPS administration also held a webinar to explain the reasoning, benefits and challenges that come with a four-day week Jan. 31.
LPS leaders cut the school year schedule down to 147 school days. On average, schools hold 180 instructional days annually, according to the Texas Education Agency.
Research from RAND Corporation, which LPS cited as a reference in making this change, suggests four-day weeks have very little impact on test scores, as long as students have sufficient overall time in school.
In the 2023-24 school year, there will be five Fridays when the students will have to attend school as part of the regular calendar to make up for holidays on Mondays. LPS’ in-school Fridays will be Sept. 8, Oct. 13, Dec. 1, Jan. 12 and Jan. 19.
Even with the calendar change, holidays marked on the school’s adopted calendar will be unchanged for both staff and for students, LPS Superintendent Stacy Alton said.
Approximately 40 Texas school districts operate on a four-day week, with several more approving the measure for next school year, according to LPS’ "Frequently Asked Questions" document. The FAQ also highlights the advantages of a shorter school week, which include improved mental health among students and faculty. The four-day school will help with teacher recruitment and retention, Alton said.
“Longevity of teachers is a measure of performance for students as well,” Alton said. “It's exciting that we will attract quality staff for our open positions and then be able to keep our staff for longer periods of time. Having better balance in their lives will, in turn, provide better academics to our students.”