Beauregard Parish School Board votes in favor of 4-day hybrid week

Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 9:50 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Beauregard Parish School Board has voted to introduce a four-day school week hybrid calendar starting in the 2024-2025 school year.

While the decision has sparked both excitement and concern among parents, educators, and the community, some believe the new calendar could help ease teacher shortages and bring about positive changes in the district.

Thursday, Aug. 10, the BPSB debated a four-day versus five-day school week calendar.

School board member Garrett Greene suggested a compromise, a hybrid calendar that would start the year off with five-day weeks and transition to 4 day weeks.

“A large group of people who wanted us to shift to a four-day school calendar in these three communities, however, we also had some educational leaders and even myself, we had some concerns, we had some misgivings about whether or not it would be wise to move the school district in that direction,” said Greene.

The district has 13 schools total. Merryville and Singer high schools have been on a four-day week schedule for nearly 30 years.

“We were trying to figure out a way to kind of take each community’s concerns and address all of those concerns in a way that that that would work for everyone and work for our district,” said Greene.

The four-day school week hybrid calendar could attract more teachers to the district. Teacher shortages have been a growing concern across the nation, and educators are often attracted to districts with more competitive compensation packages and working conditions.

“Beauregard Parish is just trying to figure out a way that we can attract, retain quality educators, certified quality educators so that our kids can have the best education they can,” said Greene. “These three communities will be doing a hybrid four-day calendar – we’ll be at five days the first few weeks. and then after that, we’ll transition to a four-day.”

Currently, there is only a 12-day difference between the four- and five-day school year calendars.

“One of the beauties of a hybrid calendar is that if we go the first six Fridays, let’s say that, if we go the first six Fridays then all that 12-day difference now has been shrunk to only six in-person days,” said Greene.

The shorter workweek might also provide teachers with more time for professional development and preparation, ultimately improving the quality of instruction.