(KXAN) — “Thank God it’s Friday” has some extra meaning for students and staff at Harmony Public Schools in Central Texas.
While some Texas school districts have switched to a four-day-week, and most still have a traditional five-day-week, the charter school district is meeting the two in the middle, with early release on Fridays.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Amy Chankin said the request for a change came from staff looking for more flexibility in their lives.
“They really wanted the autonomy and the flexibility to be able to invest in themselves and their families at home,” Chankin said. “Therefore, we moved our early-release Fridays.”
Prior to this year, the district let out early on Wednesdays. Chankin said at times that proved to be disruptive for some families unable to leave work early or without the flexibility to pick up their kids in the middle of the day.
The new schedule is receiving better reviews with most families having a little more wiggle room at the end of the week.
“They’re able to start their vacations early, they’re able to pick up their kids and start some traditions with their families,” Chankin said.
In return for an early release around 1 p.m. on Friday, the schools extend their week Monday through Thursday by a few minutes each day.
Texas Charter schools are required to offer 75,600 minutes of instruction each school year in order to receive full funding from the state, according to the Texas Education Agency.
It’s a change Chankin said most students and parents aren’t even noticing.
She said it’s also helped with recruiting, as many teachers are bragging about their new schedules to others.
“It’s been great for our teachers to go and promote this outside and let other teacher friends know the quality that we have here at Harmony,” she said.