ROCKDALE, Texas (KXAN) — Students within the Rockdale Independent School District will come back to campus on Tuesday morning.

This year though, the kids will be getting longer weekends, as the district decided to switch over to a four-day school week.

Rockdale ISD — located about 60 miles northeast of Austin — is the newest district in our area to transition to a four-day school week.

Students will attend classes Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, teachers will be able to plan future lessons while working on professional development.

Superintendent Denise Monzingo says it’s something new that will bring about a better educational experience while addressing staffing issues.

“If we can’t train our teachers to be better, then we’re going to have five mediocre days of learning,” she said.

“If we can spend that time on Friday training, then Monday through Thursday are going to be more intensive learning and better learning. We’ll be stronger, pushing those kids higher.”

Today, Rockdale ISD is starting school a week earlier than last year. This decision was made to make up for the time that may be lost during the new four-day school week.

Monzingo also mentioned that the new schedule has helped her district recruit.

As of Tuesday morning, the district only had one teacher vacancy, a vast improvement from a year ago, when Rockdale ISD had 13 uncredentialed teachers on its staff.

“The teachers we’ve gotten in our openings have been experienced this time,” Monzingo said. “People that want to try out this new schedule. So, it’s been a real plus for us in those terms.”

To address parents’ concerns about childcare, the district is offering an alternative after-school program until noon on Fridays.

Parents must apply for this program. To learn more, you can visit Rockdale ISD’s website.

KXAN also reached out to the Texas State Teachers Association.

The teacher’s union says there are around 40 different districts statewide transitioning to a four-day school schedule this year.