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Marfa ISD Interim Superintendent talks new four-day schedule

The new schedule was rolled out for the first day of school for the 2023-24 school year.

MARFA, Texas — The first day of school has come and gone for Marfa ISD, and with it comes the implementation of a new schedule.

Marfa ISD is one of the first school districts across Texas to implement a four-day schedule across the 2023-2024 school year.

The new schedule was discussed by the previous administration and is in it’s first year. Teachers across Marfa ISD pushed hard for the new schedule, claiming that it would have positive benefits for both students and staff members.

“So we have planned four day weeks throughout the months. There will be two Fridays where we are actually not going to be in school,” Arturo Alferez, the interim superintendent at Marfa ISD, said. “The other two Fridays we’re going to be using them for remediation, for RTI (response to intervention) and for any student tutorials. At the same time we are also using them for any professional development.”

Before he was interim superintendent, Alferez was a teacher for Marfa ISD and was one of several who pushed hard for the new schedule.

With students going to school four days a week, Alferez believes that families will now have the time to take their kids on longer drives to see a doctor or dentist instead of needing to pull them from a day of school.

He also claims that the mental health benefits that come from this, will satisfy everyone involved.

“It also gives us a time to breathe and reflect. It gives us a time to sometimes take up the opportunity to take up a three day weekend,” Alferez said. “At the same time, it’s just bringing in those mental health programs into our school as well.”

For now, the school year isn’t set to change.

Instead, the days will be made slightly longer at 35 to 40 minutes a day. The school year is expected to end at the same time as other schools.

Since the four-day schedule is in its first year, it is expected to have some kinks that need to be worked out.

“I’m a person that’s all about feedback. I want people to tell me what works and what’s not working,” Alferez said. “So we are collecting that data so that next year so when we come back, come around and we need to create a new school calendar, we know what areas worked within our four day week and what areas didn’t work and how we can address and change that.”

Still, Marfa ISD is hopeful that this type of schedule is successful enough to catch on with the rest of Texas for the benefit of students, staff and families.

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