Avoyelles Parish Schools begin new year with four-day weeks

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MARKSVILLE, La. (KALB) - Avoyelles Parish students and teachers enjoyed the first day of their four-day week on Tuesday.

Photo Source: KALB

The new schedule means shorter weeks, but longer days. However, most students and teachers don't seem to mind.

"Not having to come here yesterday is kind of weird," said Marksville Elementary fourth-grader Kyan Carmouche. "But, we get more time to play outside and stuff."

"It's really nice," said Marksville High senior Hannah Broussard. "Definitely a relief."

School buses arrived around 7 a.m. like normal, but the afternoon is a bit different. The new four-day week schedule adds an extra hour to each school day, with dismissal now at 4 p.m.

"I think it is going to be really good," said Marksville Elementary teacher Judy Rivers said. "The kids are very resilient and they are going to adapt, and so are we."

Teachers said it frees up more planning time and even family time.

"It will help out with things like doctors appointments, for teachers who have families," said Marksville Elementary teacher Cicely Jacob.

It's also a good recruitment tool. This year the entire district is fully staffed.

"As a parish, we have no vacancies," said Marksville High teacher Jonathan Landry. "So, I think mission accomplished on that part. We have to compete having such a low salary floor in the state."

Superintendent Blaine Dauzat said his biggest goal this year is to make sure four-day weeks work for the parish.

"We've made a lot of progress the last few years, and I think we don't want to give that back because we are switching to a four-day week," said Avoyelles Parish Superintendent Blaine Dauzat. "So, our goal is to continue making progress while we are switching to our instruction to a longer day, a shorter week."

Dauzat also said he's keeping an eye on the budget. The new Red River Charter Academy opens later this month.

"We are worried we have to survive financially," Superintendent Dauzat said. "It is well documented a new school opening in our parish. We'll just have to see what our enrollment numbers look like. There is a possibility some drastic measures are going to have to be taken."

Most importantly, the new schedule gives teachers more time to dive deeper into subjects during instruction.

"I am really excited just to see them grow," Jacob said. "Not only teach them a new curriculum but also just watching that whole child grow and become a productive human being."

Avoyelles joins many other parishes across the state with four-day weeks, including Caldwell and Acadia.

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