Harlandale ISD considers plan to retain teachers, support their mental health

SAN ANTONIO – Harlandale ISD emailed parents and teachers a survey this week, asking families if they would consider a three-day weekend for teachers and extending the school days by a few minutes.

Samantha Santos, a first-grade teacher for Harlandale ISD, loves her job. “I love being there for these kids,” she said.

But after five years of teaching, Santos has learned it can be hard to balance work and home life with her schedule.

“I don’t always have time to plan as effectively as I want and to take care of myself,” she said.

Santos said she supports the possibility of changing the school calendar to four-day weeks.

Harlandale ISD emailed parents and teachers a survey asking them if they’d support the three-day weekend for teachers to give them time to de-stress and reset.

The consideration is based on a survey by the Charles Butt Foundation that found teachers said mental stress was forcing them to leave their profession.

Districts are limited in being able to raise teacher pay, and this change might make it easier for educators who feel overworked.

Harlandale ISD has about 12,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The district hopes everyone will participate in the survey to decide next year’s calendar.

The district spokesperson says they are in the early stages of the proposition, and there will be many board meetings and votes before a final decision is made.

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