Kids in an Ohio school district will only attend classes four days a week, letting them learn from home on Mondays to prevent their teachers from “burning out.”
Board members of the North College Hill City School District in Cincinnati voted unanimously to adopt the “blended learning” model that they said has been shown to work during the pandemic.
Teachers will still be expected to work on Mondays, but they can use the time to plan their week and complete other administrative tasks.
Schools in the district, which refers to itself as ‘trauma sensitive’, are working to provide limited childcare support for younger students and food packages for those who depend on them.
Superintendent Eugene Blalock, who often posts ‘super’ training videos online for his students and preaches the importance of ’emotional learning’, said the move would help recruit and retain stressed staff.
Superintendent Eugene Blalock frequently posts ‘super’ training videos for his students online. He says the move to a four-day week will help hire and retain more staff.
“I think this could be a model that could save the profession of education,” he said. wcpo 9 Cincinnati.
“Teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate and the idea of being able to spend some time, quality time, time spent just collaborating, some planning is something that intrigues teachers and actually has excited and come back to turn on my masters.’
She added that she hoped it would give older students time to pursue internships and opportunities at local businesses outside of school.
The district is said to be the first in Ohio to implement a blended learning model.
It will start from August 15 and will mean that the children will only attend school from Tuesday to Friday.
On Mondays, students will have to complete school work, though the district says it will be self-directed and will not require parental help.
Third grade teacher Raven Jackson welcomed the initiative.
“We are all exhausted, like even the children are exhausted,” he told 9 Cincinnati.
‘I think this Monday will help with that. Having doctor appointments, not having to use our sick time to take those days off.
“At least we know that on Mondays we wouldn’t have to worry about having a substitute, dividing up our classrooms, putting that extra work on our teammates.”
It comes amid a nationwide teacher crisis that has seen educators leave the profession en masse during the pandemic.
Data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that public education in the US lost about seven percent of its total teaching staff between 2019 and 2020.
The North College Hill City School District serves approximately 1,400 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. There are 150 teachers employed in the district.
Blalock has served as the district’s superintendent since 2016 and prior to that was principal of a school there.
Superintendent Eugene Blalock said a return to a four-day week could “save the profession of education.”
The board voted ‘unanimously’ to implement the four-day week. Pictured: Deputy Superintendent Michelle Garton, left, and Director of Public Personnel Courtney Collins, right
The district serves 1,400 students and 150 teachers. Pictured: North College Hill High School
He posts frequently to his Twitter page, often uploading videos to his ‘Super Workout with the Superintendent’ series.
In November, he shared a post that read: “We don’t need more hours in school, we need to do school differently within those hours.”
In more recent posts, he referred to North College as a “trauma sensitive school district.”
A ‘trauma sensitive’ school means that staff can recognize how adverse early childhood experiences affect a child’s well-being.
On the district’s website, Blalock says his mission is to focus on “the social and emotional needs of our students.”
His ‘executive cabinet’ consists of Assistant Superintendent Michelle Garton and Director of Student Personnel Courtney Collins.
Blalock said the move to a four-day week was not financially motivated and was instead focused on staff retention.
“It wasn’t about saving money, it was more about saving teachers and saving the profession and doing something different to help students,” he told the Cincinnati researcher.
A teacher survey revealed that teachers in the district longed for a better work-life balance.
“Time trumped money,” Blalock said.