DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - DeSoto County Schools is shortening the school day Fridays through the rest of the fall semester to give teachers more time to plan for the upcoming week.
The district notified parents of the schedule change by email Thursday.
Beginning Friday, Sept. 25, students will be dismissed two hours and 15 minutes early. Lunches will still be served but some schools may serve grab-and-go meals because of the revised schedule.
The school day begins at the regular time. The district says the 70-percent day still meets the Mississippi Department of Education’s instructional requirements for a regular school day.
“We know right now that our teachers are overwhelmed because they are trying to do the best job that they possibly can by teaching the students that are in front of them and also students who teaching virtually and so we figured talk about quality over quantity,” said Superintendent Cory Uselton.
DCS says the schedule change only applies to instructional minutes for in-person students.
The 70-percent Fridays remain in place at least through Dec. 18.
Deana Sides' son is learning in-person at DeSoto Central High School.
She says the schedule change will be much better for her family and says if it helps teachers she supports it.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing for teachers, I think teachers are going to be extremely grateful for the change changes being made and I think it… I believe it’s a positive thing,” said Sides.
However, Sides understands some parents may find the change challenging.
“I understand that it’s going to be different for the younger kids, I have a high schooler, but it’s going to be different for you know the younger kids that depend on a baby sitter,” said Sides.
“Mississippi State Department of Education requires 240 minutes of instruction every day and so each school will have 240 minutes of instruction each day, we were actually exceeding the requirements in a normal school day,” said Uselton.
Uselton noted many teachers were asking for a change like this. When asked if the district consulted with parents before making the change he said he was not aware if they did.