School Rhythm: Resisting a 4.5-day week at Turn-at-Garon

Although 92% of French schools go back to a 4-day week, in Tarn-et-Garonne, it is a 4.5-day rhythm that is widely acclaimed. But for how long?

Is Tarn-et-Garonne the last region of the immutable Gauls who refuse to change the academic rhythm of their school? If 91.9% of schools on a national scale return to a week centered on 4 school days, it is the complete opposite in the department. As of September 1, 2021, only 38 of the 210 schools have decided not to operate at Turn-at-Garon on Wednesday morning. “85.13% of school children in the department spread their school rhythm in 4.5 days. The last municipalities to be expanded in 4 days are: Molières, Grisolles and Lauzerte, List Pierre Roques, Academic Director of the National Education Service. The other two municipalities have submitted a file to do the same. When there is a consensus between the school council and the municipality, I do not oppose this change in school rhythm. “In the next school year, it is Casade (four schools) and St. Nicholas-de-la-Grave (two schools) that will close their classes on Wednesday morning.

In elementary school, the week is organized in principle for nine half-days from 2013 to Monday to Friday. But since 2017, adaptation has been possible. In Tarn-et-Garonne, it was Larrazet who paved the way for an insult received in 1999 with a school that was run for 18 years at a four-day rate by testing catch-ups on school days during the holidays. Former mayor Ghisline Dangus recalls, “For more than four days, there was a clear consensus among parents, teachers and town hall students for this rhythm. While arguing for our choice, we mentioned that our schoolchildren are not dependent on a public transport agency and that families have no problem caring for children on Wednesday morning. We have never regretted this choice. A

Stability in Grand Montauban

In the Grand-Montauban collective community, we continue to work in elementary school on Wednesday mornings, and we fully appreciate this choice: Setting up is complicated. We had to review the organization of schools, find stakeholders in sports or culture, remember the mayor of Montauban, Brigitte Barrez. “A decision that applies to all municipalities in the urban area that are covered by the school bus service.

The state pays municipalities 4.5 days a week, an annual unit of 50 euros per student. But in the coming years it seems inevitable to come back from one week to 4 days, teachers are mostly in favor of it.

32 municipalities have passed 4 days

In 2017: Beaumont-de-Lomagne, Garganvilar and Larraget.
In 2018: Cazes-Mondenard, Escazeaux, La-Ville-Dieu-du-Temple, Lavit-de-Lomagne, Marsac, Monteils, Montpezat-de-Quercy, Pompignan, Inter-Municipal Educational Group (RPI) Faudoas-Le Causé, RPI Gensac -Esparsac, RPI Roquecor-Saint Amans du Pech-Valeilles, Saint-Porquier, Sérignac.
In 2019: Castelferrus, Caylus, Laguépie, Lizac, Varen, Valence-d’Agen.
In 2020: Perisot, RPI Castelsagrat-Montzoi.
In 2021: Molières, Grisolles, Lauzerte.

“Respect the best interests of the child”

Beatrice Maleville, divisional and regional president of the Federation of Parents Council, opposes the conversion in a 4-day week.

Béatriz Malleville, President of FCPE 82.
DDM – DDM – Chantal Longo

Why are you attached to maintain this school rhythm 4.5 days per week?

Just for a question on pediatric chronobiology. Many studies show that learning in the morning is good. Concentrating four days a week other than Wednesday morning does not respect the best interests of the child.

Doesn’t work on Wednesday mornings allow children to rest?

No, that’s a mistake. Not all families have the opportunity to take care of their children on Wednesday morning. Some live alone and spend the morning in front of the television, others get up just as early to go to the leisure center. With this break in the rhythm in the middle of the week, they often return to class more tired on Thursday mornings.

How do you explain that the 4.5-day week in Tarn-et-Garonne is basically held?

I think the National Education Inspectors had a desire to get on well with the school council and explain the benefits to the child. I also think that the school transport network in our department is quite complex and it is easy not to touch.

Following the national trend, all schools in the department will be back in 4 days soon …

I do not wish it. Originally, Jules-Ferry set up Wednesday morning for religious instruction. It is no longer fair today. France has 144 school days per year while OECD countries average 187 days. We must stop shortening the teaching time within 4 days, which is a detrimental step for our students and learning.

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