The concept of the 4-day school week is in play around the country. Some school districts have made the change while some are in trial runs. It sounds like a great idea. But is it?
25% of US School Districts have in some way have switched to a shorter ‘work‘ week. This could be a no brainer method to save money on building utilities, transportation costs and more. As the saying goes, all clouds have a silver lining. But does this silver lining have a cloud?
Let’s start with the Pros
- Shorter week means more rest for students and staff
- More restful students, teachers, and other staff means less stress = more productivity
- Less need for transportation (less expense)
- Decreases food costs
- More time for students to study
- The 5th day can be an option for teachers to take a class or schedule parent/teacher conferences
Let’s talk about the Cons
- A shorter school week may mean additional daycare/babysitter costs for parents
- 4 days a week really means longer days
- Most parents work five days a week, 8 to 9 hours a day so this may not be a convenience
- Holiday time off shifts a bit which can be a challenge for families
Who really benefits?
Rural and smaller districts benefit from this more than others. In Colorado, several smaller districts have continued with the 4-day school week while the larger ones went back to the regular 5-day week. There are challenges to this schedule and each district has its own issues so the decision really should be made locally. The cost savings have proven so far, to be minimal. Some school districts have gone to a full year of academics. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out and shapes our future generations.