According to the National Conference of State Legislature, 21 states in America contain school districts implementing a four-day week as a part of their program. Students at these particular schools attend only four days of school and have either a Monday or a Friday off for a relaxing three-day weekend. Douglas County School District has yet to follow this trend.
Four-day school weeks have the potential to boost student morale and increase participation, collaboration, and focus. The three-day weekend gives students time to complete their homework without feeling pressure, maintain a healthy social life that sets aside time for family, and could increase involvement in extracurricular activities or encourage a more active lifestyle. An article from the Global Post, says that surveys done by the Colorado Department of Education reveal a decrease in the amount of High School dropouts in many school districts with a four-day week schedule as well as an improvement in student morale.
Also, a three-day weekend would provide a new option to schedule appointments and other necessary events, therefore diminishing time students are pulled from class.
The central issue that gives purpose to a four-day week is cutting expenses. Cutting the costs of transportation, heating/air conditioning, food costs, and custodial pay; any charge can be decreased simply by shortening the school week by one day. According to U.S. News and World Report, the director of Garfield School District in Colorado said the school saved about $480,000 after switching to a four day week schedule.
This system can benefit teachers as well. The teachers don’t have to stress over another day of lecturing and instead can prepare for the next class, or grade work on the additional third day off.
From an administrative perspective, the idea of a four-day school week may seem a bit crazy. There is the argument that progression of students could transform into regression with such long weekends. Of course there are rules on the amount of time a student must spend inside the classroom that need to be met within a year.
However, with the transformation to a shorter week, the solution is simple. Although a painful one for students, lengthening the school day would makeup for loss class time as a result of a four-day week. Alexis Seal, a high school student at Grand Valley High School in Colorado attends school from 7:40 AM until 3:55 PM; however, she enjoys every Monday off and a three-day weekend.
Don’t fret; many of the schools that are implementing four-day weeks still have the same amount of breaks and all the holidays off as five-day schools, so why not make the change? After analyzing multiple benefits and refuting the negatives, implementing a four-day school week would be beneficial to Douglas County School District. Just like Seal at Grand Valley High School, the students and staff of Douglas County will find the transformation positive.
Many schools across the country decided to give four-day school weeks a chance. The benefits are endless and can be connected to all positions-teachers, students, the principal. Make the change.
Emma Atchison, Guest Reporter