4 Day School Week; Discuss.

Tags: ,

I've Heard Worse Ideas.As if I didn’t have enough troubles rattling inside my head, I have been presented with a new one; the idea of a shortened school week.

Feel free to talk about this amongst yourselves.

If you have a solution, please post it immediately. As you are probably aware, I need all of the help that I can get.

The problem is as transportation costs continue to rise, should school districts consider going to a four day school week?

Or should I just sit quietly in my office and wait for gas to drop back down to a $1.50? All right, probably not an option.

But that is okay because my schedule is pretty full already as I sit around my office waiting to win the lottery.

By the way, I look forward to the day 25 years from now when I can tell my daughter (most likely still living at home) that I remember when gas was “only $4.00 a gallon”. Sad but true.

School districts are going to have to begin looking at alternatives to keep their finances under control. It is getting harder and harder to stay ahead of the rising costs in gas, electricity, heat, and air conditioning.

Is one possible solution having students attend school Monday through Thursday for 9 hours a day?

The larger question is can I handle students for 9 hours a day?

I must admit the sound of a 3 day weekend does sound good, but would there be actual benefits to our students?

What are the chances that a shorter week would help improve student attendance? Or better yet, improve teacher attendance? Certainly the transportation costs would go down if a district ran the busses one day less each week.

Are there other benefits to this type of schedule? Such as more time for teachers to work with students in the classroom? The opportunity for families to make doctor appointments on Fridays so that students won’t miss class time would be a benefit.

Three day weekends would also give the older students time to work at a part-time job (and make money for gas… thus completing the
cycle). When will kids realize they wouldn’t have to work all of the time if they didn’t own a brand new car?

Or is a 4 day school week a bad thing?

While there has been some talk about more businesses going to a shorter week; most still keep what are considered the “normal” hours of a 5 or 6 day work week.

Would a shortened school week upset parents? Could they afford the extra daycare for younger children?

Is it possible that teachers would feel rushed by the shorter week? And how would they react to the shorter evenings to grade papers, make lesson plans, and prepare for the next day?

Students who miss a couple of days because of illness could be greatly affected as falling behind in their studies would happen rapidly.

Can you imagine the makeup work?

As you can see, I am torn and slightly confused. Like most things in life the 4 day school week has both advantages and disadvantages.

Lucky for me, education doesn’t make changes quickly, so I have time to form a well developed opinion.

My hope is that there is someone out there (possibly an educational genius) in internet land that can provide me wisdom and guidance.

Please put me on the right path in regards to the concept of the 4 day school week, because as of right now, I can only focus on the idea that “every weekend is a 3 day weekend”. That idea is way cool.

Tags: ,

7 Responses to “4 Day School Week; Discuss.”


  1. Dave
    on Jul 18th, 2008
    @ 6:30 am

    used to teach in a four-day week system for three years. A number of schools in our division are on a four-day system. A decision will be made this year whether all schools will be on a four or five day system, or will stick with a combination. I do not know if I am an expert, but I have experience with this system.

    Email or Skype @bircherd. We can talk more. Waaaaay too much to type.


  2. Tim
    on Jul 18th, 2008
    @ 6:05 pm

    Though I am not completely familiar with the ins and outs of the 4 day week a neighboring district has been doing this for several years. Might give them a call.

    http://www.centrallinn.k12.or.us/

    Cheers-


  3. Andrew
    on Jul 23rd, 2008
    @ 4:14 am

    –The problem is as transportation costs continue to rise, should school districts consider going to a four day school week?

    Districts need to demand more money from local/state/federal government.

    –Is one possible solution having students attend school Monday through Thursday for 9 hours a day?
    The larger question is can I handle students for 9 hours a day?

    That is a possible solution. And, yes, 9 hours on the job is a looong time but it’s been done in other schools.

    –I must admit the sound of a 3 day weekend does sound good, but would there be actual benefits to our students?

    Saturday cartoons on Friday. Seriously though – I would have some ‘real’ homework (research, presentation, volunteering, etc) and projects to accomplish on the weekends.

    –What are the chances that a shorter week would help improve student attendance? Or better yet, improve teacher attendance? Certainly the transportation costs would go down if a district ran the busses one day less each week.

    Maybe so. But school climate and community support for change would be essential here. You need stakeholder support to make this work.

    –Are there other benefits to this type of schedule? Such as more time for teachers to work with students in the classroom?

    Block scheduling probably. Face-to-face meetings 4 days/week seems to lend itself to larger projects and outcomes-based education.

    –When will kids realize they wouldn’t have to work all of the time if they didn’t own a brand new car?

    About the same time as their parents. hahaha.

    –Or is a 4 day school week a bad thing?

    Condensing the traditional 5 day week into 4 days has many ramifications outside of the school walls.

    –Would a shortened school week upset parents? Could they afford the extra daycare for younger children?
    Is it possible that teachers would feel rushed by the shorter week? And how would they react to the shorter evenings to grade papers, make lesson plans, and prepare for the next day?

    You will get opposition to any change – but the extent depends on your community. If people are happy with the status quo… or see no reason to change… or depend on the school for meals and daycare durnig work hours… Well, that could be tricky. And you didn’t even mention the teacher’s union.

    –Students who miss a couple of days because of illness could be greatly affected as falling behind in their studies would happen rapidly.
    Can you imagine the makeup work?

    Yup – that would be an issue. But they have the whole day off on Friday to catch up.

    –Please put me on the right path in regards to the concept of the 4 day school week, because as of right now, I can only focus on the idea that “every weekend is a 3 day weekend”. That idea is way cool.

    The real challenge is to do a cost-benefit analysis at your district level. There are many factors to consider from the standpoint of academic, economic and social impact. And those depend on your local community.

    My advice is to have some discussions locally and prepare your elevator speech to convince legislators to spend more money on public education.


  4. micsmith
    on Jul 23rd, 2008
    @ 7:06 pm

    Love the well thought out comment. Lots to think about.


  5. todd keth
    on Aug 21st, 2008
    @ 10:33 am

    why don’t we use less things(air conditioning ,etc


  6. ben
    on May 13th, 2009
    @ 4:55 am

    Good idea in theory, but will students be able to sit through the long classes? This would make school even more of a drag for students. — —
    * *
    L
    \__/


  7. LT
    on Jun 3rd, 2009
    @ 9:59 pm

    I really think this is a real bad idea. Education is already suffering as it is. Giving kids an extra day off would be a mistake. A lot of parents work during the week and wouldn’t be able to watch there kids and when kids get bored and there’s no supervision kids get into trouble. Also as for the argument that kids wouldn’t lose much education because the school days are longer are fooling themselves. Kids have to be at school 1 hour earlier in this scenario. Kids are tired as it is when they come in for before 9pm now making them wake up an hour earlier the kids will be so tired they won’t be paying attention anyways and the extra hour at the end of the day combined with the extra hour at the beginning the kids will be to tired they will tune out. The kids have the weekend to rest up they don’t need an unnecessary 3rd day. Their education will suffer.

Leave a Reply

Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.