A financially strapped school district in Colorado moved to a 4-day school week. Here’s how it’s working out.
What if your school board declared your kids will only be going to classes 4 days a week, Tuesday- Friday? What kind of effect do you think it would have on your family? You could have long weekends to take family road trips, which is nice. Or, you could have an extra day each week your kids will drive you batty.
The 4-Day School Week Experiment in Colorado
In Brighton, Colorado students now have a 4-day school week and most everyone there has plenty to say about it.
The local school board was having real trouble recruiting great new teachers and retaining the educators already working there. With 28 schools filled with 18,000 students, that’s no small job.
It won’t be at all surprising for you to learn that they made the move because of funding. In other words, they are struggling financially. The teachers in that district are the lowest paid teachers in the Denver metro area. As a result, no one wanted to work there.
The board can get away with shortening the school week because Colorado counts school hours, not days, to comply with education requirements for kids. To make up for missing that fifth day of school, the board has lengthened the school day by 40 minutes.
What kids say about a 4-day school week.
Most of them definitely love it, even with the longer school days.
High school kids like it too. They quickly figured out that they can pick up extra hours at work on Mondays. Many of them are saving for college.
What teachers say about a 4-day school week.
The school board says they are receiving more (and more qualified) job applications since the change. There are plenty of new applicants and new hires who applied for the school district specifically because it was only a four day work week for them.
Some say they use their Mondays to relax, others use the day to plan, and still others say they love it because they can spend more time with their families.
What parents say about the policy.
Apparently there are many who truly don’t like it.
For a number of those parents, it boils down to childcare. There are free programs to watch the kids on Mondays, but not everyone thinks that’s enough. They want their 5-day school week back.
Hopefully they’ll be okay with the change for a while because it won’t be changing back any time soon. It’s going to continue on, with a mountain of research data being collected, for at least the next 2 years.
Now it’s your turn.
Are you a teacher or parent? Pro or con? Can’t wait to read your answers.