Who Thinks a 4-Day School Week Is Awesome?

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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.

States are moving to a 4-day school week

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.

According to NBC news, one little third-grader said he felt the days were kind of long but worth it because he gets to spend his Mondays at his grandma’s house. (Awwwwww!)

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.

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5 comments on “Who Thinks a 4-Day School Week Is Awesome?”

  1. Carrie Saponari

    Pro, I think a 4-day week for children is fantastic. You have many options to choose from in how to use that free time, and all of them are positive. Whether, it be resting, catching up on projects, family time, vaca weekend getaways, more time with retired grand parents, all of the above. If you’ve ever worked a 4 day week and loved it…I feel it would be reciprocated the same for children as school is hard work for them (especially hormonal teens who also work).

  2. I can see both perspectives. We have said for many years that some parents look at school as their child care and not as important education. I give you the example of a snow day in the middle of winter, dangerous weather moves in in the middle of the day and parents become enraged because they have to leave work for THEIR children. Or if the child becomes ill during the day, they literally will not come and pick them up. This community needs to think about their values.
    The problem of not enough qualified teachers will hit more school districts very soon.
    There are other costs besides staff that confront school boards, bussing, heat and air conditioning, insurance costs, building repairs.

    I wish them well.

  3. As a parent and a retired teacher, I think it’s a great idea. The positives outweigh the negatives. Kids and teacher will get used to the hours and probably will not even notice the differences  in time. Wonder how much they are saving on gas for buses, electric bills, and such like???

    SMART Leadership in Bright, CO!!! 

  4. As a teacher, it is stressful to be short one day a week from being able to teach. You already feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything that’s needed to be done. My school district has school five days a week but we do maker space activities on fridays, so I kind of understand the stress of losing a full day each week. However, I would also enjoy having 3 days weekends. I have 2 small boys at home so it would be nice to spend more time with family and use Mondays as a plan day if needed. Its bittersweet I think. Of course its going to be rough on parent schedules but I think if the teachers give a better quality education as a result of it, the parents will like the outcome. There are other districts that do the same thing. Its not as new as some may think.

  5. Elaine Rennie

    Wish my district would go to four days. It would cut funding for bussing, heating the building. Those two things alone would save money. It will probably happen the year I retire.