Possible? The Four Day Week

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
Possible? The Four Day Week
2
Tue, 03-09-2010 - 10:42am

I'm just full of stories this week! ;) What do you think of a four-day school week?

Schools' New Math: The Four-Day Week

A small but growing number of school districts across the country are moving to a four-day week, in a shift they hope will help close gaping budget holes and stave off teacher layoffs, but that critics fear could hurt students' education.

State legislators and local school boards are giving administrators greater flexibility to set their academic calendars, making the four-day slate possible. But education experts say little research exists to show the impact of shortened weeks on learning. The missed hours are typically made up by lengthening remaining school days.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704869304575104124088312524

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
Tue, 03-09-2010 - 10:01pm
There are districts in my state who have had 4-day weeks for years and they've made it work to their advantage. Rumor is that my district is considering it but it likely won't pass. The first people hurt by 4-day weeks are secretaries and maintenance staff. I can say that it would significantly hurt my family as my husband works on the maintenance staff but I think many districts are going to have no other option in order to balance their budgets.
  "Aut dosce, aut disce, aut discede"
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 03-09-2010 - 11:28am

The four day week isn't an option in my state because of state laws on days and hours and attendance guidelines. My neighboring state has had a couple of schools consider it, but I haven't heard about the outcome. It wouldn't likely happen here because anything that would lengthen the day would cut into extra curricular activities and the parents would have a fit. Besides extra curricular concerns, the fifth day would become a day care expense for many parents and that would also create resistance. Most teaching contracts specifiy a specific schedule and timeline. Those would all have to be renegotiated.


As for assessing the impact there would be a lot of variables to consider. One would be the ability to actually have time on task for an extended day. The age and attention span of the kids would be a factor there. Another would be the scheduling and how the teachers use it. When many high schools went to block scheduling to improve the time on task and ability to do in-depth research and analysis projects some teachers refused to prepare and teach for a longer period. The did their 40 or so minutes and assigned study time for the remaining time.

Sherry