November 8, 2018
From as early as 1908, Americans became adapted to the traditional 5 day and 8-hour work week. Eventually schools started to follow suit and implement the same custom. Grade levels ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade have followed this schedule- up until one school district decided to shake it up. One Colorado school district challenged that tradition and created four-day weeks for students and teachers. That idea began to create conversation and inspired many districts in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Montana, and Oregon to decide to give it a go.
Many parents and children who are advocates for the four-day weeks says that it is beneficial for productiveness during the week. For example, students who are sick or need to visit the orthodontist do not have to worry about taking off days to go to their appointments. Rather, they could just delay doctor visits and checkups until Friday of that week. With this in place, the students will not have to take a day off- thus not affecting their attendance records. This is especially beneficial for the stay at home parents who have an open schedule.
Particularly for high school students, their course work load increases each year. All throughout the week they are given assignments to complete at home, and even given additional work to do throughout their weekend. But with an extra “week end” day, these students will more than likely complete these assignments on time- due to them having an extra day to work.
Initially it may seem like a win for students to have less days of school, but little do most realize that they eventually have to make it up. The law requires a full school year to be 180 days long. And whether students and teachers like it or not, they have to abide by those rules set. Although they only have four-day weeks, they must add additional short weeks on the end of the school year to complete the full 180 days.
For parents with children in elementary schools that have full time jobs, it can be a hassle to find babysitters on weekdays that children are out of school. By changing the week into only four days, it can be difficult to find care and pay for babysitting each and every week. It would be a struggle for low income families to continuously pay for child care weekly.
Although it would be very nice to have four-day weeks currently, it would be much nicer to have less weeks- instead of dragging out the school year in its entirety. The only thing these four-day weeks would really be good for is the fact that it would allow students more time to complete homework assignments and give teachers more planning time. But other than that it’s just a burden for parents who need to find care for their elementary children and a burden on students to have to complete additional weeks during the term.