Four Day School Weeks: A Growing Educational Trend in America

EdNext, 2021

A new trend is emerging in schools within the United States. Many school districts across the United States have shifted to a four-day school week, compared to the standard five days. This switch significantly affects parents, students, administrators, and teachers in those school districts. Today, close to 900 school districts in the nation use the four-day system.

The four-day school week includes many advantages. From this change, students get longer instructional time and can complete their work over an extended period. Thus, students have reported better sleep schedules, more time to complete work and better social lives. This extra day also gives teachers time for their personal lives, grading work, and creating lesson plans. School districts may also economically benefit from this since many districts have taken initiatives to have daycares for students on the extra weekend day. Overall, this change has a positive outlook for both teachers and parents.

Although it may be tempting to want a four-day school week, it is significant to consider the concerns and challenges that come with it. One of the main concerns of parents and administrators is the potential negative impact on student learning due to a compressed school week, which could lead to longer school days. This could create mental and physical strain for both students and teachers. It is also significant to consider the potential strain on working parents who may need to find alternative solutions for their children on the day off in school districts that may not offer a daycare. Another issue could be affording the daycare itself. Educators may also face challenges in changing their teaching methods and curricula to fit a shorter school week, potentially impacting the quality of instruction. Addressing these concerns is crucial to ensure the quality of education and the well-being of students and families.

Brandi Pruente, a mother in a school district neighboring Kansas City, has been affected by this change. She says she “[wants her] kids in an educational environment … and [doesn’t] want to pay for somebody to babysit them.” This is a common complaint with many parents. However, some administrators have found a solution for this issue. Principal Bishop Smith at Bishop McCort Catholic High School, a small private school, provides “enrichment opportunities or enrichment Fridays,” with the Fridays optional. The enrichment opportunities include college preparation classes and robotics classes. An optional Friday positively impacts students who come to school, leading to a better educational experience. However, this opportunity is not open to every district, as some districts cannot afford this.

In conclusion, introducing four-day school weeks has sparked a complex conversation with educational administrators. While supporters emphasize benefits such as more planning time for teachers, better mental health for students, and reduced homework load, others worry about longer school days and financial effects on parents. The success of this change depends on planning from staff, community engagement, and consideration its effects on teachers, parents, and students. During the shift to a four-day school week, it is crucial to remain open-minded and conduct a thorough evaluation while accounting for the perspectives of all stakeholders in the ever-changing education field.

Works Cited

Hollingsworth, H. (2023, September 25). More schools are adopting 4-day weeks. for parents, the challenge is day 5. AP News.,on%20significant%20learning%20during%20th

Lonas, L., & Hill, T. (2023, September 3). Facing mounting challenges, schools embrace the 4-Day Week. WJTV.

Texas public school districts make the move to a four-day school week. Texas Standard. (2023, September 6).