4-Day School Week Needs Consideration

Rachel Szymanski, Staff Writer

A 4-day school week is a relatively new and innovative idea gaining popularity with students and teacher across the United States. For some, the advantages of attending school only 4 days per week outweigh the potential disadvantages.

A 4-day school week provides an opportunity for extra rest from the stressful life of school. For example, over the recent 3 day weekend I was able to finish all my homework on Saturday and Sunday and still having time for friends and family on Monday.

According to the American Psychological Association, more than one-third of teens report fatigue or feeling tired (36%) and nearly one-quarter of teens (23%) report skipping a meal due to stress. 5-day school weeks are preventing students from sleeping more. Everyday of the week, students are drained from school, clubs, and other activities.

5-day school weeks only allow me to do, at most, 2 days of volunteering. That time is also cut by the amount of time-consuming homework I have to complete over the weekend. With the 4-day week, it provides opportunities for an extra day engaging in extracurricular service activities. Also, students who are athletes don’t miss as much class and have less work to make up if athletic events are scheduled on the off days.

Granby School District in Colorado shifted to a 4-day schedule for their 1,100 students. According to Education Commission of the States, the possible cost savings for districts on a 4-day week is 5.4%. Districts that have switched to a 4-day week have experienced actual savings of between 0.4% and 2.5%.  Out of a budget of $5.5 million, they saved $206,000. These savings could be used to provide more services for students in the classroom.

With the Acalanes Union High School District’s recent emphasis on student wellness, the 4-day school week should be explored and taken seriously as an alternative to the current schedule.