Schools shifting toward four day school weeks; should we?


Image obtained through Google Commons.

A five day school week can be stressful, that’s for sure. For once, shorter school weeks can be agreed upon as better for both students and teachers.

Rural schools, specifically the Mountain West region of the United States, have adopted a four day school week. Currently, 88 districts in Colorado, 43 in Idaho, 30 in Oregon and nearly half of the districts in Montana use the system, while others are considering making the change, explained

Districts that have implemented the system noticed improvements for both teachers and students, including the attendance rate. The Melstone School District in Melstone, MT reported that their attendance improved as much as 20 percent after implementing a four-day school week, according to

With more time to rest, more students are able to attend school at their best. This also leads to an increase in academic performance. The Superintendent of the Oakridge School District in Oregon, Don Kordosky, reported an increase in test scores after enforcing this system. Peach County in Fort Valley, GA, who have also implemented the system, noticed an increase in graduation rates, reported explained that in order to count for the lost day, the other four days spent at school will have to be longer. However, only 10 minutes will have to be added to each class period which can also give students more time to complete homework in class, resulting in less to do at home. In addition, projects can be completed more efficiently with the additional time provided by the extended weekend.

“It gives us an extra day to catch up on weekend homework if we get any, and I think it will be better and we will get more things done during the week,” explained sophomore Yajaira Amaya.

With the lack of a fifth day, financial benefits arise. A four-day school week can decrease the cost of maintaining school utilities, food often provided for staff and students, and fuel used for the transportation of students to and from school. School districts can save up to 20%, which can be used to provide improved educational resources, explained

According to Steven Nguyen, an Algebra I and II teacher, “I’d love it. I think it would save on our electricity, save us costs. I think it would be better for student’s mental health.”

Of course, during the traditional five day school week, athletes are forced to miss  class time because of athletic events. On the other hand, those who chose to invoke the four-day week can schedule these events on the fifth day that students are not at school, according to reported that several parents have the ability to schedule appointments that do not conflict with the school day. Another, additional benefit is a higher moral of both staff and students. This could be a result of the extended weekend allowing people to spend more time together as a family without the worry of missing academic instruction.