Four-Day School Week

Esther - posted on 03/09/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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With strapped state budgets and alluring promises of significant reductions in overhead and transportation costs, the four-day school week has been an increasingly attractive option for legislators seeking to cut education costs. According to the National School Boards Association (NSBA), a handful of states, with mostly rural school districts, are experimenting with altering their school calendar. For small, remote school districts, instituting a four-day school week may provide considerable savings by reducing transportation, heating, and other overhead costs. Supporters of the shortened week also boast of improved morale and increased attendance (by both students and teachers), open Fridays for sporting events and doctor appointments, and more time to spend with loved ones. Opponents of the four-day school week cite problems with long, exhausting class days and finding day care for children whose parents work outside the home. Additionally, educational experts worry that increased time outside of the classroom could lead to a digression in learned concepts while also making it more difficult to offer elective classes. However, the jury is still out, as there is a lack of comprehensive studies.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoft...

What do you all think?

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[deleted account]

In my district, there are 5 elementary schools K-5, 2 middle schools grade 6-8, and one 9-12 high school.

One elementary & one middle school is closing. The district will be restructured making the remaining 4 elementary a K-6 school, and the 1 middle school will serve grade 7 & 8. High school remains the same. Elementary school zone boundaires will be altered to distribute the students from the closing school.

Sharon - posted on 03/09/2010

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Our schools are reporting significant savings. They aren't in our district so I haven't cared much to read the details. I'll see what I can find...

Iris - posted on 03/09/2010

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Sharon
I don't know how many schools are in your district, but if they are closing down 2 schools I'm thinking that the kids will be going to the schools left open. My question is, will they be adding these kids to the classes already there or will they create more?

[deleted account]

@@ Last year I was on the committee to research the 4 day school week. The committee ultimately decided that while the district saved money, it was not such a significant amount, and the bigger sacrifice is on the student's learning. So, with the financial crisis as it is, and I already mentioned in previous posts, my ditrict is closing down 2 schools instead. Over 100 teachers and staff will be out of a job, and I am willing to bet I will also get my notice.

Sharon - posted on 03/09/2010

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Its paying off for the schools but I think the kids are suffering.



In terms of learning - I like what our highschool is doing ... they eliminated classes - not from the lineup - just from the day - and each class during the day is longer. Instead of 30 minutes or 45, each class is 90 minutes. It means more work in class. More instruction from the teacher. AND! less homework!

Tah - posted on 03/09/2010

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our kids can't read or count now, and u want to take away a day..shoot..add sat i say...

Iris - posted on 03/09/2010

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This has already started here in Hawaii. 17 school days have been taken out of the childrens school year, so called Furlough Fridays. It started in November last year if I remember correctly. The school system here in HI is one of the worst in USA, so no, I don't think we can afford losing these 17 days of school.

[deleted account]

The district that we just moved out of did that two years ago. Those poor kids are in school from 7:30-4:30. Those that need tutoring stay until 5:30. That is too long for any kid to be in school. There are so many poor kids in the district whose only meals come from the free breakfast and lunch the school provides. This schedule leaves them one more day without food. This district is at the bottom of the academic rankings in our state. And you know...the four day school week didn't really help that much with the costs. This year they are still struggling and are cutting all "extras". No more music class, sports, PE, library, art, etc. That means the teachers and students are holed up in a classroom for 9 hours with little to no break.

TERRIBLE IDEA!!!!

That is why we moved to another district.

Sunny - posted on 03/09/2010

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I live in Australia and because i chose to study dance for my vce i was only in school 31/2 days a week for my last 2 years and it was fantastic! I had time to study and work without the stress. I dont think it would work on a younger level but i found it to be fantastic for me during my vce. Alto of school down here are now taking students out of the school and into the community to learn about planning, environment, and work ect one day a week from year 9 (which is like 14yrs old) and they love it.

Mary - posted on 03/09/2010

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I can't see it working in the in the grade school level...the day is simply too long for them to function. I think teachers dread that last class of the day as it is now...the kids are antsy, tired and just plain done. Tack an extra hour or so onto that...ugh, can't imagine!



I also think you'd have working parents in an uproar about childcare. It wouldn't be too much of an issue for me, but I don't work 5 days a week. Most normal people work Monday-Friday, and scramble to figure out what to do with their kids on those random days off as it is. Snow days are a fiasco for many of my friends!



My guess is, these legislators either don't have kids, or have a spouse that is a stay-at-home parent. I know many the parent who has breathed a sigh of relief once their kid was in school 5 days a week, because the huge drop in childcare costs was such a help to making ends meet.



Bottom line, I'm against instituting a change that is motivated primarily by financial gain for the state, and could potentially be detrimental to the student. I know the money needs to come from somewhere, but it should not be at the cost of the child's well-being.

Jodi - posted on 03/09/2010

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My first thought was "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

But seriously, how is this economically the right answer? I am obviously not familiar with the problems in the US school system, or even necessarily with the economic status of thing in the US right now. BUT, many parents of school children work. I fail to see how forcing these parents to either seek daycare, or give up one day of work is going to have a positive contribution to the economy as a whole. It's all good to say "hey, you can now use Fridays to do this, or that", but I think you will find that realistically, there are many families who would be economically disadvantaged.

I also agree that the children will be too tired. My kids come home tired at the end of every school day (especially my youngest). Lengthening the day is *not* going to provide the same level of education. The kids lose their level of concentration, and can't learn once they reach that point. When my son was younger, he was in after school care, but that was all about free play, not about trying to teach him anything.

So, nope, I don't agree.

Dana - posted on 03/09/2010

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I think the US is too far behind as it is. It would be a grave mistake to think that shortening the school week is the answer to money problems.



That being said, I have thought Ethan doing online schooling when it's time for him to go to school. We'll see..

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