Why some schools in US are switching to 4 day week

Many public schools in the US, specifically in rural areas, are moving to a 4-day school week. This will help reduce transportation costs, saving the wages of staff and more. It will also give schools more time to recruit and train teachers to prepare for the classes, while not disturbing their precious weekend time for the preparation.

On the flip side, working parents have to make arrangements for an extra day at daycare and pay more for their child to be supervised. Oklahoma created a trend towards this at 100 schools to operate on a 4-day school week. In a month, thousands of teachers walked out of the school demanding wage increases. The chart below shows Oklahoma teacher’s average base salary adjusted for inflation.

As per the article in CBS News, 4-day weeks are helping schools with recruitment and training issues. Some schools reportedly experienced more teachers applying for the 4-day schools because of the shorter work week. A 4-day school model in Missouri showed 91% positive impact on the moral of the school staff.

Even France is trying for this shorter school week. In 2008, the Sarkozy administration instituted the 4-day school week, with students appearing on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with slightly longer hours.

Some teachers feel that having longer hours may not be the best option, as children might find it difficult to concentrate. Others feel that having a shorter school week, kids might have a difficult time retaining what they have learned the previous week. Many parents in different states have not had positive thoughts on the shorter school week model.

Therefore, a better approach would be bringing all the stakeholders, which includes children, schools, and parents, onto the same page and then the change should be implemented.