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Patriot Press

The Student News Site of Liberty High School

Patriot Press

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4-Day School Weeks: A Better Approach to Education


Throughout the United States, there are only 2,100 schools with 4-day school days. These schools can only be found across 26 states, and despite being in the minority, these types of school days should be the blueprint that many other schools follow. 

 The most important thing to address when it comes to 4 days a week is productivity. According to a study done by Bankrate, 81% of job seekers and workers would prefer a 4-day work week and 89% of those people are willing to make sacrifices for those shorter weeks, but what does this have to do with students? 

 In 2020 shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools for quite some time, there were many ideas of what schools would look like once they opened again, one of these ideas became a reality when 4 day school weeks were added to better help teachers and students alike. The way the system worked was teachers and students would go to class on Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday being a day for students to finish unfinished work and giving teachers a day for planning assignments for the following days and weeks. Thursdays and Fridays would be standard school days, and then the cycle would continue for the semester. This format for the schedule could be introduced once more in the same way or have Fridays or Mondays off to maintain the 4-day week schedule which has many positive outcomes if implemented.

 Many teachers currently have planning periods however there is a distinct difference between an hour or two of planning versus a whole day. Teachers could work at their own pace throughout the day and still be prepared for class the following day. This schedule was incredibly beneficial but as the world began to return to normality, the 4 day school weeks ended for hundreds of schools everywhere. If a 4-day school week were to be introduced it would be much different than in 2020, however, the benefits of it would remain and perhaps grow further by having in-person classes and not video calls. Many schools that have 4-day school weeks typically reflect the same positive results, which would be things that many areas could benefit from having. The most important thing that a school district could have is economic prosperity, 4 days school week can decrease the amount of spending that would be used for a single day, substitutes, school buses, school lunches, and staff, the less spending there is the more could be used to better the school environment and help accommodate new programs or supplying teachers with school supplies that may otherwise be paid for out of pocket. 

On a more personal level, 4-day school weeks can assist in reducing stress and burnout, a challenge many teachers may face after hours of engaging with students, meetings, paperwork, and other endeavors. 

“When you really enjoy your students, you really want to do the best job possible, and when you are constantly trying to move the needle forward over the course of a semester or school year it’s draining. You don’t want to let your students down so you burn yourself out being a provider” said Mr. Sealey 

“This (4-day school weeks) could help teachers with grading and also give them a nice break during the week,” said Junior Helena Kamph 

Although this system can benefit teachers, that’s only half of the people affected, there is still the student aspect of things. Students can see similar positives as teachers, an extra day off can allow students to catch up on unfinished work or enjoy a day off with family and friends. The biggest issue for students that affects not only themselves but also others is sleeping in class. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that 20-30% of High Schoolers sleep in class daily which has been proven to be derived from a lack of sleep. Although the issue wouldn’t be resolved immediately there would be a decline in sleeping in class since there would be an extra of rest and relaxation. 

“I have noticed that there is more sleeping in class so I think that’d actually help out a lot of students if the week was shorter,” said Mr Schoen (Jack)

 Another improvement with a shorter schedule would come in the form of graduation rates and attendance. The National Conference of State Legislature and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards found a pattern among high schools with the 4-day system, although the percentages differed between the two, the graduation rates and attendance were higher than most 5-day week schools, the research from both included all sorts of data such as rural and nonrural areas, private and public schools, the number of students, and the economic status of the district the schools were located in. The research directly shows a stellar improvement in both areas by simply having more time for both students and teachers to thrive in the environment they are accustomed to. 

School is a place for learning, growth, and development and many schools have found a way to better focus on those aspects, if this system were to be implemented not just by a few but most schools, the effects would linger as students can get a better experience in their learning years and give teachers more opportunities to share, educate and build relationships with students and other staff.

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About the Contributor
Diego Blanco
Diego Blanco, Entertainment Editor
Hello! I’m Diego and I am a Senior, I’ve been taking journalism for all 4 years of High School at Liberty. I love to write, draw, and share my thoughts and opinions. I can’t wait to keep sharing stories with everyone.    

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    Amari HoganDec 13, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    This is a really interesting topic, I think that it is very true that the 4-day week would benefit teachers and students and increase productivity levels.