Four Day School Weeks?


Olivia Gallagher, Staff Writer/Media Production

There is a nationwide question on whether four day school weeks would be good for students or bad. We know that it has the possibility to save schools money in many ways and attract upcoming teachers, but are there also negative impacts to this idea?

A study was done in large states who have adapted the four-day model comparing them to schools who still have the five-day model. They administered thousands of surveys to students and parents in 36 districts across Idaho, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Researchers found that districts using four-day schedules ended up with longer school days by about 50 minutes, but at the end of the year, they averaged 58 fewer hours of school. Students using the new system spent more time on homework, at jobs, and on hobbies with their friends. The fewer days did not, however, impact the amount of absences in some schools which were issues they had previously encountered. The schools did save money on gas for the buses, heating and air conditioning, and meals for kids. 

Gianna Reilly, a sophomore, feels that four-day school weeks would be beneficial. 

Reilly explained, ”I feel as though a four-day school week would improve students’ work ethic and productivity. It would give more time for students to recollect what they learned that week and have a life outside of school. Students are overly occupied with school to the point where they are unaware of the life surrounding them.” 

Sadly, when comparing the two schedules, it is proven that student achievement and grades are lower in the four-day model. 

“It doesn’t appear that the four-day school week on its own is all that bad. It’s the reduction of the time in school … that seems to be the driver of these achievement gaps,” said researcher Paul Thompson, associate professor of economics at Oregon State University’s School of Public Policy.  It has been shown in these studies that students in the four-day school week have had a decline in their achievements over the years regarding math.  

Robbie Raber, a teacher at Carolina Forest High School, stated,  “If it is going to jeopardize the development of our students, then it is not going to be beneficial to us.”

Personally, I feel that schools should follow the four-day school model. It gives students time to explore more hobbies and hang out with friends. They should be spending their younger years finding out who they are, and I feel that not having free time can make that task harder.