10 Reasons Changing to 4-Day School Weeks is a Genius Idea

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Excited man jumping_ 4 day weekend

The 4-day school week is the hot new trend popping up in schools across the country. Over 500 school districts in America have allowed some or all of their schools to try this idea out and so far the results have been largely positive. Breaking from tradition is never easy, and having children at home during a weekday could cause some issues, but is this move the right one for teachers and students? Here are 10 reasons how 4-day weeks could improve your school.

1. It gives teachers more time to plan and grade

Planning

As teachers, we always start the school year off, full of ideas and plans. We map out the first few days of lessons and have a clear, concise view of how to progress. Then as the school year drags on some plans change while others just get thrown out the window. Imagine having an extra day every week to just reset your classroom and your lesson plans to prepare for the next few days?

2. 3-Day weekends are amazing

No teacher alive has ever turned their nose up at a 3-day weekend. Teachers treat 3-day weekends like Charlie Bucket treated his Golden Ticket to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory; a rare, special prize to be treasured. An extra day to sleep in and slowly greet the day? And you would get that every week? Sounds too good to be true.

3. Parents and teachers finally have a doctor day

Planner_ 4-day week

Trying to schedule doctor and dentist appointments can be a nightmare, especially if they are for your children. You have to take time off of work, sign them out of school, go to the appointment, then bring them back. But in the world of a 4-day school week, there would be one day in the week for that. Parents and teachers wouldn’t have to worry about the kids missing something important.

It also gives teachers time to see the doctor and/or dentist. Usually, scheduling time off for appointments is often more trouble than it’s worth.

4. The community can get involved

High Five 4-day week

In districts with 4-day school weeks, local businesses have taken the opportunity to offer all sorts of programs for children who suddenly have extra free time. Apprenticeships and opportunities to learn about various job fields can give children focus and help them plan for their lives down the road. 

5. Well-rested students are better behaved

Student reading book

Experts say children should get anywhere from 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep can lead to a lack of focus and a negative shift in mood and behavior. Have you ever asked your students what time they go to sleep? The answer is sure to horrify you, and also explain why several of them are off their rockers from time to time.

6. Well-rested teachers are more efficient

Sleep isn’t just important for children, adults need it too. A good night’s sleep can ease stress, build immunity, and improve your focus and overall well-being. Teachers may joke about being tired, but we’re only laughing to hide our utter and complete exhaustion.

7. It provides more opportunities for outside-the-box learning

Museum_4-day week

Towns and cities that have schools on 4-day weeks have used it as an opportunity to add a little culture and exploration into children’s lives. Parks run special programs, and museums offer opportunities for students to see what they have to offer. There are so many educational opportunities that aren’t in the classroom, and a 4-day week gives children the chance to take advantage of them.

8. Less teacher burnout, more teacher retention

It’s no surprise, schools that keep its staff together year after year are more cohesive, and often times more successful. Switching to a 4-day week would be a huge selling point to any district looking to attract and retain teachers. Plus a year’s worth of 3-day weekends would help ease the wear and tear that teachers experience during the year.

9. This is a huge advantage when planning extra-curricular activities

Kid playing football_4-day week

Any parent of a child involved in extra-curricular activities like sports knows that travel schedules can be brutal, especially in rural areas where teams may have to travel a couple hours to play an away game. An extra day off school gives athletic directors more leeway in scheduling those games and ensures they can start early enough to finish at a decent hour.

10. Schools and districts can save money

The initial reason this idea was proposed was for the money-saving advantages. One less day a week of running buses and operating buildings could add up to big savings over the course of a year. While the numbers haven’t exactly bore that out, districts do save some money. And while it may not be enough to save everybody’s budget problems, some savings are better than no savings at all.

4-day week Pinterest image

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David Rode

Legend

I'm currently a Middle School Math Teacher which means I'm also a glutton for punishment. Honestly though, I am keenly aware that Middle School is basically the worst 3 years in the life of a child, so it's my mission to make it suck less. I'm also a musician, a community theater, Dad to two amazing children, and I don't get a lot of sleep.

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