I believe all students dream of having shorter school weeks, and apparently, this wish has come true to thousands of students! Hundreds of school districts have adopted a four- day school week with the aim to cut costs and attract teachers to the area.
Colorado Brighton-based School District 27J is one of the 560 districts that decided to switch their school weeks from five to four days, and according to Superintendent Chris Fiedler, in this way, they will successfully entice quality teachers while granting resources to items more important to the districts principal purpose.
The Colorado district hopes to save about one million dollars, and without having to pay substitute teachers, and the school buses being needed a day less in the week, it is estimated that they will save around $700,000.
According to the District 27J public information officer Tracy L. Rudnic, they believe that these savings will increase over time as administrators find new ways to improve efficiency.
Rudnick claims that a million is a small portion of their overall operating budget, but as they continue down this path, they will see additional savings year after year. They have put a counselor in every elementary school and roll out their One-2-Web program which puts a Chromebook in the hands of every middle and high school student.
Moreover, this has other benefits as well, as teachers will have more time to reorganize, prepare, and develop their lessons.
On the other hand, low-income households might face difficulties in terms of paying for childcare on days their children are free.
District officials said that this will surely be a drastic change for the students, families, and communities, but the district can no longer be expected to do more with less financial resources.
Yet, it is planned that the district offers child care on Mondays for $30 per child per day. Some officials also worry about the fact that students from such families tend to rely on public schools for more than half their meals a week.
Therefore, district administration needs to consider other options as well, before the decision for a shortened week can be made, like personnel layoffs, increasing class sizes, reducing funding, or cutting specific programs.
To ensure the same quality of teachings and courses, the remaining school days are to be extended an hour or longer. Also, in most districts that operate with shortened school weeks, teachers are still required to work one-half day of their newly added off-days each month.
However, most of these schools are confident that students will get a higher quality lesson due to these changes.
Fiedler adds that they are committed to providing their students with the necessary skills and competencies, and they will learn from high quality, engaged teachers using 21st-century tools for learning, four days a week, instead of lacking those privileges five days a week.