Back-to-School: Four-Day School Weeks?

Somebody give this boy a four-day week! Illustration by Tyson Smith

Hooray! It’s Friday. But wouldn’t it be fabulous if Thursdays were your Fridays? If you’re a student in Peach County District, Georgia, they are (or a mom with a decent work/life balance that is).

As reported by Fox News, last year the school district switched to a condensed four-day week in the face of tremendous budgets cuts. Teacher lay-offs were avoided, operational costs were cut.

And it’s also boosted academic success:  the district boasts of attendance, behaviour and grade improvements and more productive days. But how do parents handle the day off?

Apparently community groups and youth programs have sprung up with tutoring programs and childcare. And the childcare challenge that it poses isn’t deterring other boards from following suit: 120 other US districts are initiating shorter weeks.

Yes, the U.S. education system is totally different than ours. But some trends, such as charter schools, do filter up, though there’s no indication that we’re aware of this particular movement happening here.

So, is a four-day school week a good idea? More family quality time, less over-scheduling, more rested/focused kids, less bagged lunches and an increased opportunity for child-led independent learning?

Maybe. But probably only if you can get negotiate the same civilized schedule. And if you would enjoy the extra time supervising, er, bonding.

What do you think?

To learn more about the latest news in education, check out CF’s Back-to-School Guide. And find our complete September 2010 issue available in digital edition here!

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