Opinion: Why Not a Four-Day School Week?

Opinion: Why Not a Four-Day School Week?

Maritza Ortiz

Hundreds of schools around the U.S. are considering adopting a four-day class week. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of such a change. First, the cons:

There is the problem some parents might face of finding childcare for their younger children. Even though the school week might be four days long, the typical work week remains five.

As parents of young children leave for work, they must make other arrangements for childcare, some being unable or unwilling to pay for the service.

Second, some students, younger children specifically, will face the challenge of boredom. With parents out of the house and the children unable to drive they will find themselves locked in an empty house.

Third, older students such as high schoolers and college students might plan to use the rest day to catch up on assignments or other work, but find themselves procrastinating all day instead. Meaning there is no improvement on academic progress.

On the other hand, there are some positives to a four-day week.

Students who are falling behind could use the time to catch up on assignments.

Many students get sucked into social media, work, or other non-school activities, leading them to fall behind on assignments. Having an extra day with no distractions and a little motivation could lead to better grades.                        

As for students who don’t have to worry about their grades there is the obvious pro of having a day off. A day for personal reasons such as family visits, traveling, or rest days.

Secondly, teachers often end up struggling with grading, their personal life, and some with their own kids and their school schedule. A four-day week would help add flexibility to their schedule. Having to go through paperwork from 200 kids can start to pile up.

A final pro for college students: a fifth day would allow them to get a part-time job. College is expensive, and most employers are more willing to hire someone who can work weekends including Fridays.

In other words, depending on who you are, a four-day weekend could either be an advantage or not.

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