Imagine a life where you don’t have to fight the kids every Monday to get them out the door to school on time! Sounds like heaven? A school district in America is doing just that! It’s ditching the Monday to Friday routine and introducing a four day school week to their students.
The system means kids will only attend school from Tuesday to Friday, but there’s a catch. Each school day will be longer – an average of eight hours each day instead of six.
For parents, this could be the worst decision ever. Or the best, depending on how you look at it.
Bring on the three day weekend… every weekend
School district 27J in America is about to do something many local schools won’t dare – let their kids stay home on Mondays.
Starting in September 2018, students in the Colorado school district will enjoy a three-day weekend. I, for one, am jealous AF. And so are my kids.
The progressive system means that primary school students will start their days at 7.50am, finishing at 3.30pm. Middle and high school students will start at 8.30am (presumably because teenagers cannot be trusted to actually make it to class by 7.50am) and finish at 4.32pm.
Four day school week gives kids that much needed break
There are a number of reasons why the 27J school district opted for the change. For one, it can benefit the kids. Going to school five days a week is draining and often two days to recover simply isn’t enough. Having that extra day off lets kids refresh, relax and mentally prepare for another school week.
However, it also comes down to quality teacher retainment – offering teachers a four day work week is a pretty sweet deal!
“I believe it is in our students’ best interest to provide high quality, engaged teachers using 21st Century tools for learning four days a week rather than having them five days a week,” says 27J Superintendent, Dr Chris Fiedler.
Longer days, less after school fees
Of course, the four day school week won’t please everyone, especially not working parents. Sure, having the kids in school for longer each day means cutting back on after school care fees, but it also means working parents will need to find other arrangements for Monday.
To address this issue, the district plans to offer child care from 6am to 6 pm for a fee of $30 per child per day.
Another concern comes down to the length of the days. Going to school for eight hours a day is pretty intense, especially for the younger pupils. My five-year-old daughter struggles to make it through six hours without crashing.
But, for many families, having that extra day off school each week may work well.
Is Australia next?
School district 27J isn’t the first to transition to the shorter school week. Plenty of other school districts in America have already made the switch. However, Australian schools have not jumped on the four day school week bandwagon. Yet.
What do you think? Bring it on? Or do you prefer to keep the status quo, where kids go to school Monday to Friday?
While you’re weighing it up, take another look at our article about the school holiday juggle that makes life hard for working parents.