Friday, July 22, 2011

A Four Day School Week?

The four day school week is being considered in schools throughout the country, but how does it really affect students, parents, teachers and daycare providers?

Earlier this week, it was announced that schools in Harrisburg, Ore., are considering a four day school week. The decision came about due to a projected shortfall in budget of approximately $600,000. By compressing five days of school into four, the district will be able to save up to $135,000 through using fewer utilities. However, there’s still a lot of speculation as to whether or not these savings would actually be realized. The final decision still needs to be approved by teachers, but if approved, the four day week would begin this fall.

What this Means:

For Students
Most students will probably be thrilled by the idea of having one less day of school a week. However, with younger children in particular, they may find it difficult to pay attention during the longer four days throughout the week. Although they would only be arriving 15 minutes earlier and ending 20 minutes later than their current schedule, it may still cause youngsters to get antsy. Also, if children get used to only going to school for four days a week, how will it affect them later in life when they have to work five days a week?

For Parents
Parents of children, especially working parents of elementary school aged children, may not like the four day schedule, as they will have to find alternate arrangements or daycare for their children on Fridays. For parents who are able to work adjusted hours in order to pick their children up from school and avoid daycare all together, this may be an even larger issue. Some parents simply do not want their children in daycare and might have a tough time entrusting their children with someone new.

For Teachers
While some teachers may like their new schedules on a personal level, it will mean a lot more work on a professional level. Getting the same amount done in less time is something we all struggle with, but for teachers, their results are measured in the success of their students. At the end of the year, students will still need to be prepared for standardized tests and there will be less time for teachers to ensure that they are prepared.

For Daycares
Daycares may experience an increase of students on Fridays, meaning more responsibility when it comes to managing schedules of both the children and their parents. In addition, daycares may have to deal with parents who never wanted to place their child in daycare. These parents may need some extra reassuring that their child is in safe hands—keeping them updated via pictures, videos and reports would be a nice touch.

What do You Think?
Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or daycare provider, let us know what you think about a four day school week. Do you think it’s a good idea? Could you see a four day school week being implemented in your area? Let us know by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.

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