The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

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The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

The Word

The School Newspaper of Vista Ridge High School

The Word

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Who Needs Monday?

Many students express their opinions on 4-day school weeks and how it would affect their school life and personal well-being.
Above you can see a chart representing the percentages of students that were in favor of 4 day school weeks, students who were not, and students who were in the middle.

School districts around the country have started adopting a 4-day week schedule. These schedules have affected districts differently, but many have reported good things coming from these changes. 

Hundreds of schools around the country have started changing their schedules in recent years. Changing to a 4-day schedule can benefit students and schools in many ways: it can help save money on transportation, food, and energy costs, improve student attendance, and increase teacher morale. There are, however, a few downfalls with this schedule, it can cause some issues for families that can’t afford child care or meals on off days, but some schools have found ways around this. Vista Ridge should consider possibly adopting a 4-day week schedule in the future.

“The weekend never feels long enough. Saturday I finally get to relax/do the things I need then Sunday comes around and I am just stressing that school is tomorrow, Sundays are the opposite of relaxing,” senior Kierra Campbell said. “So I think having a 3rd day would help balance out everything you can’t do or finish throughout the week especially if you are a part of extra activities.”

Rand Corporation is a non-profit that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer, more secure, and healthier. They collected surveys and interviews on a four-day school week experience in Idaho, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. They found that students’ attendance improved and their behavioral and emotional well-being improved also. However, they also found that student test scores did not improve due to the schedule change. 

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“I don’t want to (have a 4-day week) because then we would have to cram in studying for the STAAR test and final,” freshman Sophia Foyt said. “There would be fewer days to learn the material so the tests and topics would be rushed.”

Two schools that chose to switch to 4-day weeks were studied, and the results came back mixed. One study from a school in Colorado showed that they had a significant improvement in their math test scores. The other schools that were studied showed no difference in their test scores. Another report from Oregon State University and NWEA showed that schools with 4-day schedules had their reading scores suffer more than their math scores. 

“I feel like a 4-day week would lead to less burnout among students,” freshman Talor Ryan said. “I 100% would miss school less with a 4-day week. I miss about 1 day a week sometimes just because of how tiring school is, especially when we are near the end of the 6 weeks.”

A study from the Journal of Educational Research and Policy Analysis showed that schools that switched to 4-day weeks were much calmer and safer. In Oklahoma, 411 school districts switched to a 4-day school week and many schools saw much less bullying and fighting among students. Lots of schools around the country have seen much better student attendance and better mental state in students. 

“Less school days leads to more time to our own devices…and could potentially allow us more breathing room after school,” senior Ethan Gober said. “However, fewer school days in the week either add a lot more extra weeks that would extend into the middle of summer to fit our curriculums or dump a lot more material in those 4 days than we are used to. So there’s benefits to both arguments, I’m just not sure of where I stand.”

There are pros and cons to both sides, but lots of schools are considering these issues, and adjusting accordingly. Colorado School District 27 changed to 4-day weeks in the 2018-19 school year and they have had lots of success, but they had one roadblock, family financial problems, and working parents. The district decided to provide child care for kids ages 5-12 on Monday. There is a fee, but it’s lower than your traditional daycare. The Boys and Girls Clubs in the area also adjusted their hours on Mondays to help support these working parents.

There are lots of things to take into consideration when talking about 4-day weeks, but I think it would be very doable. Our breaks would be cut down more, but with the 3-day weekends, it wouldn’t affect people too much. Out of the 15 students of multiple different genders and grades, 10 said they would want to switch to 4-day weeks. Based on these results it seems as though many students would be in favor of this change, and there would be many benefits to it.

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