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Will the future of education be based on a four school week instead of the current five?

“I think SCUSD should have four days because it gives me more days to rest . . . and to do homework.”
Shorter school week likely for many districts nationwide.

A new trend in education has emerged over the past five years, with around 1,600 school districts in the United States switching from a five-day school week to a four-day schedule.

The trend began in 2018, when School District 27J in Brighton, CO, switched to a four-day week after voters in the area opted not to raise the property tax, causing schools to receive less funding.

Supporters say four-day weeks can help districts save money.

“Districts that have adopted this mode [of four days] often find reduced transportation and operational costs”, said Jennifer Kretschman, the Director of Student Attendance and Engagement for the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD). “Fewer school days can mean less money spent on things like buses and building costs.”

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But it’s not only about saving money. Some students and others argue the four-day schedule allows students and teachers to receive an extra day of rest, improves attendance, and gives teachers and students more flexibility.

“We should change it from five days to four because, well, for one, we’re students at West Campus. It’s a very demanding school,” said Ayush Prasad, a sophomore at West Campus. “The workload is high and stress levels are also high so having a day of extra rest will benefit everyone.” 

Sophomore Dylan Yang agreed.

 he said. “I also have extracurriculars outside of school, so four days means I do not have to rush my work.”

Others said the change would benefit student’s mental health. 

“Having an extra day where you’re not penalized for missing school to be able to catch up on work would be better,” said Margo Melgoza, a senior at West Campus. “De-stressing and self-care are really beneficial and people will see a big difference in students.”

However, some students don’t like the idea, saying four-day weeks mean longer school days.

“I’m always so drained at the end of just a regular seven-hour day, and I want to go home,” said Thadeus Kim, a sophomore at West Campus. “I already have to stay after school for two weeks because of ASB (Associated Student Body). Having fewer days to work on (ASB) projects means more stress, and also more exhaustion and burnout from staying at school for about 10 hours.”

Some teachers also want to keep the five-day schedule. 

“I actually prefer the five-day having shorter days just because it leaves more time after school for students to engage in other activities like extracurriculars, sports and clubs,” said Hannah Miller, an AP Physics and Chemistry teacher at West Campus. 

Having longer school days also raises the issue of students’ attention spans. Some high schoolers, however, believe that they could stay focused. 

“It would be pretty hard to get adjusted at first just because school is school,” said Melgoza. 

 “But I think I’ll be able to focus knowing that I had an extra day to rest.”

Others disagreed. 

“I definitely could not have the extra hours,” said Miriya Yeung, a junior at West Campus. “(S)taying after school for extracurriculars with the extra hours of school would be so tiring.” 

Parents also worry about their child having extra hours of school. 

“Kids would get burnt out if the four-day schedule was implemented,” said Jenny Lim, a West Campus parent. “It would affect kids’ after-school activities as well.” 

Some parents said five days help children build social skills.

“Five days is better because kids can interact more often, building their interpersonal skills,” said Maggie Wu, a Matsuyama Elementary parent. 

Others noted the fact that SCUSD Thursdays are already shortened.

“I know that there is already one hour short every Thursday,” said Yan Chan, a H. W. Harkness Elementary parent. “I think that is already good enough.” 

The four-day week also could create childcare problems for some families.

“It’s hard since most families work five days a week,” said Wu. “Unless the parent has a four to 10 (evening) schedule, it can be hard to find someone to watch and take care of the kids.” 

Kreschman said there also are nutritional implications to consider.

“For students relying on school for meals, this could mean one less day of guaranteed meals,” she said. 

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Hanna Yu
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Hi! My name is Hanna Yu and I am a sophomore attending West Campus High School. I like design and music!
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