With over 400 students South Crest Christian School has made a radical decision to change to a four day school week from Spring 2019. By extending the current school day they are able to still cover the same amount of material. Being the only school in the area with a four day week presents both opportunities and challenges. Being unique can help your school marketing. The challenge can be in telling the story and whether it is believed. For some parents this would be a huge advantage and simplification of their week. For others it may be a logistical nightmare.

The school is not alone in its decision on a broader scale. “A number of school districts in the United States have moved from the traditional Monday through Friday schedule to a four-day week schedule as a cost-saving measure to reduce overhead and transportation costs. Four-day weeks have been in place for years in rural school districts in western states, particularly in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Over one-third of the school districts in Colorado have adopted a four-day schedule.

A spokesperson said “We also speculated that a four-day school week lowered absenteeism, so students who had dentist’s appointments or events might be able to put those off until Friday and not miss school. We thought there might be less teacher absenteeism. My own personal hypothesis is teachers liked it so much—they were so enthusiastic about the four-day week—they did a better job. There’s some evidence in other labor studies that four-day work weeks enhance productivity.”

Composite classes, single sex or coeducational, providing homework or no homework, all require good storytelling of the benefits as every parent will have an opinion. In many countries there are morning and afternoon schools to make maximum use of crowded facilities.

I suspect even with research and evidence of better educational outcomes most schools would not consider a shorter week because it is easier to conform to society’s expectations.

Sources:

Southcrest Christian to start four day school week in spring 2019

Four day school week can improve academic performance policy study finds

Does Shortening the School Week Impact Student Performance? Evidence from the Four-Day School Week

A troubling contagion: The rural 4-day school week