With the current difficult economic times, many school districts are considering going to four-day school weeks to save money. Four-day school weeks can save the schools on energy costs (heating and cooling the building one less day per week), transportation costs (running buses one less day per week saves on gas), and food service costs (one less day of lunches to provide). Some argue that the four school days, which must be made longer to make up for the loss of the fifth, can be more productive, because the time spent on some non-learning activities such as “settling in for the day” (roll call, etc.) only has to be done four times instead of five, yet the students are getting the same number of contact hours.
To decide for yourself if this idea has merit, or if your child’s district is considering this option, take a look at CDE’s guidebook The 4-Day School Week. This guide offers the history and the pros and cons of this system, as well as financial and political implications and effects on student performance.