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Leave it up to vote per district and/or school. Community calls for integration. With the money spent to provide FOOD THAT GETS THROWN AWAY DAILY because students do not eat ceirtain items from schools cafeteria food I wonder if we could pay more classroom Teacher Aids. At least feed so deserving teachers for free! Children need more one-on-one attention in 1 or 7 Days of school (if that were the case) and not so much laws that encorage but then prohibit. More Part time teachers are providing more parents at home more days of the week and perhaps healthier teachers with better attitude at ensuring teaching and not just instruction. If a student performs as well in a 4 day week but he wants more/no more school then let him/her have it and viceversa. Let's strenghten comunities by car pooling, meeting our neighbors, colaborating more, etc and we may save the rising "goods dependent" generation.
Our charter school uses a four day week and 95% of the families express great satisfaction with the schedule on our annual surveys. Teachers have more time for preparation, collaboration, and professional development, so the students benefit. It is not a budgetary issue for us, but an educational issue.
To become a globally competitive nation, we must leave the agriculture based mindset of the 20th century and focus on the needs of the 21st century. Schools will need to become more fluid with their schedules and may possibly need to adapt to a modified year around schedule. If it necessary for us to incorparate a four day schedule then so be it. Do what's best for the children.
Extending the school day, to accommodate five days in four, will impact all the good and important things which happen beyond the traditional school day, including off-hour alternative programs. States will have to accommodate the change in the legislated number of school days (in NJ, 180). It will not change contacted salaries, since what was accomplished in a five day week must equal the same work product, so the unions would have to fight strong. Schools would then, being good servants of the community, find some way for the fifth day to still have programming...and that would cost. These and all...the issues alone may make it unworkable. We would see a redistribution of days to lessen the impact of light and heat...or a rethinking of vacation and holiday time...before a four day school week.
Kids should be in school 5 days a week.
Why should kids be in school 9 or 10 hours a day just to save money?
That is exactly the answer I would expect from bureaucrats, board members, and people who know nothing about child development.
My school system is on the 4-day week. We love it! There have been a few complaints from parents in the district (not my school!) about having to get their children to the daycare the system provides. Our school scores have gone up, and the district scores have not gone down. The 4-day week is a big draw for many of the teachers, because we can get our business, appointments and plans done on Monday, teach Tuesday-Friday, and devote the weekend to family.
None of the above because the question poses the educational value of the four-day week (which may or may not be a good idea -- for high school students it could be very good if the extra day was used on independent study or community service) against the societal implications (hardship for working parents). Schools -- especially elementary -- DO serve as "baby sitting" services, whether we want to admit that or not, so the Educational Values cannot be evaluated without referencing the Societal Problems a four-day week would cause, rendering all the simplistic responses posed to the original question, incorrect. Therefore, none of the above is the only answer thinking persons can give until the two problems are viewed together.
This could potentially be great if the school year were lengthened. It gives the kids more time to complete assignments and less propensity for overload. This may also help retain new teachers as it eases the burden of jumping in by slowing the pace a little for them.