No More Five-Day School Weeks?


The Denver Channel

The school district in Denver, Colorado, called District 27J, plans to switch to a 4-day school week.

Alyssa Pepito, Photojournalist

Going to school for four days and having a three-day weekend sounds nice, doesn’t it? One school district in Denver, Colorado plans to change their five-day weeks into four-day weeks for the schools in the vicinity. School District 27J made this decision around the end of March and have been talking about it for a while, planning to save more money and maybe even attract more teachers.

This transition is being pulled through in August 2018, the start of next school year. Within this, they plan to have each day longer than usual school days. The start times differ with each grade. For children in Kindergarten and elementary school, the start time is 7:50 a.m. and the end is 3:30 p.m. While for students in middle school and high school, the start time is 8:30 a.m. and they go home at 4:32 p.m. Macy Schreiber (11) believes that “this sounds tiring, but I feel that an extra hour is not too bad and I would like to see what it would be like to switch to a four-day school week.”

The district has hopes to attract new teachers and keep the current. Some teachers looking for jobs may be more interested in schools with unusual schedules such as these. According to USA Today, some other goals which they wish to achieve with the new four-day week are to “reorganize and create time to support teacher development and preparedness” and to “create a school calendar that increases instructional time and is clean, clear and concise making it less difficult for families to manage.”

Doing so is helping the district save more money. An estimated $700,000 is saved by not running school buses on no-school days (USA Today). The district even suggests that they cut down on hiring substitute teachers in order to save money. Lastly, and maybe the biggest savings they have, is for utility costs.

While there are benefits to this drastic change, there are also downsides. As much as students love to have an extra day off, the school days will drag on to be an extra hour than normal, about eight hours total. Thus, students may become tired or worn out and even homework time may be shortened. However, there are great benefits for the students and their families.

A few other schools have carried on with having the four-day school week, such as one school in Oklahoma. All in all, there is much to look out for once the next academic year starts in August and hopefully things will turn out as planned. If this district has a positive outcome, maybe other school districts will consider the four-day school week.