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Nordic News

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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Is a four-day school week beneficial?

Is a four-day school week beneficial?

Four-day school weeks have grown in popularity since they were first implemented in 1936. More than 1,600 schools in 24 states go by the four-day school week, according to Oregon State University. For four-day school weeks, Monday or Friday often become part of the weekend. The lost class time would be added to the school day or taken from summer break. While this is not something currently being considered by NSD, there has been a push in recent years for schools around the country to transition to a four-day school week.


Yes, it’s necessary for school-life balance

While some may argue that four-day school weeks lead to a decline in academic ability, they actually give students a chance to catch up on schoolwork, extracurriculars and rest. For too long, the lives of students have been dictated by the chaotic and clustered five-day school week, stopping them from having more time to themselves. For the sake of students’ health, more school districts should adopt the four-day school week.

Having an extra weekend day would give high schoolers more time to themselves, away from the constant rush of the five-day school week. This would lead to improvements in physical condition, mental health and relationships with friends or loved ones. Students could take the time to read a few books, plan out their day, catch up with friends or take a walk outside. Overall, it would be less stressful. Students attending Life School, a public charter school district in Texas, reported less stress and burnout upon adoption of a four-day school week.

Students would also be able to invest time and energy into extracurriculars that may be beneficial to college applications, such as part-time jobs, internships, personal projects and other learning programs. Extracurricular activities provide valuable hands-on experiences. Students with the standard five-day school week have less availability to dedicate to these opportunities. Any extracurricular activities they have are limited to weekday afternoons and the weekend.

The off day will also give students an undisturbed day for schoolwork. Rather than rushing to finish assignments and meet deadlines, students would be able to pause and take the time to understand each concept before moving on. This time would go a long way in improving academic performance.

Moreover, four-day school weeks benefit school districts, not just students, by helping districts save money on transportation, food and other costs. Districts can then reallocate some of these funds, which is something that our district could benefit from. School districts can save up to 5.43% of their total budget with the four-day school week, according to an article by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The five-day school week is too taxing on students who already have homework piled sky-high. More than that, students need more personal time, which they can dedicate to resting, recharging and pursuing other extracurricular activities.


No, it’s unstructured and wasteful

Implementing a four-day school week would hurt student engagement in school. A shorter school week would also require longer school days, shorter summer break and increase costs for parents and guardians. To many, an extra day of the weekend sounds like a dream come true: a day to catch up on work and study for tests. But in reality, this day would end up being squandered by procrastinating students. Why not rot in bed all day long? You’ve got tomorrow to do your homework, after all. That’s why Sundays often end up being crunch days. For students, school provides an important daily structure, and when there’s structure, work and learning happens.

In school, burnout is very common, so it’s important to have school breaks, and manageable school days. With a four day schedule, it would be a balancing act between having long and tedious days, or an extended school year that eats into precious summer free time. In this system, no one wins. Extending only the school day, and keeping the same educational time would make the day at least 85 minutes longer, which is a fast track to premature burnout, and leaves little room for after school activities. However, on the other side, lengthening the school year could mean losing more than one month of summer.  Even somewhere in the middle, losing out on weeks of summer or breaks while staying in school for an extra hour seems like an unnecessary compromise for a regular three-day weekend.

The four-day school week could also hurt families with young children, who would have to find care for their kids for an extra day. For many families, work and school line up, but having one less day in the school week will force working parents who work five days a week to pay for daycare or a babysitter, both of which can be prohibitively expensive. 

When schools switch to a four-day week, many still provide meals five days a week to students who need them. However, if the meals aren’t sent home with the students on Thursday, collecting and serving a meal from the school puts up yet another barrier to parents. Many parents who need the free or reduced prices for school lunches don’t have the time to pick them up, and if they can’t get the extra meal, then they would have to pay for it. 

Having a four-day school week would hurt academic performance and increase costs for parents. Having  longer educational times may encourage students to slack off, and the day of free time would just be used to recover mentally from the taxing school week, instead of being spent on academics or extracurricular activities. Worst of all, the four-day school week would be disadvantageous to lower income families who rely on school services. The four-day school week has unavoidable consequences that aren’t worth the reward of a longer weekend and should not be implemented.

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About the Contributors
Crayson Mavrinac (he/him)
Junior Crayson Mavrinac is starting his first year on the Nordic News staff as a reporter. Outside of school he is a part of the National Honor Society and is interested in computer science. He strives to provide excellent quality articles that keep students updated on school and world news. He loves playing video games, listening to music and hanging out with his friends and his cat. He hopes to write articles that make people laugh, or at least make their day better.
Amy Zhao (she/her)
Amy Zhao (she/her), Reporter
Sophomore Amy Zhao is the author of several books and graphic novels, including 16 Psyche and Invasion of the Aliens. She is very excited to be on the Nordic team and is passionate about cultivating creativity, expressing important messages, and sharing helpful tips through her writing. At school, Amy is involved in Honor Society and is the Sophomore Class Representative executive for DECA. When she is not writing, she can be found searching for the best bubble tea on the planet or drowning in her collection of plushies.

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