School: Four or Five Days?


Quinn Postman and Ariel Goldberg

Students across the country have debated whether or not the school week should be four or five days. Of course, there are pros and cons for both and everyone will have their own opinion. The Northern Valley district is not currently considering this policy, but what if it was?

Should change to four days a week

Have you ever woken up on a Friday morning, felt tired, and didn’t want to go to school? In some states, four-day school weeks are beginning to be implemented. 

Four-day school weeks are one of the fastest growing phenomenon shaping school districts. It is very popular amongst parents and students. 

In 2021, a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation interviewed more than 400 parents, teachers, administrators, and students in three states with large districts using the four-day model: Idaho, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. 

The study found that 69% of parents and 85% of students favored a four-day school schedule. 

The class time will be increased if four-day school weeks are implemented; however, the overall school hours would decrease for the year. Students can spend more time on sports, homework, and chores. In addition, students will be more inclined to engage in extracurricular activities since they have more time to dedicate themselves to passions they are genuinely interested in. 

Student attendance will improve as parents or guardians could have more time to schedule doctor appointments, college visits, and other weekday commitments when they don’t have school. 

According to the study funded by Robert Wood Johnson, students’ sleep schedules improved under a four-day school week. 

On the other hand, teachers get extra time to prepare for classes with a four-day school week schedule. With more preparation, teachers can improve the overall quality of their classes and develop better relationships with their students. 

Should stay five days a week

Not everyone likes to wake up to a loud alarm clock at seven in the morning and get ready for a long day at school. It’s difficult to do this consistently after sports practices and hours of homework to complete after that. 

The life of a student is not an easy task. It’s a job. However, in order to grow, students need a full five days to provide more structure in their lives. A five-day school week holds them accountable, and better prepares them for college and job opportunities. People in the workforce usually work five days a week, so preparing students early on will acclimate them to a similar schedule.

Students have two days to relax from a stressful week, where they can spend time with their loved ones or unwind. If the school week was cut by a whole day, imagine the homework load given by teachers who didn’t have enough time to cover topics in class. Teachers rushing lessons hurt learning, especially if they teach AP courses. These accelerated and regular courses can put unwanted stress and confusion on kids.

A day accounts for an extra eight hours of learning, which we would lose and eventually have to make up. The school year would be longer, as more than 180 days are required to finish the year. Summers would be cut short and the length of school days would also change. 

Losing a day every week is a consequence for everyone involved in the district. Students can look forward to breaks or vacation time instead of changing the entire structure of the school week. It allows students to appreciate the time they have off after some challenging tests and assignments due. 

What do you think?

We would love to hear your thoughts in the poll below.

This poll has ended.

Do you want the school week to be four or five days long?


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