Make Thursday the new Friday!

Andrew Jensen, Reporter

Picture of Friday being removed from the school week.

Rocky Mountain school weeks should be shortened from five-day school weeks to four. Why may you ask? Some major reasons for shortening the school week would be to have an equal number of A-days and B-days per week, have an extra day for students to work on extracurricular activities and volunteer or do hobbies they’d like to pursue, and because almost half of Idaho school districts started doing 4-day school weeks, and we should follow that trend. 

Why is having an equal number of A-days and B-days important? Four-day school weeks would make the number of A-days and B-days equal. That makes sense because tons of people want to keep the blocking schedule. The blocking schedule allows for more class time in each class and tons of learning. Since classes are longer in a blocking schedule, you get more time to learn and understand the concepts being taught. Right now, you might be thinking, why not just stick to five-day school weeks and get rid of the blocking schedule so you have all your classes in the same day. Well, hypothetically,  it sounds like it could work, but it would be chaotic. Right now, we have about one hour and thirty minutes every class to learn and get work done. That hour and thirty minutes would be cut in half, resulting in forty-five-minute classes. That would not be nearly enough time to learn from a lesson, study, or even take an important test. Not to mention without blocking schedules, homework would always be due the next day, resulting in worry and no time for extracurricular activities, hobbies, or even hanging out with friends. That said, a 4-day school week with a blocking schedule would be perfect because you get long class periods, with an hour and a half to learn and study, and an equal number of A-days and B-days a week. 

Why is it so important for students to have an extra day to work on extracurricular activities, volunteer, or do hobbies they’d like to pursue? Students spend about 6 hours a day in school, then afterwards they either have work, sports, homework, and overall, just responsibilities in general. Truthfully, free time shouldn’t be rewarded or earned; it should be offered. According to vsamerica.com, At every level of learning, from preschool to kindergarten all the way through K-12 and even at the college level, the inclusion of free time and space can have an incredibly positive impact on education.” This shows that an extra day off school in the week would provide a nice break for students, and it could even help them academically. Along with that day off, it would provide students with an opportunity to work on personal interests. According to nces.ed.gov, “Extracurricular activities provide a channel for reinforcing the lessons learned in the classroom, offering students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a real-world context, and are thus considered part of a well-rounded education.” Not only would this day off potentially improve students academically, but it could help them learn real world skills through extracurricular activities and personal interests. 

Why would it be important to follow what other school districts in Idaho are doing? There are about 117 school districts in Idaho with over 50 school districts scheduling 4-day school weeks. According to sugarsalem.org “Idaho law requires school districts to adopt a school calendar that provides its students at each grade level with the following number of instructional hours: -Grades 9-12: 990 hours.” This shows that we will not loose a lot of learning time because according to ed100.org “Each year consists of about 6,000 waking hours. Children in America, on average, spend about 1000 of them in school.” This just goes to show if we switched to four-day school weeks we would only miss about 10 hours out of the national average. But if we cut off an entire day of the week surely the time school starts and ends would change, right? Marketplace.org interviewed a person that is very informed on this topic. He said “‘We were able to add hours of instruction to the school day,’ he said. ‘So we go Tuesday through Friday, basically 8:00 to 3:45.’” That’s only about 45 minutes more than our school day now. 

Saving money? Cutting one day off the schoolwork week can surprisingly save a ton of money for the school. Marketplace.org states “The district saves $125,000 per year”. That’s a ton of money that the district can save and potentially be put back into school clubs, sports, or functions. That’s a ton of money that can help students and the school, but how does leaving one day out of the week going to save that much money? Well, sugarsalem.org states “Savings come from fuel, oil, salaries, and school bus drivers.”  

That’s a lot of money that’s saved, but is it coming out of the teacher’s salary? To put it quickly, no. Sugarsalem.org states “Teachers and administration typically receive the same annual salary.” This shows that teachers get paid the same and students get an extra “day off”, leaving everyone happy. 

 

What do the students think? 

 

“In my personal opinion, schools should only have 4 days of school, along with extended hours of school on those days. It would provide a copious amount of time for students to prepare and recover from the longer school days.” -Xander Skousen, (sophomore) 

 

“The 5-day school week is in a good position for homework, extracurriculars, and plenty of time for after school activities. 4-day school weeks would come with compensation which will ruin consistent schedules that students create for themselves.” -Charles Merrill, (sophomore) 

 

“One less day of school is one more day of fun.” -Carter Myler, (Junior)  

 

“It would give me another day to rest, do homework, chill.” -Sophie Perry, (sophomore) 

 

“We should have 4-day school because we are expected to do so much for the whole 7 hour we are at school and then we have to do an hour plus of homework at home as well so only 4 days a week would allow us as students to have a day to get homework done.” -Brooklyn Hom, (sophomore) 

 

“We go to school 5 days a week which can be way too much so having 4 days is perfect.” -Audrie Turley, (sophomore) 

 

“I think that we should have 4-day school weeks. Having 4-day school weeks would help students to have more time to work on homework and get caught up over the weekend. Also, by having 4-day school weeks students would have an extra day to go to appointments (the doctor, dentist, orthodontist, etc.). Students already work so hard, and an additional day off would be super beneficial to them!” -Jocey Bjorkman, (sophomore) 

 

Side additions: 

Fun Fact: According to sugarsalem.org “In reviewing Idaho’s ISAT and IRI test results, it appears that students who attend a 4-Day school do not do any worse or any better than their peers in most instances. 

Pros 

  • Equal number of A days and B days per school week  
  • Students get more time to do personal interests, hobbies, volunteer work, and jobs 
  • Adopt the success of other Idaho school districts benefiting from 4-day school weeks 
  • The school saves a ton of money  
  • Better attendance due to less school days. 
  • Teachers get paid the same wage  

 

Cons 

  • School would potentially get out an hour later than usual.