ERIC Number: ED537920
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May-25
Reference Count: 0
Four-Day Week Schedule. Research Brief
Marx, Gary E.
Education Partnerships, Inc.
What does research say about the four-day week as an alternative school schedule? More than 100 districts in at least 12 states currently use a four-day week alternative schedule. Most are located in rural areas, serve less than 1000 students, and made the move to a shorter school week with longer instructional days for financial reasons. Although four-day week schedules have been in place since the early 1980s, research about the effects of this non-traditional approach is very limited. The studies that have been conducted confirm that a four-day week schedule saves money, primarily in the areas of transportation, energy, food service and substitute teacher expenses. Student and teacher attendance tend to increase when a four-day week is implemented. A number of districts cited fewer disruptions of instructional time and increased on-task behavior by students as benefits. Despite these benefits, the literature indicates that the change to a four-day schedule rarely increased student achievement. On the plus side, the shortened week had no adverse affect on achievement over time. For the most part, parents, teachers and students expressed positive feelings about the four-day week schedule, but some negative perceptions related to local implementation issues or circumstances were also cited. As economic and demographic conditions change across the country, more districts are considering the four-day week as an alternative school schedule. This paper presents a summary of implementation ideas and recommendations from the literature. (Contains 7 online resources.)
Descriptors: Teacher Attendance, School Schedules, Nontraditional Education, School Districts, Attendance, Academic Achievement
Education Partnerships, Inc. Web site: http://www.educationpartnerships.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Partnerships, Inc. (EPI)