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Manhattan falls short to Derby
Manhattan falls short to Derby
Will Ivester, Sports Editor • November 10, 2023

The Manhattan High football team fell short 21-23 to Derby in Sectionals, ending their season with a 9-2 record.Going into Friday’s...

Potential of four-day school week

Photo Courtesy of Lane Lewison

Over the past 20 years school districts across the country have been entertaining the idea of a  four-day school week. Currently there are almost 900 in the country, and in Kansas, nine school districts have adopted this plan. The question is, what is the point of a four-day school week, and should MHS make the transition as well?

A four-day work/school week was originally created as a means to save money on the one day districts wouldn’t have to operate on. It was meant to save electricity, transportation expenses and, most importantly, create a smaller carbon footprint. 

But besides its original purpose to save money and cut down on electricity, the more this plan has been adopted the more potential benefits have been found. For example, student attendance has improved more in schools with the four-day week than those without. This is true as well for teachers, who are a huge reason why more schools are implementing this plan. There are already a larger number of applications from teachers, helping districts bounce back from the shortages they experienced during the pandemic. Overall, the four-day week boosts student and teacher morale, leading to improved attendance and performance. 

Additionally, there has been a decline in student issues such as bullying, perhaps relating to the decline in stress in students with the four-day plan. With one less day in their school week, students have one extra day to rest or tend to their responsibilities outside of school. This provides opportunities for students to gain job experience. Moreover, this gives more room for them to relax and keep up with their lives outside of school, which is necessary for their mental health. 

An opposing argument to the four-day school week may be that it doesn’t prepare them for a five-day work week. However, because of all of the benefits explained so far, more and more companies have been looking to start on a four-day work week as well. It saves the amount of money and resources it takes to run a company or school for a day, gets more people to apply, improves productivity and supports everyone having their separate lives from school and work. 

With that being said, as far as academic performance goes, it’s a bit more complex; it works differently depending on a number of things, including the age of the students, the number of hours the school days would then be, and the teacher-student contact. Students need a sufficient amount of lecture time to learn and perform well on their exams. So far, it’s been found that the schools that have a four-day week and longer hours perform better than those that have the usual number of hours. So, if schools can create a schedule that gives a three-day weekend but also minds the required student-teacher contact and necessary instructional time, students’ academic performance could improve once they settle into the new school week. 

Of course, this kind of change would take a lot of adapting to and figuring out, but I do believe in the point of a four-day week for everyone. Administration should consider the day off as an opportunity to improve and evolve the school system. We should all be open to this change and its benefits.

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