Could A Shortened School Schedule Work Better for Coloradans?
In recent years, there has been a major debate on whether the current school schedule works for teachers, students, and parents alike.
Whether it is shortening the hours students spend in class or having fewer days in the week, it feels like the discussion is starting to ramp up.
Recently, the Colorado Sun reported that dozens of schools in Denver are implementing a shortened school schedule. In fact, more than 80 out of the 207 district-run schools in the city have made the switch.
To begin, it is worth looking at how these schools will be expecting to cut down on class time and the reasons why, and then look at the pros and cons of the proposal.
Some Denver Elementary Schools Are Shortening Their Weekly Schedule to Accommodate for Teachers
The schools in Denver are looking to slightly shorten their week to help teachers be able to plan their coursework along with evaluating their students’ performance.
The way the system works for most schools in the district is letting students out early on Fridays. In other cases, schools have also implemented a late start on Fridays instead.
According to Sabrina Bates, who is the Principal of Teller Elementary School and was interviewed by the Colorado Sun, teachers have been given more responsibility since the pandemic.
The system serves as a method for keeping talented teachers on the payroll, while also being an enticing way of hiring new and exceptional educators.
The Benefits of a Shortened School Week
The model in Denver closely follows the four-day school week, which has been implemented in some districts across the country.
The idea is that it will increase student attendance, allow them to spend time with their families, help their well-being, and decrease fatigue.
According to a study by RAND, it was found that students were satisfied with the four-day school week and were able to spend more time with their families.
In other studies, it was found that students who were tired or sleep-deprived performed worse in school.
The Downsides of a Shortened School Week
On the other hand, there was no observable evidence that suggested that students’ well-being was improved, and it seemed to drop their student performance.
In fact, student performance is probably the biggest concern when it comes to the shortened school week.
In the Colorado Sun article, there was a considerable outcry from parents who believed their children already did not get enough time in school to begin with, let alone with the new weekly schedule.
On the other hand, it presents challenges for many parents who work full-time. For many, the established school schedule works better with their careers.
A couple of other countries have shorter schedules, like Finland and Japan, whose children only spend four to five hours in the classroom.
However, these cultures promote more of a work-life balance than in the US, where the eight-hour work week is commonplace.
What do you think about the trend of shortening the school week? Do you think it would positively affect your child, or do you think it would negatively affect their development?
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