The Official News Source of Weatherford High School and Home of Roo Student Media

WHS GrassBurr

The Official News Source of Weatherford High School and Home of Roo Student Media

WHS GrassBurr

The Official News Source of Weatherford High School and Home of Roo Student Media

WHS GrassBurr

Should WHS Consider A Four-Day School Week?


Whenever Spanish teacher Morgan Wright talks about the possibility of Weatherford High School shifting to a four-day school week, she has a look of ambivalence.

        “Obviously, four-day weeks are cool because you have a three-day weekend, and that would be super nice,” said Wright, who has been teaching for ?? years. “I would have all Friday where I could just do grades and lesson plans and all that.”

       Yet Wright also has it from a reliable source that four-day school weeks might not be what they are cracked up to be.

Her mother.

       Wright’s mother works at a school that has a four-day school week and has told her on several occasions how “tough” it can be for some.

“She said it’s hard on parents because they don’t have anyone, so they have to find child care, especially elementary kids,” Wright said. “You can’t just leave those kids at home.”

With the introduction of a four-day school week, there is a lot of speculation about how a four-day school week will affect teachers, students, and parents. While some are excited about the potential benefits of having an extra day off each week, others worry that it may take away from the educational experience.

Many teachers have mixed opinions on the aspect of a four-day school week.

Teachers, students, and parents would face new challenges. Teachers would have to adjust their lesson plans to fit the new schedule while students must learn to manage their time more effectively. Parents must also learn to balance work and family life to accommodate their children’s new school schedule. With these changes come both positive and negative effects on all parties involved, making it essential that everyone is prepared for the transition. 

In some cases, it’s in courtesy for some teachers. 

       “I would be very much in favor of a four-day work week,” said Charles Carroll, who teaches Honors English.  “There are multiple reasons I think it is an overdue adjustment to our calendar, but the main one has to do with Fridays themselves. In the Spring Semester Fridays are sparsely attended, and having Friday off in the Fall would provide the campus an opportunity to do more community building with site pep rallies and things of that sort. I would like it, though, especially for academics – prep time for class is better when it isn’t broken up over days. One long period to prep for 2 block days is pretty reasonable.”

       Tohny Dreer is a parent of a Weatherford High Schooler who has a rather engaging opinion on the topic. “Personally, I like the idea,” she said. “I think that families can do more with a three-day weekend. I think it gives the kids a chance to spend time with their families and to indulge in their social life.”

       “I think that students need to not be in school so much, just wasting time on classes that they don’t need to take or don’t matter. I think that with a three-day weekend, students can work and get that real-life experience that they need. It will be beneficial for both teachers and students because it gives them that resting period and allows them to do more of what they enjoy before graduating and having to work all of the time. Especially since Covid, the burnout is at an all-time high and this will help that.” 

Weatherford ISD Superintendent Dr. Beau Rees said the popularity of the four-day week school calendar is understandable. While it has obvious appeal, he said WISD has chosen a “wait and see” approach. 

“The data on student performance and academic progress in a school district of our size and diversity is not known currently,” Rees said. “The data set that is widely known about a four-day week is teacher retention and recruitment is seems to be positively impacted at least in the short term. As this relatively new school calendar fad gets more common and more widely utilized, schools will have better information and data to help their community make an informed decision about what is best for their schools.”

       While other students are drained by the end of the school week due to its consistent time-consuming days, Kaia Ledbetter thinks a shorter week would most likely result in an improvement in students’ academic performance.

       “Our long days are very tiring as it is, alongside the homework and extracurricular activities we students do,” she said. “The school day is eight-four every day, five days a week. That’s 40 hours a week of school. If we cut down the school week to four days, we would see tremendous improvement and growth in students, as far as work and effort.”

A four-day school week does sound nice, but other things may affect the lives of students and employees negatively. Student tests show that math scores decrease by six percent and English by four percent during a four-day week, and also on top of that more indigent students whose main source of food is campus food could be put at risk due to the lack of hours at school. The payment of faculty could be less, especially for custodial and lunch servers.

       There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this idea. On the one hand, a shorter school week can improve student and teacher morale, reduce absenteeism, and provide additional time for extracurricular activities or family time. On the other hand, it can lead to longer school days and a loss of learning time, which may negatively impact student achievement and academic progress. 

Enoch Griffith, a WHS junior, looks at it differently. Instead of having the off day on a Friday, he would rather have it on Wednesday.

“So, for a four-day school week, I think it would be a good idea, but I think rather than implementing it on Friday,” he said. “I think the best option, most likely, would be to implement it on Wednesday.”

“Because, for example, in Norway and Sweden, they have days off on Wednesdays. So you have Monday, and Tuesday, you work, you rest on Wednesday, and you recharge. Just enough to be able to get through Thursday and Friday, and then you have the weekend to rest. And so, you’re able to get more sleep, you’re able to be more awake. And I just think it’s a really good idea.”