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School districts in the US are introducing short weeks to save money and alleviate the worsening teacher shortage.

97 of Oklahoma’s 513 districts have made the switch to the four-day week in recent years, citing struggles to cut their budgets and recruit high-quality teachers amid a nationwide teacher shortage and pay crisis that has had a particularly devastating effect on schools in the Sooner State.

“There are lots of challenges and problems that people haven’t tried to fix,” Bob Gragg, the superintendent, told NBC News.

“But just because we’ve been doing it one way for a long time doesn’t mean we necessarily need to keep doing it that way.”

City school districts are taking notice. The four day-week is now beating a path to urban districts, which are facing their own crippling budget shortfalls and teacher retention challenges and are ready to try new solutions to solve growing problems.

The shift to four-day weeks has resulted in what parents, teachers, administrators and scholars say are better student performance and attendance, increased morale among students and teachers and an ability to recruit and keep high-quality teachers — because regular three-day weekends are a big attraction.

The biggest reason schools have made the switch to the short week is that the change helps with luring teachers.

Administrators, teachers, students and parents are all really happy with the switch.

“We did it to save money and to make our teachers happier, and keep them happy,” explained Gragg, the superintendent. “We’ve seen both of those things, and more.”

The school cut its calendar to Monday to Thursday and expanded the day one hour to 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Fridays, the school offers optional educational field trips to museums and libraries, “which add to the kids’ education” — especially those below the poverty line, many of whom “wouldn’t get these experiences if we didn’t do this on Friday,” he explained.

Do you think this is something we should consider in Australia?

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  • I do like the sound of that.

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  • Yes I agree, it is a better balance.

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  • My son is in his last year of schooling, but I imagine he would have loved this. Raises many issues through with parents working, etc. My son’s school did change from 6 periods a day to 4 periods a day to reduce wastage in the day and between classes. I think its worth trying new things.

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  • What a great idea, would love to spend an extra day at home with the kids.

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  • Love this idea 1 day less of work/school to spend with the ones we love, its a win win situation and one our children would benefit from :-)

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  • Yes, sounds good to me !!

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  • Sounds like a good idea – but parents would also need to have extra time off to cope with the extra day at home .

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  • Great idea for kids but I think that working parents would have an issue with it.

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  • Yes, I’d really love the idea. And not only for students but all workers in general. Life is too stressful. Everybody should have more free time. At least that’s what I think.


    • Yes, that’s what I think too. Life is too short, we should enjoy it more.

    Reply

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