Four-day school week passed in Arizona

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Have you heard about the four-day work week? Recent studies show it’s gaining support.

In Arizona, west of Phoenix, one school district looked into a four-day school week for kindergarten through eighth graders.

school district west of Phoenix has agreed to move to a four-day school week after months of research and community feedback.

In a news release from Liberty Elementary School District (LESD) on Nov. 14, it was announced the district that serves more than 4,500 students in Buckeye and Goodyear will shorten its school week.

The K-8 students will observe the new schedule in the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.

“The decision comes after months of research, community discussions and surveys. The idea was first explored last year as a cost savings measure in response to failing to pass a budget override. After surveying staff and families in the spring, it was clear this idea garnered initial support regardless of how much money it saved. For that reason, combined with the potential to better recruit teachers in a nationwide shortage, the idea was further explored,” the news release read.

A committee was formed and met several times to research, develop four-day plan options, and go over the pros and cons.

“The LESD administration recognizes that while this change may be viewed favorably by some, it is also not the first choice for some of our staff members and families. Much work lies ahead to adjust calendars, contracts and other logistics to line up with this new four-day week,” the district said.

Students will have an extra 40 minutes tacked onto their school day, but in exchange, they’ll have Fridays off.

As for four-day work weeks, employers are having a tough time attracting employees. Especially getting them back into the office after working remotely. Many companies have hybrid schedules of two days in the office, three days at home, or the reverse.

Towards the end of 2022, headlines began popping up trumpeting the arrival, at long last, of a new way of working. Business Insider’s, for example, read: “New Research May Have Just Paved the Way for the 4-Day Week.” The research in question was the first large-scale, independent pilot programs to test the impact of reducing the workweek to roughly 32 hours, without any reduction in pay.

Conducted by the non-profit organization 4 Day Week Global (4WDG), the two pilots were based on six-month trials that included 33 companies and a total of 903 employees, primarily in the U.S. and Ireland. They confirmed a thesis that has been gathering steam for a while: a shorter work week is better for both employees and employers.

What’s your opinion of four-day school or work weeks?

36 thoughts on “Four-day school week passed in Arizona

  1. Since our “kids” are 20+ years removed from school, it has very little impact on us. However, if you want AN opinion? I think daycare just got pricier since a day has been added.

      • The schools will offer it? On a day they are closed? Sounds like a set up to bring in more money to the district. Call it a “daycare tax”. Instead of 5 days of free school care, now it is 4. If you want the 5th, no problem, but it will now cost you. I do not trust the government to do ANYHTING in the best interest of the people. Ever. Neither party. This could just be another money grab.

      • Yes. I wonder who staffs daycare? Will teachers sign up to earn a few more dollars? Or will they have administrative cover Fridays? Or hire new people?

  2. I’m all for flexibility for work schedules. I doubt a 4-day school week will be an improvement on learning outcomes unless the parents have the time to add important life experiences in the off times.

    • It will be interesting to watch and see if other school districts follow along. Also there are studies on four-day work weeks and they found the employees happier and more productive.

  3. No. Because then it becomes a three day because now instead of losing focus on Friday you’ll lose focus on Thursday. It’s also a matter of what you do with that extra time…will it be passive leisure? I’m reading a book now that talks a lot about passive leisure and I’ll write a post after I’ve finished, but it’s sort of eye opening

  4. I was taught to look at micro and macro impacts when decisions are discussed. It can’t be an either/or because what may work now will still have an impact later on down the road. I understand the desire for an immediate, attainable goal and answer but I just have to wonder long-term what this will mean to the kids, parents, community… We don’t live in a bubble so whatever positive (hopefully) or negative outcomes happen will ripple outward.

    • I agree. I change like this doesn’t happen in a bubble. I remember five years ago when school districts proposed later start times for students and it completely caused chaos in working parents schedules.

  5. The 40 mins tacked onto the onther 4 days does nto account for a full school day, are they extending the school year by 2 weeks? As for shorter work weeks sure why not but it cannot be applicable to all on the organization. The operations I support work 5-7 days a week. There is no way I can be on a shorter schedule. It will create animosity in teh work place adn make things even harder.

  6. I see problems with a 4 day school week because of working parents.
    My husband works a 4 day work week every other week. Hs likes getting a day off every other week.

  7. I wish we could/would go to a 4 day week. But, I highly doubt it will happen. We’re 3rd largest district in Texas and I think there are too many moving parts for as many students and staff to change it up. One can dream! 🙂

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