« Officials approve White Bear Township airport | Main | Analysis Entry on Structure »

Iowa discussions of 4-day school week

Iowa school officials are showing an increasing interest in having 4-day school weeks, as other states have already done to cut costs, the Des Moines Register reported.

Van Buren County is hoping to get this underway for their schools as soon as next year. The county would need a waiver from the mandatory state schools calendar.

The smaller school districts of Iowa are showing a particularly growing interest in this proposition because of the shrinking enrollment and high-fuel costs.

In the US, 17 states already have districts with 4-day school weeks. On average, most of these school have increased the school day from six and a half hours to eight hours a day.

Not everyone is on board with the idea.

“I just think it would be too much for kids to stay focused long enough,? said Liz Henning, a mother of two in Lehigh, which is in the Southeast Webster-Grand school district. “I think five days is better.?

Schools in Arizona and Colorado with 4-day school weeks have reported fewer absences with the longer days. Arizona school officials have not seen an increase, nor a decrease in student achievement.

No formal studies have been conducted on the long-term or short-term effects of students attending 4-day school weeks.

The first schools to go through with 4-day school weeks were in New Mexico, because of an energy crisis in the 1970s that made utility and fuel costs have a dramatic increase.