Survey says 4-day school week worked well in Two Harbors

Students, teachers and parents in the Two Harbors area school district were all satisfied with the four-day school week that debuted last year, according to a survey.

School officials figure they saved $218,000 by skipping a day of school (but going longer the other four days), said the Duluth News Tribune. The biggest savings came from lower transportation costs.

Findings of the survey:

From 642 students

  • More than 70 percent of students said they are less stressed about having time to complete homework than they were during a five-day school week.
  • More than 50 percent said they were less tired and about 78 percent said they had more family time.
  • More than 93 percent said they have time to work on homework during the school day, with about 75 percent of students saying they have enough time to complete all of their homework during the school day.
  • 94 percent of students liked the four-day school week overall.

From 173 parents

  • About 78 percent said their child has adapted well to the new school week with no problems.
  • More than 46 percent of parents said the four-day week has not affected their child’s schoolwork, but nearly 17 percent said the new schedule has had a negative impact.
  • More than 25 percent of parents said the four-day school week has caused problems for their family life, and about 51 percent said it has had a positive impact.
  • The survey did not ask about child care costs associated with the four-day school week.

Teacher responses

  • About 54 percent of teachers said the time students have to do schoolwork at school is about the same.
  • More than 77 percent said students are doing similar quality work, with 19 percent of teachers reporting that students are doing better work.
  • About 52 percent said student behavior is about the same, and 47 percent said behavior was better.
  • As far as teaching goes, 67 percent of teachers said that their classroom teaching was more productive than during a five-day school week. Teachers said they are able to teach about the same amount of material and have about the same amount of planning time.
  • Overall, nearly 79 percent of teachers wanted to stay with a four-day school week. Student achievement was the primary reason, said 34 percent of the teachers who took the survey.
  • Preliminary state reading test scores show students in almost all categories improving their scores, according to school officials.

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