Four Day School Week

Southern Columbia School District in Catawissa, PA, which coincidentally is my alma mater, is moving to a four-day school week for January and February. The school will still meet the mandated 180 day requirement, but estimates it will save thousands in heating and fuel costs. Teachers will still be at work participating in professional development at the high school. The teacher contract already included these days as a requirement and according to sources all the district did was realign the calendar. Click here for the news article.

The idea appeals to me on many levels. As a professional developer having a week in between follow up sessions is ideal. I can imagine the amount of support and momentum that could be achieved with sustained support over an eight week period. As a parent, I think it would be a great time to work on larger assignments and projects that kids receive as homework not to mention the benefit of not having kids waiting for the bus in the cold. Child care could be a concern for some, but my understanding is that the school reached out to the community for additional solutions for working parents and many churches and child care programs responded.

Time will tell whether the benefits out way the costs, but with the economic times being what they are, it may well warrant consideration.


dbittner said…
Wow....what a great idea! The most common complaint from teachers is that they don't have enough planning time or they don't have enough time for professional development that is more than the "one shot and its over" deal. The biggest hurdle, I believe, is the child care issue for working parents. But, if the community can respond, as Southern Columbia's did, to meet the needs for childcare in the community, I say it is an idea well worth investigating. I will be looking for more details in the news regarding the outcomes of Southern Columbia's experiment with the 4 day school week.

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