Anyone w/ 4 day school week experience? Especially for lower elementary. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 11-20-2012, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is going to be entering Kindergarten next year. Our school system is having a major budget crisis, and apparently one of the things on the table for next year is a four day school week. Has anyone had younger kids who had to deal with this? How did it go? We are trying to decide if we should send her to our county system, or try to get her into a nearby system that allows out of district students. Any thoughts/experience would be appreciated.
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#2 of 6 Old 11-20-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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Many of the mountain towns in CO do this; it allows for skiing on Fridays. They still have to get all the hours in for the school year so each day may be longer. If the school only has full day, it might make for an awfully long day. Our school is about 4 1/3 days but we only offer half day K. So the K kiddos go the 4 half days and then the whole 1/3. Not as tiring and allows them to go to the community meeting with the rest of the school.
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#3 of 6 Old 11-20-2012, 07:50 PM
 
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oh i so wish our school had that. it would be sooo much peaceful for dd. 

 

how is it? is the third day off a midweek or is it a 3 day weekend. 

 

having a day off in the middle would have served my dd REALLY well. 

 

our local middle school has one friday a month off and every thursday they go home an hour early. let me tell you the kids love it. 

 

are you scared about reduced academics?

 

the sad part is i am guessing, the academics will be fine. but all the fun activities will be cut out. 


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#4 of 6 Old 11-22-2012, 07:32 AM
 
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Our town has had 4 day school weeks for some years now....meh. I am not a fan, for many reasons (that may not apply to anyone else!).

DS9 has a diagnosis of Asperger's. Even though the school day is "just" an hour longer, that's an extra hour that he has to be on "public behavior", handling a lot of sensory input, etc. It also means we have an hour less for him o relax at the end of the day. He has a difficult time with homework (not the actual work, but the idea of it, the busy-work aspect of it has always been frustrating for him) and now we have less time for that argument and transition. Additionally, he has a tougher time.with the 4 on 3 off routine than he did with the 5 on 2 off.

DD7 has CP and by the end of the day is often tired/weak. She is a trooper about it but had a better school day experience when we were in a district with shorter days. She is much more adaptable than DS though.

In terms of.family time, the evenings are VERY short. I worked at the school for a couple months and the evenings were just an insane rush. Meals sucked - had I done more prepwork I suppose that could have been better but tbh I was pretty done by the end of the day too! And if we went to the library or grocery store after school, that cut our evenings down even more. So we would get home about 430, hopefully get the kids outside for a bit of play while I start dinner,rush through dinner, homework, and showers, and get kids to bed.

I am not happy with how the 4 day week affects a certain portion of the community - we have some families that now must find (and find a way to pay for!) childcare on Fridays. No, we do not have enough daycare providers in town to legally handle the overflow, and those families cannot afford to pay for a spot all week just to have a spot saved for Friday. Additionally, by going to a 4 day week, many of the support staff at school has been dropped from fulltime employment to part time - affecting takehome pay as well as benefits.

The 4 day week works well for the "haves" in our community, not so much for the "have nots". And I can't find any evidence that the have nots were considered in the decision. greensad.gif

So I guess I have a problem with the impact on less fortunate families on principle. Aside from that, a 4 day week seems to work well for the middle-class families (having a 2 parent home seems to help, as does having a stay at home parent). For my special needs kids, a 5 day week is better but we are working on adapting to the 4 day week.
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#5 of 6 Old 11-22-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Our town has had 4 day school weeks for some years now....meh. I am not a fan, for many reasons (that may not apply to anyone else!).

DS9 has a diagnosis of Asperger's. Even though the school day is "just" an hour longer, that's an extra hour that he has to be on "public behavior", handling a lot of sensory input, etc. It also means we have an hour less for him o relax at the end of the day. He has a difficult time with homework (not the actual work, but the idea of it, the busy-work aspect of it has always been frustrating for him) and now we have less time for that argument and transition. Additionally, he has a tougher time.with the 4 on 3 off routine than he did with the 5 on 2 off.

DD7 has CP and by the end of the day is often tired/weak. She is a trooper about it but had a better school day experience when we were in a district with shorter days. She is much more adaptable than DS though.

In terms of.family time, the evenings are VERY short. I worked at the school for a couple months and the evenings were just an insane rush. Meals sucked - had I done more prepwork I suppose that could have been better but tbh I was pretty done by the end of the day too! And if we went to the library or grocery store after school, that cut our evenings down even more. So we would get home about 430, hopefully get the kids outside for a bit of play while I start dinner,rush through dinner, homework, and showers, and get kids to bed.

I am not happy with how the 4 day week affects a certain portion of the community - we have some families that now must find (and find a way to pay for!) childcare on Fridays. No, we do not have enough daycare providers in town to legally handle the overflow, and those families cannot afford to pay for a spot all week just to have a spot saved for Friday. Additionally, by going to a 4 day week, many of the support staff at school has been dropped from fulltime employment to part time - affecting takehome pay as well as benefits.

The 4 day week works well for the "haves" in our community, not so much for the "have nots". And I can't find any evidence that the have nots were considered in the decision. greensad.gif

So I guess I have a problem with the impact on less fortunate families on principle. Aside from that, a 4 day week seems to work well for the middle-class families (having a 2 parent home seems to help, as does having a stay at home parent). For my special needs kids, a 5 day week is better but we are working on adapting to the 4 day week.

 

 I do not have to deal with and soooooo glad!!!

 

I hear the exact same thing from my BFF who's DD (on the spectrum) has year round - what a joke that is-----it's a few days in school with lots of big breaks and just as you stated all the problems. This does not seem to be for the kids in any way but as a cost saver- bottom line. The major disruptions it causes with a child with special needs is so huge. In my friend's area many parents simply can not work full time, this lowers the tax base too!!! Finding (and same with you)childcare is a nightmare and super costly. With her year round schooling,  you face at times, two to three weeks off at a clip and there is simply no place to put these kids, throw in a child with needs and the disruptions certainly does not out wight anything.

Our area fights this and I am so glad. I feel for you.


 

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#6 of 6 Old 11-24-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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We did 4 day a week PreK for two years and it was great (it was 1/2 days). 

 

One year it was Fri off (so 4 on and 3 off) and the next year it was Wed off. (2 on 1 off 2 on 2 off). I actually preferred each for different reasons:

 

1. Fridays off: allowed for long weekends and DH could often do 'more' (meet us for lunch, take a day off for a long weekend, etc) on a Friday. Plus when family visited we had 3 weekend days to enjoy. It also was a better schedule and less confusing for DDs.

 

2. Wed off: This was great for some midweek R &R- especially for one of my DD that has special needs. She needed the decompression time. We used it as a 'mellow' day and that was wonderful. It also allowed trips to places that often were busy on weekends (zoo, parks, etc) and not very busy midweek.

 

 

I also enjoy year round schooling since the 'breaks' often offer educational 'day' camp (that run during school hours) that delves into topics that arent covered during the school schedules. It is fee based- BUT the fee can and often is available for reduced or scholarship rates. Teachers could choose to work the breaks or not for extra pay. It also allowed a more structed format. 9 weeks on and 2 off. (with 6 in summer off) and it seemed to help recharge both my DDs without losing momentum.

 

 

I would say that 4 days all day with a longer school day would be long for some K kids. There is no way one of my DD could have done a 8-9 hours school day at 5. She would have fallen asleep or melted down.

 

 

 

I would see how they would handle childcare if you needed it? If the schools offered childcare on the days off- what was the fee/could it be reduced or scholarshiped? and what would the program be (child care classicly or an enrichment program). Also how would busing work? If you qualify for reduced meals- do you get a 'sack lunch' for Fri? (that is what the area we were in did for all day kids).  Would the schedule change or be steady? (some schools did alternating days on/off)

 

 

I think a lot depends on how the school handles it, the childs personality, what the 'extra' time entails, the actual calendar itself, if alternative programming is available, and the age/grade expectations.

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