The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

Polls

In honor of Talent Show, which runs Thursday through Saturday, what is your super talent?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

We Should Make the Switch to Four-Day School Weeks

Seniors Ameena Alsikafi and Paige Gibbons studying for hours over the weekend.
Photo Courtesy of Emma Stadolknik
Seniors Ameena Alsikafi and Paige Gibbons studying for hours over the weekend.

900 school districts in the United States have made the switch from the traditional five-day school week to a four-day school week. The driving force behind this switch is the national teaching shortage, which has left many districts unable to fill full-time teaching positions.

While the four-day week is admirable for schools looking to hire teachers, this approach also has significant benefits for students.

Student burnout is a significant issue among high schoolers. In fact, 51% of teens are told at least once a month that they appear burnt out. At a school as rigorous as LFHS – where performing at a high level is expected – many students dedicate hours, even entire days, of their weekends toward completing school work. If a third day was added to each weekend, students would have the necessary time to complete school work, but would also have an extra day to pursue other things they enjoy doing.

With mental health issues on the rise, especially for teens, four-day school weeks would allow students an extra free day to focus on mental health: a day free from the burdens of studying for the SAT/ACT, working on college applications (for some), or fulfilling extracurricular duties.

 A contributor to the mental health crisis is sleep deprivation. In fact, 70% of high school students do not get the 8-10 nightly hours of sleep as recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. An additional day to the weekend would allow students to catch up on much-needed sleep, hopefully improving their ability to focus while in class.

Four-day school weeks allow students more time to relax and prepare for the school week – therefore students would likely be more present while in class. In fact, student attendance has proven to improve in schools that have implemented the four-day school week.

The Illinois General Assembly passed a bill allowing districts to adopt a four-day school week if given approval by the State Board of Education. If District 115 were to adopt the four-day school week, the school calendar would have to be altered in order to meet instructional time mandates given by the state, meaning an extended weekend at the cost of longer school days. 

Longer school days are not the only downside of this potential system. The four-day week could pose serious issues for working parents seeking childcare on that fifth day. While a four-day school week would give students an extra day off, most of corporate America must still function on that day. Finding babysitters and nannies, although an option, is costly, and logistically difficult.

Although high school students might be able to survive longer school days, younger kids like preschoolers and kindergarteners don’t necessarily have the stamina to do so. Preschool students are given naps during their days because their brains are still developing so they need more downtime. 

Some disadvantages for high school students include there being less time for in-school activities such as clubs. For lower-income students, they get fewer weekly free meals because their school weeks would be shortened. Also, in some neighborhoods juvenile crime could spike because students have more free time rather than being at school.   

Even though potential drawbacks persist, we believe the benefits the four-day week would provide for high schoolers outweigh the downsides. A four-day week, if implemented, would significantly improve student mental health while likely improving academic productivity, and for these reasons, it should be considered in District 115. 

View Comments (1)
Donate to The Forest Scout
$100
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Lake Forest High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Emma Stadolnik, Editor-in-Chief
Emma Stadolnik is a senior and is so excited to be returning to The Forest Scout, this time as an Editor-in-Chief! Around LFHS, you can find her on the volleyball court as captain of the varsity team, or at GIVE club! She enjoys singing to country music, spending time outside, and listening to good podcasts. Edit
Coralis Colon, Editor
Senior Coralis Colon is super excited to be returning to The Forest Scout, this year as an Editor! She is a member of The Student Council, NHI, Scout Nation, and Spanish Club. In her free time, you can find her cooking, shopping, reading, spending time with friends, and family, and her two dogs, Bandit and Ozzie. When she has the time, she enjoys traveling and babysitting.
Donate to The Forest Scout
$100
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (1)

All The Forest Scout Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    audreyFeb 6, 2024 at 11:31 am

    help me confince my school to have a 4 day school week

    Reply