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Four-day week can cut costs.

Over 100 school districts in 17 states have gone to a four-day schedule in an effort to cut costs, including those for transportation.

Niagara Catholic in western New York is one such school, where students have Mondays off in exchange for extended hours on the other four school days. Staff are compensated the same, reports the The Buffalo News, because the total instructional hours are comparable to a five-day schedule.

The school isn't necessarily saving money on transportation, however, since the public districts where students live pay for parochial school transportation. The benefit for Niagara Catholic is the possibility of boosting their enrollment by touting how the alternative schedule gives students more time to pursue jobs, internships and outside education, such as Niagara University's free fifth-day program. Attendance allows Niagara Catholic students to learn about college-financing options, critical thinking, computer skills and leadership.

The school has committed to trying the four-day schedule for at least two years. Then they'll make a decision about whether or not to return to the traditional five-day schedule.

Source: The Buffalo News, 1/10/10

RELATED ARTICLE: Wilcox County, GA Approves 4-Day School Week Starting in fall 2010, students in Wilcox County will attend school Tuesday-Friday from 8:00-4:00 and faculty is expected to be present from 7:30-4:45. The district expects to save $100,000 next year because of this decision, reports WALB News (1/16/10).

Superintendent Steve Smith says he got the idea for the four-day week from nearby Peach County, which has been seeing great success so far: There has been a reduced number of discipline referrals and less teacher absenteeism.

There are some concerns, though. Students who depend on their schools for nutritious meals will only have access to them four days per week, and parents who work full time count on schools as a safe place for their children to be Monday through Friday. To address these potential problems, Wilcox County is looking into grant opportunities to provide childcare on Mondays, where a hopefully expanded feeding program will provide nutritious snacks.

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Title Annotation:Tools for Schools
Publication:Curriculum Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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