Four Day School Week State-Wide
Senate Bill S.B._2-204, written by Thomas O’Connor from Pueblo West, is an act to “require all school districts in Colorado to convert to four day school weeks.” He states that this is to “boost educational funding in Colorado, and to transfer the remaining school districts over since nearly half of our school districts have transferred to a four-day week.” We asked Pages Xotchil Olagve and Milton Matute, both freshmen from Gateway High School, their thoughts and they couldn’t agree more.
Milton very excitedly said that he believes this “would be a wonderful idea, especially since students seem to need more time to work by themselves.” And he couldn’t be more correct. According to Harvard Business Review, “As a brain scientist, I know that great individuals are not only more valuable than legions of mediocrity, they are often more valuable than groups that include great individuals. Here’s why. The truth is, our brains work very well individually but tend to break down in groups. This is why we have individual decision makers in business, and why paradoxically we have group decisions in government (https://hbr.org/2011/06/why-a-great-individual-is-bett).”
Xotchil was equally thrilled at the idea. She stated that “The less the students who are all riled up come into contact, the less trouble there will be. I’ve personally noticed that most physical problems between students happen at the very end of the school week.” This claim was backed up by a Seattle-based education website (http://education.seattlepi.com/public-school-disadvantages-3113.html). “Jimmy Linderman, superintendent of the Chattooga County School District in Georgia, reported that during one year the discipline referral frequency of students attending school only four days per week fell 73 percent. Students are more rested and focused and therefore less likely to disrupt class, be off task or engage in other behaviors requiring discipline. Fewer class disruptions result in more engaged teaching and learning.”
O’Connor, the original sponsor of this bill, also made it apparent that “ In addition, it will address the complications from guardians have with transporting their students to school, five days a week.” So not only will it take weight of the everyday life, but “The proposal will allow funding from the Friday school day to be diverted into educational instruments like books, equipment, technology, and renovations.” This bill also has no penalty clause, no appropriations clause, and a very simple and immediate enactment clause.
Some might argue, like the author Jazmine Anderson from The Odyssey, that “Trouble with the four-day week is simply that the five-day week is firmly rooted in our culture. Schools’ entire schedules depend on having a full five days. Making hundreds of students, faculty members and families adjust to a completely new schedule of four days is a huge shift and a huge commitment (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/pros-cons-four-day-school-week). But change is nothing to be afraid of, and in this day in age, adaptation is something that we all have adapted too ironically enough.
This bill not only was well written and filled with good intentions, but it seems to be a popular decision amongst the representatives at Youth In Government this year! Great job Thomas O’Connor!
Author and Photographer: Adaline Lang