A day off could pay off: The benefits of switching to four day school weeks

Opinion by AshleyJohanek

You get to Friday and all you can think about is the ride home. You are exhausted, overworked, and your mind is elsewhere. I’m the same way. I cannot get through five days without imagining how I will feel at 3 on a Friday. 

Fellow sophomores and freshmen, you may not have experienced quarantine at Marian, but we can hopefully all agree we had more time to sleep, do homework, and take moments for our own mental health. Fellow juniors and seniors, remember how during our year spent at home, we got every Wednesday off? How that was nice. Zoom calls gave students more time to sleep, most waking just before class started. We were in our home environments able to find a moment to relax and decompress from the stress of logging in to zoom and sitting looking at a screen for 90-minutes. 

Switching to 90-minute blocks have had their perks, but they mentally drain me. Having at least one day a week off to regroup and catch up on the lack of sleep would tremendously give me more energy to perform better in classes. I indeed pay attention in class but feel as if I do not retain information as easily as I do with adequate sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, “The primary signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation include excessive daytime sleepiness and daytime impairment such as reduced concentration, slower thinking, and mood changes.” Getting the proper eight hours of sleep is very necessary to feel alive when I wake up. 

So how does a shorter week help with sleep? Well thanks for asking. Four day weeks have their pros more than their cons. We would have an equal amount of classes, two A days and two E days, a day to regroup, catch up on homework, and get the sleep we need for our developing minds.

I see no downsides. It would also give teachers an extra day to plan, grade, and get the proper sleep they deserve as working adults. Five day weeks cause stress, anxiety, sleepiness, and an inability for motivation. Whether it is on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, a day off is much needed.

More than 20% of school districts in Oregon, Idaho, South Dakota, Colorado and New Mexico have switched to 4-day school scheduling. Learn more on NCSL.org.

It is time that Marian took the benefits of four day weeks into consideration.


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The Network is the student newspaper of Marian High School, Nebraska's only Class A College-Preparatory School for young women.

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