The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Free Our Fridays

Is it time to return to four-day school weeks?

February 17, 2022

%E2%80%9C+When+we+had+four-day+weeks+we+were+on+a+hybrid+schedule+and+many+teacher-student+communications+were+remote.+Students+were+often+expected+to+work+asynchronously.+Having+that+Friday+often+gave+students+an+opportunity+to+have+more+meaningful+experiences+with%2C+e.g.%2C+content+and+assignments%E2%80%A6opposed+to+attending+a+class+on+Webex.%E2%80%9D+said+Mr.Beddia

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“ When we had four-day weeks we were on a hybrid schedule and many teacher-student communications were remote. Students were often expected to work asynchronously. Having that Friday often gave students an opportunity to have more meaningful experiences with, e.g., content and assignments…opposed to attending a class on Webex.” said Mr.Beddia

Last year we had four day weeks because of hybrid learning, so there were opportunities for students to receive help during Fridays. It’s time to bring them back. Four-day weeks won’t only benefit the students’ learning, it will help teachers catch up on grading. Four-day weeks will help sports, mental health, and grades for many students. This will give those who play sports a chance to have more availability to practice before a game and to have more games in one day. This will also help students catch up on homework and assignments to get their grades up and have a day to themselves which could also benefit students’ mental health overall.

Seeing Both Sides

There is a very wide range of opinions on whether there should be four-day weeks for students, there are variations from the possibility to no. There aren’t many teachers that are one-hundred percent positive they would want the four-day weeks back.

The reason why many students enjoyed having Fridays off was to slack off, “we don’t need shorter weeks, we need more time-efficient classes” said (Junior) Caydence Young

But there are often two sides, “I believe a four-day week would be highly beneficial in the world of education post-COVID protocols.  When we shut down for the semester and went to online learning, we changed the nature of education for our students.  This reset maybe what we needed to make the desperately needed changes to public education,” said Mr.Brown

Grasping both opinions we can see that students do need more time-efficient classes. But is a four-day week going to help shape these classes to become more time-efficient?

If Fridays became a day that students would have the opportunity to meet with the teacher individually, this could help all shy students, who don’t feel comfortable asking questions in front of the whole class.

Fridays wouldn’t be off, they would be an opportunity for teachers and students to get caught up. There are still many quarantines going on, if a student fell behind while in quarantine, once they were out of quarantine they would have an opportunity to have extra help to get caught up and helped by their teachers.

Mental Health and Grades

When it comes to mental health and grades, for many students that can all circle into the school being the biggest cause of the drop in good mental health and their academic performance. With good mental health, it can make a very positive impact on the academic performance of students. If the school weeks were shortened to 4 days, then it would very much improve students’ excellence and how they behave performance-wise in and out of the classroom.

Mental health and school can either mix well or not. But with the super busy schedules that many students have to work with like juggling school, work, and even sports, school can drag students down and make it hard to maintain good mental health. With four-day weeks it can help students improve their grades, students productivity, and excellence academically. Student health is a very important factor in how students can perform and feel. If students took the extra day off during the week seriously, and used it to their advantage, then it could seriously impact how they can perform during the normal school week.

Drawing back to last school year with the constant change in schooling schedules, the four-day weeks seemed to help students the most. “If the four-day week came back I would welcome it. I doubt every student would take advantage of the time and use it to, e.g., practice skills and get caught up. However, some would. Also, mental health and stress are still a real thing, which an open Friday could help assuage,” said Mr. Beddia.

Sports and Activities

Most extracurricular activities happen on Fridays, so being able to practice before a game or having rehearsal before a performance are key to succeeding.

Each activity has different necessities that need to be accommodated to, and offering the opportunity to students to practice or rehearse, may lead to our school having a better performance. “I imagine that having a day off would be a big help with rehearsals and practices. I imagine it would provide beneficial, essential flexibility to address different or specialized needs.” Mr. Beddia said.

Fridays off may also encourage students to have better school spirit, and more availability to assist away games on Fridays.

Many students leave their last class early to go to an away game. They lose time to learn when they could just get help during the morning and prepare to be ready for the game instead of stressing how they will make up for their lost time.

Taking Fridays off the schedule may also encourage students to join after-school activities because they will have more time to dedicate to the sport. “If I join something after school I want to do it right, I don’t want to just half-ass it,” said Jesus Solorzano.

“The chance for them to get caught up and even stay or become eligible on these days would be huge for our athletes and performers who struggle with school and their core classes.”

The Final Verdict

Productivity and consistency is the most important thing that you need when getting an education. When there is a lack of productivity in students’ work then it strongly impacts their academic growth and performance. When a student gets homework assignments over the school week and is only given the weekend to finish all of the assignments, having Fridays off for just school work and receiving help from teachers could help improve their growth and productivity a lot, because the availability of space and time to work on their assignments.

Mr. Brown summarizes it best. “I was able to have separate and extra rehearsals with my students that moved us forward in our limited ability to rehearse. I see the benefit of having this time, and I know the more industrious of our students would use it wisely.”

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