Avery 4dsw blog draft
The number of four-day school weeks (4dsw) in Missouri has risen considerably in the past few years: from 34 in the 2017–2018 school year to 152 in the 2022–2023 school year. Based on my own compilation of district calendars, there appears to be around 170 for the 2023–2024 school year—although those numbers are not final at this time.
While typically a 4dsw district is a small, rural district, that could be changing in Missouri. The Independence School District in Kansas City just began its first semester using a 4dsw this year. The district had over 13,000 students in 2021–2022, which is over 10,000 more students than the second-biggest 4dsw district, Warren County R-III. It will be interesting to see if more suburban and urban districts follow Independence’s example.
Along with James Shuls, I am currently working on a systematic literature review of the best evidence on the effects of the 4dsw. We’ll get into those findings at a later date. Here, I think it is important to discuss the most common arguments for and against the 4dsw. Specifically in this post, I will list the different arguments regarding how the 4dsw could impact academic achievement.4dsw arguments
Research should be able to give us a better idea about the average effect of the 4dsw on student achievement. Whether the overall effects are positive or negative, it seems clear that the 4dsw will not impact all students in the same way. These issues are important to consider when evaluating the 4dsw, and James and I are excited to present our findings in the near future.