In rural Minnesota, one district is skipping classes every Monday to save fuel. On the other days, classes will be about 10 minutes longer.
"I think it's a great opportunity," said Candice Jaenisch, whose two sons and daughter will be making the switch. "You're cutting expenses that really don't affect school."
The other option for the district — Maccray, an acronym for Maynard, Clara City and Raymond — was to start cutting electives. A shorter week will save at least $65,000 in fuel, superintendent Greg Schmidt said.
There is still a cost. Kids will have to stay awake and alert later in the day, and some parents will need to find day care on Mondays. But it's a small district, with 700 students, and many parents are self-employed with jobs in farming or construction.
"I really don't know that there are that many people with set hours Monday through Friday," Jaenisch said.
Nationwide, at least 14 other districts are switching to four-day weeks, and dozens more are considering it, according to a recent survey by the.
About 100 districts made the switch years ago, in many cases because of the 1970s oil crisis.
I thought this was a great idea. As a mom, this will give me more time at home with my new baby and as a teacher, this gives students a longer break from school so they don't burn out so quickly. I realize that for some families, that means day care, but I'm thinking about the educational needs of students. Many students get burned out in school within a few months of the new school year and their grades start to plummet by December. I would be very curious to see how students performed in school with a shorter week. Also, if students are in school longer during the day, maybe some families won't have to pay for day care after school, they'll be able to pick up their child right after work. What do you think of a 4 day school week?