An Ohio school district will become the first in the state to implement a four-day school week in a bid to alleviate stress faced by students and staff.
North College Hill City School District will switch from the traditional five-day school week to a hybrid schedule that includes four days of in-person instruction and one day of guided learning from home beginning next school year.
The decision was made after a unanimous vote from the board of education.
Eugene Blalock, the district superintendent, told WCPO that he believes the new schedule “could be a model that could save the profession of education,” as it will help alleviate stress faced by staff.
“Teachers are leaving the profession at alarming rates and the idea of being able to have some quality time dedicated to just get some collaboration, some planning, is something that is intriguing to the teachers, and it actually has excited and re-ignited my teachers,” Blalock said.
Board members of the suburban Cincinnati school district, which serves roughly 1,400 students from pre-K to 12th grade with 150 teachers, voted on the new schedule on Monday.
Beginning Aug. 15, district students will spend their Mondays doing self-directed work from home, while attending in-person classes Tuesdays through Fridays, according to the schedule released by the board.
Blalock noted that there remain issues concerning childcare and food options for students on Mondays that the district is working out. He said he is confident that the district will be able to offer options for younger families, including having children in school buildings on Mondays.
Third-grade teacher Raven Jackson told WCPO that the five-day work week is burning out the students and staff.
“We are all worn out — like the kids are even worn out … I think this Monday will help with that,” Jackson said, adding that having Mondays outside of the classroom opens up opportunities for doctor’s appointments without using a sick day.
“At least we know Mondays we wouldn’t have to worry about having a sub, splitting our classrooms, putting that extra work on our teammates and I think having that Monday for those set times and set appointments would definitely help out,” she told the outlet.
School districts across the country have also opted to adopt the four-day school week. Last year, the Independence School District near Kansas City, Missouri adopted a similarly abridged week.
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