In a move that is already generating controversy, 27J school district of Colorado’s Adams County has announced that it will be adopting a four-day school week starting next fall. Mondays will now be the third day of the weekend for students and teachers, with the four remaining school days being extended an hour to make up for the lost day of school.
But while this new policy may sound like a dream come true for students – and a nightmare for parents – the permanent three-day weekend has little to do with either faction. In fact, the district is implementing the four-day work week in hopes of attracting high-quality teachers. It’s a move meant to combat several years of recruiting woes for 27J school district which has struggled to hire and retain teachers due to low pay.
“Our teachers are the lowest paid in the area,” Tracy Rudnick, the district’s public information officer, told Buzzfeed News. Rudnick said that currently, teachers can switch to the Boulder-area district and make $10,000 more per year. The district hopes that by shortening the week, they will be able to give teachers more time to prepare for class.
“This can help retain highly qualified teachers, giving them more time in the day for development and to plan and prepare,” Rudnick said. “We realize teachers are doing this on their own personal time.”
According to the district, the shorter week has been universally praised by teachers, as 91 percent responded positively to the change in a survey sent out by the district. However, the four-day school week has been less of a hit with parents, especially working parents, who are left wondering how they are supposed to look after their kid with the extra day off.
Rudnick said the district was planning to offer child care for $30 a day. The service will be offered from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM and so far, over 700 families have signed up.