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Framingham: Would You Want a 4-Day School Week?

One Massachusetts school superintendent is asking his School Committee to explore the option, which would save on transportation and utility costs and has seen test scores improve in some districts with four days.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
A Massachusetts superintendent of schools is proposing a 4-day school week, with longer hours on those four days but a 3-day weekend for his district.

Mohawk Trail Regional School District Superintendent Michael Buoniconti will ask his School Committee at its meeting tonight, Jan. 8 for permission to explore the option.

The school leader told The Recorder of Greenfield about 300, mostly rural districts, across America have already gone to 4-day weeks.

Buoniconti said the pluses would be saving on transportation and utility costs, while staff attendance goes up, reducing the need to hire substitutes. 

The Superintendent said some of those 300 4-day week school districts reported improved test scores.

To meet Massachusetts education requirements, a school district would need to extend a school day by 90 minutes if it opted for a four day week.

The Mohawk school district serves the Western Massachusetts communities  of Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Hawley, Heath, Plainfield, Rowe and Shelburne.

Framingham middle schools are in session five days a week from 8:10 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. And additional 90 minutes could see a 8:10 a.m. to 4:05 p.m. or 7:40 to 3:25 p.m. schedule. Most of the town's eight public elementary schools start at 9 or 9:15 a.m.

So, Framingham, what do you think? Would you want a 4-day school week? Tell us your opinion in the comments.

Scott Wadland January 08, 2014 at 11:31 AM
"Framingham middle schools are in session five days a week from 8:10 a.m. to 2:25 p.m." This might be the case, but my kids (who are involved in extra-curricular activities like music and drama) have days that they get to school at 7am and don't leave until 5pm. There's no way they could extend the day by another 90 minutes without some major cutbacks in other activities. Also, for the majority of folks, a 5-day school week coincides nicely with a 5-day work week.
Kim McCarthy January 08, 2014 at 12:35 PM
Oh here we go.... asking the same parents who complained about having just 2 extra days for winter break ? Get ready for a lot of negativity over this!
Scott Wadland January 08, 2014 at 02:09 PM
Yes, lots of negativity, and rightfully so. People who have to "work outside the home" typically do so 5 days a week, and can't just shift their work schedules because the schools can save some money on transportation (assuming they can get drivers who only want to work four days a week) and can get better "staff attendance" if teachers only have to show up four days a week!
Kim McCarthy January 08, 2014 at 02:14 PM
:)
andrea rubin January 09, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Yes please! I think kids would be more productive in a shorter week! A little longer day will go unnoticed after time! They have more homework time, more family time and more down time! By the fifth day of school my kids are dragging anyways! Bring it on!
andrea rubin January 09, 2014 at 08:07 AM
I also think teachers will be happier and more motivated! Less traffic too! School isn't day care for working people! We all work, but things can be adjusted!!
TSC January 09, 2014 at 02:27 PM
Unfortunately, even though we would love to see businesses become more flexible (and some have) there are a lot of businesses that would not allow people adjust their schedules to accomodate this. I would guess that the majority of people would find this a great hardship and it could threaten their position at their jobs. Those who work at places that can accomodate this (and I happen to be lucky enough to work in one of those places, but clearly understand what I have is not the norm) should not criticize those who cannot. And, I have to agree with Scott. My kids are in many after school activities and then sports. This would not permit any time in between the two.
Shannon Pierson January 18, 2014 at 08:23 AM
The money that the schools are saving would end up increasing the amount of money that parents need to pay for child care or carting the kids around to extra activities on their "day at home". Also, I believe kids need time to process what they are learning and revisit it, a longer day does not necessarily increase the amount they learn.

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