The nationwide trend of four-day school weeks sees success in cost savings, attendance, and teacher recruitment. But the trend isn’t catching on in California. There are only two small and remote school districts, Leggett Valley Unified in Mendocino County and Big Sur Unified in Monterey County, have the shorter school week in California.
The trend of a shortened school week is not practical for the majority of schools in California, as the state’s Education Code mandates a minimum of five days of classes per week or risk losing funding. Although exceptions have been made in the past for a select few schools in remote areas, they still must adhere to the required annual instructional minutes. Some of the previously approved districts have gone back to a five-day schedule, while others never implemented the four-day format. Despite its increasing popularity nationwide, the four-day week is a contentious issue. It offers more flexibility for educators and families, but studies have shown that students on four-day schedules tend to have fewer classroom hours and score lower on tests in subjects such as English and math.
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