When students in the Adams Township Schools in Painesdale return from Christmas break, they’ll start using a 4-day school week.
And a district in the U.P. that already uses a 4-day week has a little advice for them.
Republic-Michigamme was the first school district in Michigan to switch to a 4-day week.
They did it in 2003, and they haven’t had classes on Mondays ever since.
It saves them about $100,000 a year on salaries, fuel costs and utility costs.
But the idea isn’t for everyone.
Superintendent Vicki Lempinen says it’s a bad idea for school systems that have other districts close by because students can easily go elsewhere under school choice if their parents don’t like it.
She says day care can be a problem, but it hasn’t proven to be an issue for them so far.
But students have to be in the classroom for the same total time each year, whether their weeks are 5 days long or 4.
Republic-Michigamme made the school day longer by a little over an hour to compensate for having fewer days.
Lempinen suggests that the Adams Township district give the shorter week time to take hold.
She says it’ll be tough at first to get acclimated to the longer days, but she thinks the kids will adapt easily if given a chance.
The Adams Township Schools will be using the 4-day week for January, February and March.
They’ll take Fridays off, lengthen the class day for the other 4 days and lengthen the school year too.