On the other side of the coin, students would have more time at home or at loose ends. Many would have no parental supervision for that extra day. It’s possible that some children would not receive as much nourishment as they would receive at school. So mainly the positive would be that it benefits schools financially.
Perhaps athletes and band members could practice every other afternoon during the week and on Friday. With some early evenings, these students would get more rest. And, since many discipline problems come from students' being tired, perhaps the longer weekend would alleviate some of the fatigue and stress of both teachers and students. It does seem that faculty and students are "fitter" after a long weekend.
The arguments I have heard for a four day school week have mostly been financial. I am not sure you would see a great deal of difference in how teachers use the week for instruction, also I not sure how you would motivate students to stay focused another 90 minutes or so a day, if you extend the day.
The one that I've heard most often has to do with saving money/bussing. A couple years ago when gas skyrocketed, it would have made an incredible difference in a school district's budget to knock 20% off of the fuel bill. I've also heard it applied to heating costs; when you consider how many buildings some of the larger school districts pay to heat, the amount of money spent on heating buildings could quickly add up.
I think the previous posts make some good points. I would also add that an argument could be made that more content could be covered in a four day week than in a five day one. In extending the day while giving Friday off for students, teachers could do more instruction during the four days and give more time to students outside of class for projects, tasks, and assignments that require reflection and deeper thought. Under the current system, students have only the weekend for this. One has to figure that if students lose one of those days to activities or rest, then they are at a disadvantage. The extra day might be able to facilitate more productivity outside of school, which could enhance the work products and processes within it.
I agree with the previous editor.
- Money would also be saved by the cost of electricity spent, and employees paid on that 5th day of the week, in addition to their costs saved by not attending work a fifth day.
- In addition, a longer school day for 4 days a week and a 5th day off for students would change the nature of study hopefully for the better. Teachers might focus harshly during the week on in class activity, and choose that longer weekend as the only time to assign homework. This would give students no excuses and longer periods of time to complete homework.
- Students in high school would have the opportunity to work a good amount of hours given the right types of jobs.
I am assuming that you just want reasons why they should do this, so even if I think there are good reasons not to do this, I will just talk about reasons why it would be good:
- It would save a great deal of money. This is especially true for rural districts like the one where I used to teach. Busing students from a large area costs a lot of money and will cost even more if gas prices go back up.
- It could give teachers more of an opportunity to plan. Teachers often say that they don't have time to plan, especially with other teachers. If they had Fridays with no students, they could have time to plan with other teachers.
- There could be more time to do extracurricular activities on that 5th day. This might allow more students to do things like band or choir or drama.