Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Four-Day School Week
Statement of The Problem
Each year public school districts throughout the United States experience difficult decisions about how to allocate their limited educational funds. When the economy weakens, heightened consideration is given to methods by which school districts can more efficiently use their financial resources to make up for decreased funding (Gaines, 2008). One cost cutting method that some states and school districts have adopted is to retain the number of instructional hours in each school week but to shorten the length of the school week from five days to four days (Griffith, 2011).
Minnesota districts applying for authorization to employ a four-day week option have encountered opposition from state leadership and the education commissioner (Steward, 2015). An investigation of the literature reveals that no recent studies of the four-day school week have been conducted in the state of Minnesota. Additionally, national research on this topic is scarce (Idaho Education News, Dec. 2015).
Study Purpose and Overview
The purpose of this study was to examine two rural Minnesota school districts that were employing a four-day school week during the 2016-17 school year: to ascertain support among school board members, administrators, teachers, and parents for the four-day schedule. Further, the study intended to gather perceptions from these stakeholder groups regarding advantages of, disadvantages of, and changes (if any) in their school districts’ four-day school week. The following research questions were designed to support these aims:
- How supportive were school board members, administrators, teachers, and parents of select school districts’ four-day school week?
- What did school board members, administrators, teachers, and parents perceive as advantages of their school districts’ four-day school week?
- What did school board members, administrators, teachers, and parents perceive as disadvantages of their school districts’ four-day school week?
- What changes, if any, would the school board, administrators, teachers, and parents identify that would increase their support of the school districts’ four-day school week?
In order to address the research questions, the researcher created an online survey that gathered data from two school districts, totaling over 450 respondents’ perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of the four-day school week schedule. In order to enrich study findings, one-on-one interviews were conducted with seven respondents who volunteered to expand upon survey questions with the researcher.
Although the four-day school week began as a means for school districts to reduce costs and save money, the study indicated there were other advantages to the four-day school week for both teachers and families, including providing additional time for teacher/lesson planning, allowing families more quality time together, and increased school attendance.
Hanson, Heather Lynn, "An Examination of the Four-Day School Week Schedule in Select Minnesota School Districts" (2017). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 39.