Could Maine Soon See A 4 Day School Week?
If you work in one of Maine's school districts, you have a close family member who works in the school system, or you have children in school in Maine, you know that the last few years have not been easy for our educators.
In a matter of days, schools went from being fully in-person to being fully remote. While some schools, for various reasons, had the basic groundwork laid for remote schooling, more were completely left high and dry. Over the next few months, teachers did their best to educate the kids from afar. When (most) Maine schools did re-open in the fall of 2020, the teachers had a whole new series of "new normal" problems to deal with - being the mask police, cohorts, pool testing, etc.
In addition to the stress of the last few years, the education industry, like nearly other industry, is dealing with workers resigning to follow their dreams. This has led to many school systems needing to fill multiple educator and administrator positions.
Of course, these issues are a nationwide (or worldwide) problem.
So, how are schools dealing with this lack of staff? Several school systems around the country have found the easy fix is to problem is to switch to a 4 day school week.
According to WCSH 6, the Mineral Wells Independent School District, in Texas, recently made the switch to a 4 day school week. The primary reason they made the switch was that teachers bailed on the district to work for nearby school systems that were already offering the Monday through Thursday school week. After a poll found that 87% of teachers supported the four day week, they wasted no time in making the change.
So, could it ever happen here in Maine? As far as we know, it has not been discussed... yet.
Of course, there are pros and cons. While both teachers and staff would have an extra day a week to relax and refresh, it means that the students would have less classroom time. While this may not be an issue with older students, it could pose problems for younger students or students who need extra help. After all, one of the biggest complaints of parents (and many educators) during the pandemic was the lack of in-person learning.
Additionally, the extra day off could pose problems for working parents who have kids that cannot be left alone at home. On the other hand, it means that stay at home parents and parents who work out of the home, would have more quality time with their children.
What do you think? Would you be in favor of it or against it? Let us know your thoughts by sending us a message through our app or on Facebook.