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Opinion: Wadsworth Should Move To A Four Day School Week

With two high schools across Ohio formally switching to a four-day school week, is this something Wadsworth should consider in the future?
North College Hill, a school district in Cincinnati has formally moved its schedule away from the traditional five-day week at the start of the 2023-2024 school year. They made this change in order to better faculty lives, allowing for a better classroom environment.
“The main reason was for teacher wellness, ” said Lincoln Butts, Principal of North College Hill High. “So we are trying to make sure that we have healthy teachers in the room to help facilitate healthy learning for the students.”
Despite students not attending in-person education on Mondays, they are still required to complete assignments remotely from home, which has proven to be difficult.

This graphic shows North College Hill’s School Schedule. There are more schools making the change to the four-day school weeks instead of the traditional five-day. Graphic by Emma Lynn.

“So on Mondays, students aren’t necessarily off, and getting them to do their Monday assignments is a task that we are having a difficult time with,” Butts said.
Despite that, this change has proven to be successful in North College Hill and the school for sure will continue the 4-day schedule into the 2024-2025 school year.
“For managing the teachers and for them to plan and have meetings and stuff like that, it has been extremely beneficial,” Butts said.
This whole schedule came apart due to the COVID-19 epidemic of 2020. The school had an alternate schedule that allowed for students to come in 2 days a week and remain remote on Mondays.
“You either came to school on Tuesday/Wednesday or Thursday/Friday during COVID[-19] and then all kids were remote on Mondays,” Butts said.
After the COVID-19 restrictions ended, employees of North College Hill expressed a liking for an alternate school week.
”After that, a lot of teachers turned in surveys saying that this was actually a lot better,” Butts said.
In addition, this year will be the first summer in which the school has a four-day week. North College Hill is hoping this will be able to entice new teachers and allow for more job opportunities in their school district.
“This is actually going to be the first summer putting this out for recruitment of teachers,” Butts said.
Similarly, Harbor High School in Ashtabula has also moved over to a 4 day school, for other reasons.
“One of the main reasons that we went to a four-day week was just to try to be a little bit unique,” said Steven Nichols, Principal of Harbor High School, “The world is changing and we thought maybe we should change a little bit with it.”
However, comparable to North College Hill, both schools expressed their want for better teacher attitudes that undermine the scheduled shift.
“Within that, we were also addressing, I think, some of the needs concerning our staff,” said Nichols.
He expressed similar concerns as Butts involving teacher attitudes after COVID, hoping the shorter school week will allow for more creativity and better lesson planning in the classroom.
“The challenges that people have faced returning back to full-time after COVID are still lingering,” Nichols said.
One issue in particular expressed by Harbor High School is their lack of substitute teachers when their regular staff cannot be present.
“I don’t have a whole lot of substitute teachers and that was becoming a struggle for us,” said Nichols, “So one of the things we did was cutting back to the 4 days and that was to help staff morale.”
As this becomes a trend across different schools in Ohio, the question arises, is this something Wadsworth should consider? The overarching theme among these schools is that it truly helps teacher morale which in turn allows for better education and a stronger classroom atmosphere. We as a district could greatly benefit from this change in schedule as it has proven to be beneficial for teachers’ and student lives alike.

 

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About the Contributor
Emma Lynn
Emma Lynn, Staff Writer
Emma Lynn is the Social Media Editor for the Bruin. This is her first year on staff and her favorite part is getting to be with her friends and learn more about the community. This year she is excited to design cool pages and write stories about different interesting people and things going on in her town. Her favorite story she has written was 'World Class: Wadsworth Welcomes Exchange Students' because she loved getting to meet new students and learn about different cultures. Outside of the newspaper, Emma is also a varsity cheerleader and a part of the high school lacrosse team.
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