The Case for a 4-Day School Week


Banou Nazemi '22, Staff Writer

Marymount has made a monumental shift for the school year, addressing COVID-19 health concerns. The change from a 5-day school week to a 4-day schedule has proved exceedingly popular amongst the student body. This simple modification has alleviated much of the stress that we struggle with throughout the year. AP classes are no longer rushed to get through content in the hour-long periods and have more time for in-class discussions. Set even-odd days make balancing work much easier as we are able to plan out completing our work accordingly, setting time aside for studying as we know with certainty what days we will be in class.  The 4-day school week has been a necessary and vital change.

Auxiliary Fridays have allowed for essentially a two and a half-day break for us to finish our work, study for exams, and meet with teachers. The rotating AP schedule on these days also allows for mental breaks––additional time for students to thoroughly understand and review all the information rather than rushing to cram, just to forget when the test is over. As Community is moved to Fridays and followed with Advisory, students are more engaged in the conversation rather than worrying about a test they have first period or trying to hastily complete last night’s homework assignment during the presentations. The inclusion of this new Friday schedule grants AP students the ability to remain engaged in class, and non-AP students extra time to work on assignments, meet with teachers, and be focused on the tasks at hand. 

The greatest positive change the 4-day school week has made is decreasing screen time. In the new world of online school, students find themselves drained much faster as they sit in front of the computer for hours on end. Staring at their computers for extended periods of time has substantial effects on students’ attention span, quickness of thinking, and even physical form. The five minutes between each class we used to have walking outside between buildings had a positive impact on our learning; it allowed time to clear our minds from class to class and served as a great time to stretch our legs in preparation of yet another hour of being stagnantly seated––an asset that had been taken for granted. By shortening class periods to an hour and adding 15 minute breaks, the pressure of Zoom is somewhat mitigated. This is aided by auxiliary Fridays and the entirety of the 4-day school week.

Overall, the shifting to a 4-day school week has benefitted students in many ways: we are more engaged in classes, organized in completing our work, and have enough time to take in the information we learn. Marymount’s help in creating a less stressful learning environment during these already stressful times is greatly appreciated and warmly welcomed. The case for a 4-day school week has clearly proven to be a strong one.

An illustration of a Zoom meeting. Photo designed by Briana Gagnier.