Polling done by Gallup shows that students’ classroom engagement drops by over 54% from the start of 5th grade to their senior year of high school. Why might this be? The monotony of the same schedule for 12 years, perhaps? What if instead of waking up and mashing down the snooze button 15 times, students were up at the first sound of the alarm, excited for a new day of learning? No more 5 days of repetition? Fortunately, there are some schools and districts around the country testing new and innovative models for how the school week could look.
These schools are experimenting with a week that could see only 4 days of structured classroom time, plus one day of the week dedicated to allowing students to explore self-learning. Eliminating subject blocks in favor of more out-of-classroom instruction; or adopting a year-round school year are also some ways different schools and districts are trying to reinvent the standard 5 day school week. Regardless of the ideas proposed, it is time to reimagine the school week; to give students opportunities for more individualized education.
Reimagining the school week would do so much more than just offer some variety in the week. It would allow students to have more of a say in what and how they’re learning and lead to more engagement. For parents, it would offer flexibility that doesn’t exist in a 5 day 7:55am to 3:10pm school week. The thing about reimagining anything is that there are always infinite possibilities for positive change.