BRIGHTON, Colo. —Tuesday is the first day of school for elementary students in the Brighton 27J school district. This year, those students will never attend class on a Monday.
In March, the district decided to move to a four-day school week in hopes of retaining teachers, who were leaving the district for better paying school districts in the metro area.
Students will attend classes Tuesday through Friday. Rather than extending the school year to meet state requirements for instruction time, students will be in class longer each day.
Elementary schools and full-day kindergartens will begin at 7:50 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Middle and high schools will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:32 p.m.
To address concerns from parents about child care on Mondays, the district will offer child care from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a fee of $30 per child per day.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 560 districts in 25 states have schools on a four-day schedule. More than half of these districts are located in four states: Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma and Oregon. In Colorado, 98 districts are on a four-day week, but most are in rural areas. Around 13 percent of Colorado students attend school four days per week.
More research is needed into how a four-day week affects student behavior, performance and outcome. One 2015 study out of Colorado showed improved math scores among students on a four-day week. However, a 2016 study showed a potential negative impact — a 73 percent increase in juvenile property crime.
More information on the four-day school week in the 27J district can be found here.