Teaching a 4 Day Week - Michigan Alternative Education

Teaching a 4 Day Week
The Bridge Alternative High School
Nadine Clark
Tara Richardson
Colleen Deaven
Personal Perceptions
What are your personal perceptions or
experiences with a 4 day school week?
★ "Special-Needs" and "At-Risk"
students may have retention
★ Athletic teams and extracurricular
teams have one less day available to
schedule games against schools on a
5-day a week schedule
★ Parents are unable to supervise their
kids activities/choices on the "off-day"
★ The "Real World" is not run on 4 days
a week, and students may develop
patterns that impair "future
Sources:http://www.nbcnews.com/; www.uscranton.com;
www.ssentinel.com; www.debate.org
★ Many students have disclosed they
are not productive during their
weekends and that they will not be
productive on that Friday either
★ Students will have to learn at a
much faster pace
★ Lowered test scores, due to less
time spent=less funding for that
★ One student stated, " It would be
awesome, to have an extra day to
play videogames and watch
Dropout rate declines
Student disciplinary referrals decrease
Student and teacher attendance improves
Significant savings in utility and fuel bills, substitute teacher pay,
transportation costs, custodial pay, and building repairs
★ School Days Missed, due to weather, can be made up on Fridays
★ Students have more time available to volunteer at non-profit
organizations and can earn elective credit
★ Students have more time and flexibility available to work (they can
earn work experience elective credit, while earning an income!)
★ Students will have the opportunity to complete more online classes
which will assist in credit recovery
★ Fridays can be used for students/schools to build relationships with
the community and allow more service learning opportunities
★ Parents are able to schedule appointments for their kids that won't
conflict with their school schedule
★ Students can assist/mentor middle school/elementary students in
programs such as robotics, art, and sporting events
Why a 4 day week?
Generate revenue for the district
Increase credit recovery opportunities
Increase time for planning and professional
development for teachers
Strategic Planning
1. Implement a 4 day, Monday thru
Thursday trimester calendar, while still
maintaining the efficacy of the
2. Grant time for staff to plan and
participate in Professional Development.
3. Offer credit recovery, vocation, tutoring,
and enrichment opportunities to students.
4. Continue behavior intervention
Michigan Department of Education Approval Process
Includes a Cover Letter sent to MDE Alternative
Education Consultant (Mike Barber) along with the
o Waiver Application Review Form
o Alternative Education and Innovative Program
Assurances Form
New Program
Monday - Thursday (7:30am-2:30pm)
New Attendance Policy
Trimester calendar continued from 2012-2013
5 unexcused and 3 excused absences
(2012/2013 school year 8 unexcused and 5 excused absences)
*Enrichment Fridays* (10:30am-2:30pm)
Students must attend at least 1 Friday per month.
Students sign-up for an AM and PM session
Staff meeting every Friday 7:30am-9:30am
Enrichment Friday Structure
Academic Support available to students
Math Lab (10:30am - 2:30pm)
PLATO Online Learning (10:30am - 2:30pm)
Science Club (10:30am-11:30am)
Science Lab (12:30pm - 2:30pm)
Art Club (10:30am-11:30am)
Art Drop In Clinic (12:30pm - 2:30pm)
Music Appreciation (1:00pm - 2:00pm)
English Tutoring (10:30am-11:30am)
Writing Center (12:30pm - 2:30pm)
Off campus lunch (12:00pm-12:30pm)
“Bob Ross Day” Art Club
Enrichment Friday Structure
Additional activities and resources
o Field Trips
Renaissance Festival
Holocaust Museum
Detroit Institute of Art
Dearborn Truck River Rouge Plant
Movie related to subject matter
o Service Learning and Work Experience Credit
o Career and Post-Secondary Education Planning
Field Trip Fun
Enrichment Friday Snapshot
Consistently 35% attendance each Friday
Sept 76.5%
Oct 65.0%
Nov 56.5%
Dec 29.4%
2 Fridays
4 Fridays
4 Fridays
2 Fridays
2 Fridays
4 Fridays
1 Friday
2 Fridays
Math and Science support had the highest attendance
each week
Advanced Art students attended regularly
20% of students taking the MME utilized the test prep
Enrichment Friday Adaptations
Friday Enrichment Goal Sheet
Students could stay for just the morning or
afternoon session instead of the entire day.
5 Enrichment Fridays changed to regular
school days to make-up snow days.
“Regular Fridays” staff provided breakfast
and lunch to students.
I feel that Enrichment Fridays....
➢ “Is a good thing. Some people
need extra time and help.”
➢ “These extra days have allowed
us to make-up all the snow
➢ “Are fantastic and help students
that struggle get more one-onone assistance.”
➢ “Students can easily catch up on
Friday if they missed a day that
➢ “ I come to do work I missed and
work on my personal portfolio.”
➢ “ I love being able to increase my
number of hours at work.”
➢ “ I come in on Fridays to make
sure I don’t have any missing work
to keep my grades up.”
➢ “The Friday enrichment program
is nifty. It’s great to have the
opportunity to make up work and
go on field trips.”
Teacher Feedback
How have the students in your classes utilized Enrichment Fridays?
"Motivated students looking for more help have used these Fridays." Art Teacher
"Students use this extra time to complete assignments and make-up work if they
were absent during the week." Chemistry teacher
"A majority of the students in my classes use enrichment Fridays to complete
missing work. However, a large percentage of students use Fridays to re-take
test/test concepts that they may have struggled with the first time around and
feel that they can demonstrate better understanding a second time around."
Math teacher
Teacher Feedback
For those students who have attended, have their grades and level of
understanding in your classes improved?
The students who have attended have positively improved their grade by completing any
missing work and using the time to clarify any questions they may have." Civics teacher
"Comprehension and level of skill has been positively affected." Art teacher
"The level of understanding has improved for... students who participate are earning
better grades than they did before this program was implemented." Chemistry teacher
"Student math grades have definitely improved.”
A's: 14%
A's: 27%
B's: 35%
B's: 28%
C's: 32%
C's: 29%
D's: 7%
D's: 13%
E's: 12%
E's: 3%
Teacher Planning and PD
Weekly staff meetings
Guest speakers
Assessment Literacy Training
Police Liaison
Multisystemic Therapy (MSTI)
Reaching Higher founder Susie Dolman
School Improvement Technology Presentation
Whiteboard Presentation - Director of Special Education in Brighton
Area Schools
Reading Apprenticeship Training
Thematic unit planning
Year in Review
Enrichment Fridays are a Success!!
Out of district enrollment increased
o Fall 2012 - 2 out of district students
o Fall 2013 - 18 out of district students
Increase in daily attendance
Increase in student work productivity
Significant grade improvement
Increased opportunity for staff Professional
Development and team building
I feel the 4 day week....
➢ "Allow students time for their jobs."
➢ "Sometimes the 5-day a week schedule can become stressful
and overwhelming. Although you must learn the same
material in less time, it helps in my mental health and my
grades have gone up. I am now earning all A's."
➢ "Having a 4-day school week is less stressful."
➢ “I think it allows impoverished students to save gas money
only going to school 4 days a week.”
Teacher Feedback about 4 Day Week
• "We are able to offer field trips, science labs, make-up times, art programs,
clubs, etc...that students seem to be benefiting from. I think the positives
outweigh the negatives." Civics teacher
"The created Friday Enrichment Goal Sheet has been a good tool to keep
students on task and do their work." Office manager
"Students that have taken advantage of Enrichment Fridays have shown an
increase in self-motivation. There has been more individual ownership of
grades. I have seen some students put in greater effort over the 1st four
days of the week knowing that they will have Friday off if they have no
missing work." Math teacher
"Staff communication has improved a lot. We have an opportunity to
problem-solve and get feedback/ideas on helping students achieve, and
opportunity for more PD time." Art teacher
"Attendance has improved during the week. It seems students can handle
[email protected] - Nadine Clark
[email protected]
- Colleen Deaven

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