Less school days, better education? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Less school days, better education?

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

Imagine sending your kids to school for only four days a week.

That's one of the things the Beaufort County School District is considering to help struggling students. The school district says it will use the fifth day to help students who aren't doing so well.  It's a quick fix that wouldn't cost the school district any money.

The nagging achievement gap prompted school district to take a look at non-traditional approaches to keep students from falling behind - hence the four day school week.

"Every school in this county, every school in South Carolina, every school in the United States is struggling with achievement gaps. Those are the gaps in achievement between affluent students and less affluent students, minorities and non-minorities,” said Jim Foster, Beaufort County School District.

The idea is to use Monday through Thursday for group instruction. On Friday, teachers will focus on giving struggling students one-on-one guidance before they move on the next week.

"The central concept that Dr. Moss with the board, again, these ideas are in the discussion stages, involve more concentrated instruction time for students who are struggling,” said Foster.

Officials are also looking at other proposals - like extending classes until June – and spending a semester, or even an entire year, teaching students how to read. One parent likes the school district's creative approach to address the achievement gap.  

"I think it's great that they are trying to come up with something that bridges that gap between the two. I think it's a good idea though for them to think outside the box and try to do something that other school districts aren't doing,” said Elisa Kadel, Beaufort County parent.

Kadel says she only has one question about the four day school week. What about the parents who work five days a week?

"My son would not like an extra day at home. I know a lot of parents wouldn't like it because they have that extra day where they enjoy having their kids at school,” said Kadel.

These ideas are in the discussion stage, the school district plans to research all of the proposals before deciding which option is best for students. 

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