NREA Midweek Mail: April 5, 2023

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In this episode of the Rural Voice, we discuss the benefits and disadvantages of the four-day workweek in education. We revisit the research and application of the four-day workweek and considerations for teachers, administrators, and school leaders. We discuss the possibilities of using the fifth day for teacher training and productivity, including Dr. Sarah Wisdom discussing the “Monday Academy” program that provides academic intervention on the 5th day. Dr. Reesha Adamson discusses the Pathways for Paras program—which in some of the 4-day school week districts use to offer coursework for paraeducators to transition into special education teaching positions. As a group, we discussed the emergence in Missouri of an Independence School District that recently adopted the four-day week for next year, with over 14,000 students.

Dr. Jon Turner is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Missouri State University. He is a former rural schoolteacher and administrator and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Missouri Association of Rural Education (MARE). His research focuses on the four-day school week and other innovative instructional practices in rural schools. Twitter @JonTurnerEdD

Dr. Reesha Adamson is the Associate Dean of the College of Education at Missouri State University. She is a member of the faculty of the Department of Special Education. She is the Director of the Pathways for Paras Project, a federally registered apprenticeship program that helps paraeducators retain their jobs in schools while completing their teaching degrees. Twitter @Reesha123

Dr. Sarah Wisdom is the Superintendent of New Bloomfield Schools in central Missouri. She was the superintendent that led the transition to the four-day school week in her district. New Bloomfield has been recognized for the quality and innovations used in implementing comprehensive “5th-day strategies” in her district. New Bloomfield’s “Monday Academy” uses the 5th day to provide target academic intervention for struggling students and is being replicated in numerous Missouri four-day week districts. Twitter @swisdom6
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