District » 4 Day Week
In transitioning to a 4 Day school week, Clear Creek School District will provide experiential student learning opportunities on the "5th Day." The 5th Day is also called COMPASS Day, which stands for. . .
C hoices in
O utdoor Education
M etro & Mountain Expeditions
P assion Projects
A cademic Achievement
S tudent Internships/Jobs and
S pecial Family Time
In Colorado's 2021-2022 school year, 116 school districts operate on a 4 day school week. The list of districts include West and East Grand, Gilpin, Adams 12, Denver County 1 and many more! Here is a complete list of Colorado schools that operate on a 4-day week.
4-Day School Week FAQs
Why a 4 Day School Week schedule?
A 4 day school week schedule aligns with CCSD priorities: Best Educators, Empowered Learners, and Visionary District.
Best Educators: The research clearly shows that a 4 day school week attracts and retains educators. Further, teachers have the single most important impact on student learning. Teachers need solid blocks of time to plan and engage in professional learning so they can deliver the best instruction. A fifth day provides this opportunity.
Empowered Learners: We are moving towards a more experiential learning model at our elementary schools. At the secondary level, we are engaging students in more career and community connected learning. It takes time to learn and plan for such essential work.
We also plan to provide student-driven enrichment opportunities on the fifth day through community partners and district-connected staff. Internships, job shadows, college level courses, and more could be available to students. Outdoor activities connected to science, social emotional learning, community service, and more would be offered over time.
Visionary District: we’ve learned a lot during the pandemic. How we use time, technology, and outdoor spaces are more flexible than anyone ever thought. We aspire to deliver the very best, most engaging, most thought-provoking learning experiences. And, we aspire to do this in collaboration with our community partners. We are rich in Clear Creek with people and organizations who care deeply about student success. Let’s work together to provide incredible, innovative experiences for our kids.
What do we know about the impact of a 4 Day School Week on student academic performance?
Research is varied on this topic, likely because there is variability in how it is implemented. CCSD is aspiring to increase instructional hours for students, even with this shift in calendar. This isn’t what a typical district calendar change accomplishes. (we just know it is important) Additionally, there are many factors associated with student academic performance. Therefore, making an explicit connection to a four day school week is challenging. No matter what, we will monitor student learning and growth and adjust instruction & interventions accordingly.
How will my child benefit from a 4 Day School Week schedule?
Educators having time to collaborate, learn, and plan will have a positive impact on teaching & learning. Additionally, a Four Day School Week is a proven strategy for recruiting and retaining educators. The fifth day (Friday) will provide opportunities for students to experience different kinds of learning, or enjoy family time. Some students will seek out fifth day enrichment opportunities and thrive in a different learning environment. Other students will benefit from having a fifth day with no direct instruction, and instead have time to complete homework and seek extra help as available (depending on need/demand, we may provide extra academic support for students in the form of tutoring or homework help). Some students will simply enjoy more time with family, or use the time to ski, bike, hike, or other activities available because of our mountain location.
Will the district save money on a 4 Day School Week schedule?
No. While some districts embarked on a 4-day schedule with the intent of saving money, research shows that it is not typically a large cost-saving measure. We will save some dollars due to decreased fuel and maintenance costs. We do anticipate savings in terms of less staff turnover (training new employees is costly in terms of time and money). But our “drivers” for shifting to a Four Day School Week are focused on delivering the best instruction to students.
Will there be a cost to 5th day activities?
Fifth day activities will be offered at low to no cost for families, thanks to a 21st Century Learning Grant (this is a three year grant, and we plan to apply for future years if families see value in the offerings/program). Please visit the COMPASS Day page for more information.
Will 5th day activities be all day?
It depends. At the elementary level, we plan to hold fifth day activities 8am-12noon. We believe Kids Korner will offer afternoon care (with a cost) for students in the Idaho Springs area. Depending on family feedback/needs, we may be able to offer similar afternoon care in the Evergreen (King Murphy) area as well. At the elementary level, there will be days that sponsored activities last longer than the morning and afternoon “care” won’t be needed. At the secondary level, timing will vary depending on the activity.
Are there other school districts in Colorado that operate on a 4-day schedule?
112 (63%) of Colorado's school districts are on 4-day weeks. They are predominantly, although not exclusively, rural districts. Some charter schools as well as 1 BOCES are on a 4-day week. Neighboring districts to Clear Creek that are on a 4-day week include West Grand, East Grand and Gilpin County School District. Jefferson County School District has some schools on a 4-day week schedule.
Will lunch be available for students on the 5th day?
No. We are not able to provide a typical cafeteria-style lunch on Fridays, the 5th day as it’s not an official day of school so doesn’t qualify for federal funding. Students who participate in 5th day activities will need to bring a sack lunch.
Will transportation be available for students on the 5th day?
Maybe. While we know that makes things tricky for families to plan, we need to only offer busing if we have a need. Feedback continues to come in from families on needs, including transportation. If we offer busing, it will be “hub” style, with centralized bus stops (not the typical routes).
When will the school calendar be available?
Late January. However we will share 2-3 calendar drafts with families in early January and ask for feedback. Current drafts include a later August start date (to accommodate for warm weather and based on current feedback) and a later end date of the first week in June (to accommodate for cooler, rainy weather and based on current feedback). Plans include having school on MLK Day and President’s Day, no school on Memorial and Labor Day.
What about the start and end times for school?
We anticipate start times to be 8am (middle and high school) and either 3:45pm or 4pm for end times (middle and high school). The current preference is 3:45pm to allow a bit more time to get to after school activities. Elementary start and end times would mirror these times with the potential to be a bit later in the morning by 10-15 minutes depending on transportation schedules. The highest instructional time requirement exists at the high school level; we want to be sure our youngest learners are set up for success with their schedule as well.