Date of Award

Spring 2-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Kopp

Abstract

As school districts consider transitioning from a traditional five-day school week to a four-day school week, administrators and school boards seek information about the fourday school week to assist in making the best decision possible. This collective case study was undertaken to examine the perceptions of administrators, school counselors, and teachers on the four-day school week and the impact of the new calendar format on teacher recruitment, teacher retention, and job satisfaction. Three school districts were studied; each began implementation of the four-day school week during the 2015-2016 academic year. A total of 21 school personnel were interviewed, including three superintendents, three building administrators, three school counselors, and 12 teachers. Participants overwhelmingly identified the four-day school week as a benefit to them personally, citing the ability to balance work and family as positive. Employees of two of the three school districts reported improved ability to recruit potential candidates for teaching positions. Educators from all three districts reported an improvement in teacher retention, as the four-day schedule is very popular with teachers. Also noted as valuable and important to the teaching staff is the additional time for professional development and collaboration built into the school calendar. Given the difficulties small rural school districts frequently face when securing and retaining a highly qualified teaching staff, the findings of this study point to an unintended, yet powerful outcome of implementation of the four-day school week–the ability to recruit and retain teachers.

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