Shorter School Days Increase Success

Although many people think longer school days would increase academic success, students would benefit more from spending less time in school. Many argue that a longer school day would be beneficial because school hours could match parents’ work schedules. It would provide for additional instructional time so students could also learn nonacademic skills during the school day as well as participate in more arts and physical education classes. They may also argue that a longer school day gets students used to an eight-hour work schedule.

Despite these claims, research shows no direct correlation between student success and longer school days. In a worldwide comprehension assessment in 2016, Norway was one country that scored higher than the US. However, their school hours are from 8:15 a.m to 1:10 p.m. This shows that more time in school does not improve student success. Although longer school days give students more time to learn, there are more important aspects of life outside a classroom that children need to experience to be successful. Shortening the school day would allow for more time to focus on other important activities such as playing a sport, doing homework, extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, and work for some high school students. Students may also feel the pressure of strict time management which may prevent them from investing themselves in these activities. Stephanie Weise, a kindergarten teacher, said “by the end of the day, it is hard to keep the kindergarteners’ attention. They would be more engaged if the day was shorter.”

By starting school one hour later, students would get more sleep which would improve their academics. They would also lose no time for extracurricular activities and homework. After-school activities or child-care programs could be established to provide care for students who may not be able to go home directly after school. The benefits of shorter school days are abundant. Students should not be spending most of their time in a classroom but instead out doing activities, working, and learning valuable life skills that cannot be taught in school.