Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Sherry Houdek


For over a century, most PK-12 schools across the United States have been using the same format of five days of school a week for approximately 9 months a year. The discussion of a four-day school week is being considered as many school districts try to balance their budgets each school year. Some schools in the past 30 years have begun changing to a four-day school week. The four-day school week can create controversy within a community, concerns among parents and students, and benefits for the school district as well as for parents and students. The researcher studied one rural school district transitioning from a five-day school week to a four-day school week. The purpose of the study was to identify what made a rural school district decide to transition to a four-day school week, how the school district accomplished this new delivery of PK 12 education, and to identify perceptions regarding this transition.

The case study was completed with one rural Minnesota school district. The researcher conducted on-site interviews with school administration and one school board member, and gathered school district data from the past three years to review and identify how the school district changed to a four-day school week.

The results from the data collected indicated the school district transitioned to a four-day school week because of financial reasons. The school district did not want to reduce educational opportunities for students by eliminating class offerings or cutting teaching positions. The data indicated, after experiencing the four-day school week, most students, parents, and teachers favored the new four-day school week compared to the previous five-day school week. The main concerns identified by the participants and data reviewed were younger students adapting to the longer school day, extracurricular adjustments, upset classified personnel, how much money would the district save, and tired employees at the end of the four-day week.

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