Skip to main content

4-day school week continues for some districts

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Students in the Lake Superior School District get Fridays off – and will keep getting Fridays off for at least another school year.

The northeastern Minnesota district, which comprises three different schools, got the OK from the state's Department of Education to continue operating on a four-day school week.

This embed is invalid

The Lake Superior district said at a February meeting it saves nearly $168,000 a year by having the day off. And according to Northland's NewsCenter, a recent survey found 86 percent of parents said their kids adjusted just fine to the difference.

Who is currently on a four-day school week?

There are eight school districts currently operating on four days a week.

The Lake Superior District was one of five given approval to continue with a four-day school week for the upcoming 2015-16 year only, the others being Blackduck, Ogilvie, MACCRAY and Pelican Rapids, a Department of Education spokesperson told BringMeTheNews.

In addition, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Public Schools and Warroad Public Schools are currently on a four-day week, but did not apply to continue that next year.

And Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Public Schools was approved through July 2016 a couple years ago, so they didn't have to reapply for a renewal this year.

In a letter to the Lake Superior district Wednesday (which you can read below), Cassellius cited the possible law change as a reason she approved the five districts' requests for one more year, rather than three as usual.

This embed is invalid

Who gives approval?

Currently, a district can only operate on a four-day school week if the state's Department of Education Commissioner (currently Brenda Cassellius) says it's OK. Approval has to be reapplied for every three years.

A proposal that would allow school districts to decide whether or not to continue with four-day school weeks is in the House's current omnibus education bill.

Last year, MPR reported the department, noting student test scores weren't noticeably better on the shorter schedule, was forcing a number of districts to revert to five-day school weeks. This despite many of the dozen or so districts on a shorter week reporting significant savings, and apparently having the support of many families.

Next Up


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.


COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.

police lights squad car

Man kidnaps 2-year-old daughter in St. Paul, crashes after pursuit in Minneapolis

The incident involved both police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

police lights

Boys aged 15, 16 arrested after shooting of teen in Woodbury

The victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.


Districts struggle with state approval for shorter school weeks

Minnesota school officials considering the change to a four-day school week are having trouble getting approval from the state. Sleepy Eye's request was recently denied by the state's education chief, who cited the impact on students who receive free and reduced lunches. Many districts also say the application process for a shorter school week is extraordinarily complex.