Butler Tech eyes four-day school week to give students more flexibility

Posted at 5:10 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-16 20:36:58-05

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A Butler County school district could soon make the switch to a four-day school week for part of the year, and district officials say it would be the first school in the state to do so.

Butler Tech is considering a plan to eliminate classes on Fridays in the spring semester starting next school year.

"We're really looking at ways to increase opportunity," Principal Abbie Cook of Butler Tech Bioscience Center said. "We believe that flexibility with scheduling and flexibility with student opportunities allows them to have more innovative experiences that direct them in their career path."

Will it work?

"Well, we're not completely sure," Cook said. "But that's a part of being committed to innovation, is trying things and seeing if they are going to work."

Students will have the option to decide what they want to do with the free time, according to Cook. Some students may choose to take on extra hours at work, visit colleges or start an internship or job-shadowing experience.

Butler Tech senior Alandrea Harris shadows doctors at West Chester Hospital, attending surgeries and meeting patients.

"I've definitely learned about what it takes to become a surgeon, and being able to talk to actual surgeons and being able to see what it truly means and how it fits into my life," she said.

Harris will graduate before the plan is rolled out, but she said the more time students can spend in the field getting hands-on experience, the better.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the students to get out in the community and experience even more of what I experienced," Harris said. "With the co-ops and internships, and being able to take more CCP classes, it's amazing."

The district will discuss the potential change at a board meeting Tuesday. If approved, the four-day week will go into effect for the spring 2020 semester.