Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Jennifer Groscup

Reader 2

Roberto Pedace

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Rights Information

© 2018 Emily E Collins


In recent years, tightening budgets have forced school districts to find new ways to save money. One way that has become increasingly popular is to shorten the traditional five-day school week to only four-days a week. This change is budget friendly and may act through efficiency wage theory as a recruitment tool for better teachers. Despite the increasing prevalence of districts running on four-day weeks, many of the effects of the shorter week on students are still unclear. Utilizing district-level panel data from the Colorado Department of Education, Study One took a difference-in-differences approach to determine the effect of the implementation of the four-day week on various delinquency measures, including suspensions, expulsions, and juvenile arrest rates. No significant results were found with robust standard errors, but trends suggested that juvenile crime may be increasing while school related incidents may be decreasing in areas with four-day school weeks. To offset these trends, this paper also proposes a second study aimed at investigating the effects of different types of fifth-day programs on adolescent well-being, academic achievement, and problem behaviors. Schools using the four-day week that agree to participate will be randomly assigned to receive either a career-prep program, an academic program, a recreational program, a social skills/mentoring program, or no program at all. Students (N=XXX) will fill out a survey at the beginning and at the end of the program or school year, reporting their subjective well-being and recent engagement in problem behaviors. It is expected that students who participate in the social skills/mentoring program will show the highest levels of well-being and little engagement in problem behaviors. This study will help to advance the research on after school programming, particularly in rural environments.