Study: Shorter school weeks don’t mean longer vacations

/ 16 April 2012 / jennifer

Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio, April 16, 2012 –

St. Paul, Minn. — A new study released by the University of Minnesota found that families in districts with four-day school weeks take shorter vacations.

Those families take more day trips, according to the study done by the university’s Tourism Center, because their school calendars are filled with three-day weekends. Those families take 40 percent more day trips than families in districts with traditional school weeks.

But the study found the families took fewer trips — 27 percent fewer — that required an overnight stay in a hotel, compared to families in districts with traditional five-day school weeks.

“There was a significant impact on the number of longer trips people were taking,” said center director Ingrid Schneider. “By longer trips we’re talking about those that are four-plus days.

Schneider said are unsure why four-day school weeks lead to shorter vacations, but says it is valuable data for the state’s tourism industry to have.

In recent years, 13 Minnesota school districts have cited budget reasons for adopting shorter school weeks.