THORNTON, Colo. (CBS Local)– Students in a school district north of Denver started their first full week of school Tuesday morning, their new norm. The move to a four day school week could save the district millions of dollars in the coming years, while also giving longer weekends to staff and students.

(credit: CBS)

Incoming students at Riverdale Ridge High School headed to class for their new schedule on Tuesday morning.

“I may have had a little skepticism,” said Trina Norris-Buck, a principal in the school district. “But, now, we are really getting a lot of positive feedback.”

Nathan Shaver, an arts and journalism teacher at Riverdale Ridge, told CBS Denver that he saw more positives in the shortened week, than negatives. While the schedule will allow him to take more trips with his son, including to the zoo, he said the longer school days will take adjusting.

Some parents expressed concern when the district first discussed the change, particularly when it came to finding child care for younger students on Mondays.

Riverdale Ridge parent Malina Pruett said she was not concerned with the change, since her daughter is a high school student.

“As a kid, I think a three-day weekend is great. It allows the parents to do more things with their children, and to spend a little more time,” Pruett said.

In order to meet state regulations, class hours will be extended. Classes at high schools will let out after 4 p.m. Classes, which once were around 45 minutes long, are now scheduled to last more than an hour.

While parents could expect students to be out of class every Monday, the same doesn’t go for staff. Teachers will have planning days one Monday per month. Administrators will have to work two Mondays every month.