Schools shift to four-day workweek for summer

Published 10:20 am Saturday, June 26, 2010

FRANKLIN—All three public school divisions in the area have implemented a four-day workweek through the summer to save money.

Southampton, Isle of Wight and Franklin schools began the schedule on Monday, and it will continue until August.

Katherine Goff, spokeswoman for Isle of Wight County Schools, said the division saved about $8,259 over eight weeks by doing the same thing last summer.

“We have nine weeks this summer, so there should be slightly more than $8,000 again this year in savings,” Goff said, adding that summer school will also adhere to the four-day schedule.

All buildings and offices in the division are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday until the week ending Thursday, Aug. 19. The division’s normal schedule will resume Aug. 23.

In the Franklin City Public Schools division, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Walter Clemons said the four-day workweek would continue through the week ending Thursday, Aug. 12. He did not say how much money will be saved.

According to information provided to the city school board by Clemons on June 9, the division’s three school buildings will be open from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Clemons said most employees will take an hour lunch break, but secretaries and custodians will get 30 minutes for lunch. Custodians will work from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and school secretaries will begin their shift at 7:30 a.m. twice a week as directed by principals.

At the central office, Clemons said most staff will also adhere to the 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. schedule and take an hour for lunch, but workers in transportation, technology and maintenance will begin work at 7:30 a.m. and leave at 6 p.m. if they take a 30-minute lunch, and 6:30 p.m. if they take an hour-long lunch.

Summer school, which began Monday and runs through July 2, will not be affected by the four-day schedule. School buildings will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with an hour for lunch, but secretaries and custodians will have a 30-minute lunch break. Custodians will work from 7:30 a.m. daily until 4 p.m., but central office and maintenance will still work the four-day schedule through July 2.

Clemons added that a rotation schedule would be in effect so that some central office staff is available on July 2.

Southampton County Schools Administrator Charles Turner said his division would continue the practice of operating on a four-day workweek during the summer.

“We’ve always done the same thing,” Turner said. “We shut everything as much as we can during the summer.”

Turner said school buildings in Southampton would be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, through the week ending Friday, Aug. 13. Staff at the schools would work 10-hour days.

An exception, Turner said, would be for summer school, which began at Southampton High School on Thursday and will continue until July 16.

“Once summer school is over, they will revert to the four-day week,” Turner said of SHS.

Turner added that central office staff would also be rotated in to have someone working on Fridays, with the exception of Friday, July 2, and that the division would do a report to see how much money was saved.