Wilcox County approves 4-day school week - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Wilcox County approves 4-day school week

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Students in Wilcox County will have shorter weeks next year. To save money, the school board has approved a four day school week.

Students are likely happy about the news, but there are some concerns.

When students and faculty return to school in Wilcox County next August things will be a bit different.

"Our calendar looks very similar to our current calendar except Mondays we will have the schools closed and we will stay longer each day," said School Superintendent

From 8:00am until 4:00pm, students will spend Tuesday through Friday at school. Every week they will have Saturday, Sunday and Monday to themselves. For staff, 7:30am to 4:45.

"We've realized we are going to continue to see cuts we just need to be proactive and that's really what precipitated this meeting," said Smith.

School Superintendent Steve Smith says the board got the idea from Peach County, who were one of the first school systems in the state to make the switch, and so far, they've seen great progress.

"They are seeing a reduced number of discipline referrals and a reduced number of teacher absenteeism," said Smith.

In addition to improved student achievement, the move should save the school system 100,000 dollars and keep taxes down.

But the decision doesn't come without concerns.

"We are concerned about children not having access to our nutrition on Mondays so we are looking at expanding our feeding program to provide some nutrition for some kids on Monday," said Smith.

School officials are also looking at grant opportunity to provide daycare for students on Monday too.

"We had a local church say that they would provide Monday daycare for children so we really would like to feed those kids some healthy snacks while they are at daycare," said Smith.

With recent cuts, it will likely be a tough few years in education, and Smith says his goal is to minimize the impact on children as much as possible.

The superintendent says there have been concerns that the move will cut out a percentage of pay for bus drivers and nutrition workers but they are actually trying to find a way to possibly pay bus drivers more, and somehow provide nutrition on Mondays.

The superintendent says teacher pay will not be affected by this decision. It will go into affect Tuesday August 10, 2010

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