Workdays in public schools, especially over holiday break, provide much needed time for personnel to “get caught up” with paperwork, organization, planning, technology upgrades, maintenance and other important tasks that are often pushed aside when school is in session. When students are in school, they along with staff and parents are the main priority, not the support activities mentioned above.
Over this holiday break for students, many of these tasks are in process or have been completed. This is work that must be done and the effort of our employees to complete these tasks before students and staff return on January 3 is greatly appreciated.
For my colleagues in the Central Office, several hours of our morning was spent with paperwork and reports, followed by a collaborative effort in the adjacent building with the organization of the records room. Not overly exciting work, but again, work that must be done.
While at lunch, I reviewed the news on the CDN. I also reviewed several comments on our “closure” that need to be addressed. I am writing this for my colleagues, but with some hesitation for I know this too may draw comments. Perspectives draw comments; my perspective is to clarify what I believe is an inaccurate representation.
As we all know, budgets have been tight for several years, so with careful thought and consideration, the School Board was forced to make critical staffing considerations. The result of these cost-saving measures is that most CCPS support personnel, including secretaries and custodians, have 240-day contracts (not 247-day contracts – see below for details). For efficiency and consistency of schedules, seven days have been identified as “division closure”, meaning school and office phones (probably) will not be answered during these designated times because clerical personnel are not required to report to work. That does not mean that school employees (administrators and others) with 247-day employment contracts were given the gift of time with extended holidays. School employees are required to report to work as per their clearly stated School Board contract, in accord with their clearly identified work calendar, otherwise they are required to submit for annual leave.
Also, for those interested, 15 school employees were required to report to work today. 73% reported; the others took annual leave. 247-day employees are permitted to take their annual leave when school is not in session.
(Generally, there are 260 weekdays in a year; 52 weeks x 5 days/week. Clarke County School Board policy identifies 13 unpaid holidays each year. Therefore, there are 247 possible Monday-Friday workdays in a year; 260-13=247).
Mr. Catlett is assistant superintendent for Clarke County Public Schools.