GCPS to keep 4-day summer work week

SUWANEE — Gwinnett County Public Schools plans to sustain savings by implementing a four-day work week during the summer and encouraging elementary schools to cluster together for the summer academic session.

The school system implemented similar initiatives last year, resulting in savings of about $2.5 million, spokeswoman Sloan Roach said.

Roach said the school system isn’t making additional cuts this year, but rather sustaining and continuing the savings it saw last year. Without these plans, summer school would cost more than it did last year.

One of the initiatives — a four-day work week at schools — was successfully implemented last summer, Steve Flynt, associate superintendent for school leadership and operational support, told the Gwinnett County Board of Education on Thursday. The work schedule did not include district offices last year, nor will it this year.

The four-day week will be in effect from June 13 to July 21, Flynt said. The work schedule will consist of four 10-hour days during those six weeks. Schools will be closed on Fridays, and normal working schedules will resume on July 25.

Also during that time, summer school will take place. Elementary and middle school students will attend class June 20 to July 14, excluding Fridays and the July 4 holiday. Teacher planning is scheduled for June 16.

High school students will attend class June 14 to July 13, excluding Fridays and the July 4 holiday. Graduation will take place on July 14. Teacher planning is scheduled for June 13.

While the school system funds elementary and middle school summer classes for students who failed to meet promotion requirements during the year, the high school classes are self-supporting. Students will pay $225 in tuition per four-hour session, held in the mornings and afternoons.

Flynt said the school system also plans to expand the number of schools that cluster together to offer classes. Clustering summer school means that schools band together to offer classes in one location. To encourage schools to do that, the school system has revised the funding formula for assistant principals.

Clustering summer school also has academic benefits, because with more students, schools can more easily create academic programs to hone in on the skills students need to learn.

“We hope to bring good news on savings and student achievement,” Flynt said.