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DCSS chief explains cut in staff days

ALBANY, Ga. -- When the Dougherty County School Board passed its Fiscal Year 2014 budget on Wednesday, its decision to reduce 12-month staff work days from 247 to 240 got lost in the shuffle of discussion about the $206 million spending plan.

While certified teachers got a break in seeing furlough days reduced from six to five, uncertified support staff were removed from the furlough equation. But they also lost seven work days in the process, dropping from 247 to 240.

"This is the only school system I have worked with that had a 247-day work year for 12-month staff," interim Superintendent Butch Mosely said of his decision to reduce the work days. "I made several calls to my colleagues around the state and no one knew any district that worked 247 days.

"It became apparent to me that the extra days were an effort to jack up the salaries of 12-month employees."

Dougherty School System Director of Finance and Operations Ken Dyer said the move will affect approximately 375 employees and save the system more than $336,000 in salaries.

"With the system struggling financially, we have to posture ourselves for the future," Mosely said. "So I recommended a reduction in 12-month staff work days and they (the board) agreed."

CRCT SCORES IMPROVE

DCSS third- through eighth-graders showed improvement on 2013 CRCT tests by meeting or exceeding standards on 20 of 30 content-area tests.

  • In the third grade, the district's reading scores increased by three points and math scores by five points.
  • In the fourth grade, the district's reading scores increased by four points.
  • In the fifth grade, the district's reading scores increased by three points and math by nine points.
  • In the sixth grade, the district's social studies scores increased by two points.
  • In the seventh grade, the district's reading scores increased by 10 points, ELA by three points, science by two points and social studies by three points.
  • In the eighth grade, the district's reading scores increased by 10 points, ELA by three points, math by nine points, science by four points and social studies by four points.

The district results were released by the state Department of Education earlier this week. Individual school results will be released by July 10.

TEXTBOOK REVIEW UNDER WAY

The 2013 K-12 English Language Arts/Reading Review of Learning Resources/Instructional Materials (textbooks) will take place this summer.

ELA/Reading educators, administrators, parents and other interested stakeholders are to visit one of the 14 evaluation and review sites by July 11 and to provide feedback on the K-12 ELA/reading learning resources that will be on display at the sites.

The site for the Second Congressional District will be the Dougherty County School System's Exceptional Students Program building, 722 Corn Ave.

The review site will be open 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The site will be closed next week in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

BRIDGE PROGRAM CANCELED

Dougherty County schoold officials said Thursday that the Middle School Summer Bridge program scheduled for July 15-19 has been canceled because of insufficient interest.

Parents should register a student at his or her new middle school between July 22 and July 31. The 2013-14 school year starts Aug. 5.

More information about student orientation can be obtained at each middle school's open house. The open houses are scheduled for Aug. 1.