Bryan County Schools will test out a four-day work week for some of its employees in June.
The month-long experiment in a shorter work week will save the school system roughly the cost of half a teacher, according to Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher.
“(That’s the) cost savings we’ll get by not having to flush toilets, by turning lights off and that sort of thing,” he told the Bryan County Board of Education during its meeting Thursday at Bryan County Elementary School. “Every little bit helps.”
In addition, Brooksher, who along with financial officer Melanie James surveyed about 90 classified employees and said the response was overwhelmingly in favor of the four-day week and could be a tool in helping retain employees.
“For a worker who commutes to work, (it’s saving) that $3.70 a gallon they’re paying for gas, plus the wear and tear on their car,” he said. “Your lowest paid employees were the most excited about this. That’s a powerful thing, I think.”
The four-day week will apply to classified workers in certain jobs, such as maintenance and custodial personnel who work at least 205 days a year or more. They will make up time by working two 10-hour days per month.
“By adding those two 10 hours days a month during the school year, their Fridays are taken care of,” Brooksher said.
Not every classified worker will get the four-day workweek in June, however. The system’s community education program will continue with five-day workweeks because summer camps have already been scheduled. Community education employees could go to four-day weeks in July, Brooksher said.
The school board seemed more than responsive to the idea, which doesn’t require its approval.
“We can’t go ahead and extend it this summer?” Vice Chairman Joe Pecenka asked.
“We’ve already got commitments for our buildings in July,” Brooksher said. “But we do believe if we plan for it far enough in advance, we can be very successful with this next summer.”