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Wilkes County Schools Start Monday with New Hours PDF Print
Written by Adam Hicks   
Friday, 14 August 2009 01:55

In the midst of cuts in state funding, the Wilkes County School System has a novel idea that officials hope will save $900,000 this upcoming year.


Wilkes County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Steve Laws said by extending school by 45 minutes every school day, students will go to school 18 less days over the school year.


Laws explained that since the school will be in session 18 less days, they will save money on transportation, electricity bills, substitute teachers, and teacher assistants.


The new school calendar doesn’t come without casualties, however.  Laws explained that some teacher assistants would go from working a 10-month schedule to a 9-month schedule.  Even with the cuts in payroll for these employees, Laws said the new plan was able to save 30 jobs within the school system.


Laws also explained with the traditional 180-day school schedule, students were in class for 1,030 hours per year, but under the new plan students will be in class for 1,040 hours.


Wilkes County Schools is the first school system in the state to try this tweaked schedule, and Laws said he knows that every other school system in North Carolina will have their eye on Wilkes County this year.


Laws said, “We intend to prove to everybody that our kids will perform just as well and we’ll save a bunch of money.”


Laws said it took legislative action for the school system to get permission to change their schedule.  He said State Senator Steve Goss was especially helpful in convincing state lawmakers to allow Wilkes County Schools to try this new schedule.


Students in the Wilkes County School System begin school on Monday.


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