WS/FCS Board of Education Approves Changes to Phased Return Plan
February 23, 2021 - The WS/FCS Board of Education was given an update on the district’s ongoing efforts surrounding COVID-19 at it's Tuesday night meeting. Superintendent Tricia McManus presented plans to increase the number of days students are in school buildings.
The board approved the recommendations which include a reduction in the number of student cohorts to allow for more days of in-person instruction. The plans will be implemented in March.
On March 8, 4th grade cohorts will be eliminated allowing students to attend four days per week. On March 15, 5th grade cohorts would be discontinued and allow students to attend four days per week. That same day, 4 cohort middle schools will shift to 2 cohorts, as long as 6 ft. social distancing can be adhered to in classrooms.
Also, on March 15, the district will begin working with exceptional students that have IEPs and 504 plans to offer in-person learning to middle and high school students four days per week.
Administrators will also analyze high school data and bring an update and possible recommendation to the March 16 COVID Committee Meeting. Any change would be approved at the March 23 meeting.
Also Tuesday night, the Board of Education approved a pay increase for district custodians. All district custodians will receive an increase of $0.60 per hour. If the $0.60 per hour does not take a custodian to the new minimum of $12.00 per hour, they will be moved to the new minimum of $12.00 an hour.
The increase is an attempt to bring WS/FCS employee compensation in-line with other districts of similar size. The range of salaries for a custodian in school districts Stokes, Wake, Alamance/Burlington, Davidson, Guilford, Lexington City and WS/FCS was from $12.13 – $11.58 with WS/FCS being the lowest. Comparisons to salaries of custodians with The City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County were also made as were comparisons of custodians based on the 2020 CAI NC Salary Survey.
“The increase will help us hire and retain custodians,” said Jevelyn Bonner-Reed, Chief Human Resources Officer for WS/FCS. “Our Compensation Committee will continue to study the pay of other groups of employees for future recommendations to the board.”
Groups of employees that have already received increases include bus drivers, child nutrition workers and teacher assistants. This is part of a multi-year compensation project that will involve analysis, review and potential changes for all employee groups.
The total annual cost of the pay increase is expected to be $216,300. The pay raise will be implemented retroactively January 1, 2021.