But that’s exactly what happened Monday morning, said several Floyd County principals, who indicated that it was business as usual the moment the first bell echoed through the halls.
The Floyd County Schools Reduction In Force plan eliminates 119 staff members for the 2014 school year, and principals were tasked Friday with notifying those who will be cut.
Some schools have more RIFed personnel than others — the most being at Pepperell High School, with a total of 10 who won’t be returning. Model Middle School has just one.
The RIF process was conducted on a systemwide basis, not on a school-by-school level, said Tim Hensley, assistant to Superintendent Jeff McDaniel.
Pepperell High School Principal Phil Ray said everything seemed to run smoothly on Monday.
“It’s pretty close back to normal,” he said. “I think the weekend helped some. We’re back to our normal attendance — teachers and students both. A few questions still exist, but we’re trying to answer all we can.”
Ray said it helped that Friday was an early release day for Floyd County students.
The Georgia Department of Education allows each school sys-
tem five early release days per school year. On those days, classes last for one hour rather than 90 minutes, and students are dismissed at 1 p.m. For the rest of the day, parents are invited to have parent-teacher conferences.
Ray said he wasn’t aware of any major disruptions in the classrooms that were caused by the RIF.
“I haven’t detected anything or have anything to report other than normal here,” Ray said.
Aaron Anderson, principal at Alto Park Elementary School, told seven staff members on Friday that their jobs will be gone. Anderson said that, in the face of bad news, the employees
demonstrated excellent professionalism.
“I’m really proud of our staff,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of school year ahead of us this year. Obviously our leaders had some difficult decisions to make and have been in my thoughts and prayers.”
He said he was glad it was the principals’ jobs to deliver the RIF announcements.
“These are colleagues we work closely with every day, but I wouldn’t have wanted them to hear that from anyone else but me,” Anderson said. “I’m happy that we had the weekend to kind of absorb the changes that appear to be coming.”
There are quite a few changes on the horizon, such as the middle schools switching from block schedules — four classes lasting 90 minutes each — to a hybrid between block and period scheduling.
That will allow the restructuring of Connections classes such as computer, art, technology, foreign language and band. Fewer teachers will be required to deliver those classes, since some will be able to teach at more than one school under the new schedule.
The same can be said for K-12 elective classes, said Hensley.
“The new period schedule will require fewer teachers for electives at the high school level as well,” he said, adding that the restructuring of high school electives may allow for some keyboard instruction at the elementary school level.
Glenn White, principal at Model High School, said the quality of education for students would not suffer because of the RIF.
“I really believe we have some outstanding teachers that go beyond the call of duty, and they will make sure our kids have everything they need in order to be successful and in order to learn,” he said. “We will continue to provide quality education; … that will not change.”