Fulton County teachers to get bonus pay if they stay for summer school

Fulton County Schools will offer extra pay to entice pandemic-weary teachers to stick around for summer school.

In anticipation of large summer school enrollment, the school board recently approved spending nearly $1.8 million to provide one-time incentives to employees who agree to work.

Elementary and high school teachers who sign up to teach two sessions will receive $2,000 plus the standard summer pay rate. The district is planning just one session for middle school students, so those teachers will receive a $1,000 payment plus their standard pay.

Officials want to recruit teachers who may be fatigued from the stresses and challenges of the pandemic to keep working during their summer break.

“Hopefully teachers will see this and be motivated to come and work with our students,” said board member Franchesca Warren.

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The district plans to cover the cost using federal stimulus dollars. It also plans to provide summer pay incentives for support personnel, such as bus drivers and school resource officers.

The school system expects to enroll about a third of its students, or 30,000, in summer programs hosted at 35 sites around the county.

“We do summer school well in Fulton County Schools, and we are going to do it at a level that we have never done it before,” Cliff Jones, chief academic officer, told board members.

The offerings are intended to help students who may have fallen behind or not learned as much because of disruptions caused by COVID-19.

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The first session of in-person summer school, open to students at all grade levels, will run from June 7-24. The second session for elementary and high school students will run from July 1-22.

The district also will offer a virtual program from June 2-July 14.

Elementary teachers will focus on reading and math instruction. The middle school program will be geared toward science and social studies, with reading and math woven in, Jones said.

“For our high school students it’s about getting them back on track for graduation, as well as accelerating,” he said.

Students can register for summer school through May 28.