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The Daily Tar Heel

Schools Aim to Capitalize on Break

The weeklong break gives teachers, administrators and staff a chance to regroup and to clean up the schools.

While students spent the week relaxing and vacationing, some system employees used the peace and quiet to concentrate on both office and maintenance work.

"During Spring Break, I catch up on paperwork," said Steve Scroggs, assistant superintendent for support services. "We don't get many calls. We can get more correspondence out."

Scroggs said office workers try to do work that requires focus during the break.

"We do things like designing and planning (during Spring Break) -- projects that require less interruption," Scroggs said.

Scroggs said maintenance workers perform up-keep tasks on facilities during the break that are best done in the absence of students.

"Maintenance workers do things like replacing glass and changing filters -- things you wouldn't want to do with a child in the building," Scroggs said.

"Without the students you can get a lot more things done than you can ordinarily."

East Chapel Hill High School Principal David Thaden said he works full eight-hour days during Spring Break and uses the peace that comes with empty halls to its full advantage.

"I work at the school from 7 (a.m.) to 3 (p.m.)," Thaden said. "The quiet gives me (time) I can string together to do something."

Thaden said the janitors are also use the time in the break to get work done.

"The whole custodial staff is at work," he said. "They do a thorough cleaning and redo main hallways."

In special cases, some teachers choose to not take the break for trips and come in to catch up on work they can't complete when there are children to tend to.

Because schools across North Carolina have different weeks for Spring Breaks, the Hospital School at UNC Hospitals, a school for hospitalized children, had several students attend the school this week.

"Our kids are from all over the state," Hospital School Secretary Pat Mitchell said. "They have breaks throughout the year."

Mitchell said there are a few teachers who work normal hours during Spring Break. "The majority of the staff are on break," Mitchell said. "We do have one or two teachers who come in from 8 (a.m.) to 3 (p.m.). The teachers work with the children and handle usual student information."

Orange County Schools Superintendent Randy Bridges said the schools are officially closed during Spring Break but some staff do come in to get work done.

"Although the schools are closed people do come in," Bridges said.

"There is always work to be done."

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