Working 10 days a week is not only possible, but common, for the principal of Georgetown's Fillmore School, according to Andrea Adler and Pat Mitchell.
Together, the two women ARE the principal, or director, of the school and they figure their bosses in the Washington school system are getting more than full value their one GS-9 salary of $15,502.
"They were aware when they hired us that they woudl get more than two halves," Adler said. "We aren't each taking half. We are each taking all of this job."
Dr. Dorothy Johnson, school superintendent for the region of the city, agrees. "They say two heads are better than one and in this case it's true.
Johnson said she had seen other such job sharing attempts fail. This one is successful, she feels, "because these two women have a very good relationship, both personal and professionl, besides being highly competent and motivated."
The women wanted to share this job for the usual reasons. Adler has two children, including a preschooler , and Mitchell has four children in three different public schools.
Adler wanted to be able to help out at her child's nursery school one day a week. Mitchell wanted to be able to go home "at the critical times of day" when her own children are coming home from school." If either has a sick child, the other can come in "at a moment's notice."
Surrounded by art done by the students, their routine punctuated by the clanging class bells, they each work three days a week, overlapping each other on Wednesdays. "We're in close communication on the days when only one of us is here. And we keep a log of our decisions," Pat said. "When Andrea speaks, she speaks for me, and vice versa."
The only disadvantage, they agree, is the economic one. Besides sharing the wages they lose their benefits completely. "The bureaucracy apparently doesn't know how to splt a GS-9 salary, so they converted us to hourly wages, which don't carry benefits," Adler said. "We need this income, but we both have other benefits through our husbands, we weren't willing to jeopardize this opportunity over benefits.