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Are you enjoying your summer off?

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POSTED: August 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.

'Are you enjoying your summer off?'

I hear that question a lot – and I smile.

The superintendent and most central office staff work a 12-month year. Summer is the time to close out the old year and to prepare for the next.

Schools must be cleaned in ways they cannot be when they are occupied; orders must be made for supplies, materials, and equipment; construction projects must be managed to ensure that safe facilities and campuses are waiting on our 6,700 children and 950 staff members when they return.

Staff groups must complete training on new curriculum, food service safety, bus driver safety and management, maintenance and custodial training to safeguard system investment of resources, and a myriad of other professional learning opportunities.

The most recent edition of Good News About Bryan County Schools was the best and the largest ever with many pictures of students and staff working together to produce high quality educational programs.

A look back at 2007-2008 reflects many milestones: We led coastal Georgia in the SAT’s. We maintained our record of excellence on the CRCT’s and high school graduation and end-of-course tests. We maintained a 92 percent retention rate for certified staff. We logged thousands of volunteer hours in our schools. The board accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from our very active parent support groups.

Mrs. Meeks asked that out of state travel be added to the agenda at a May meeting, and the RHHS Odyssey of the Mind team went to a world competition. Her agenda item stipulated that the board should consider out of state travel on a case by case basis. At the request of the board, the board attorney met with them in a workshop and provided steps to be followed to minimize the board and system liability if the board chose to approve out of state travel.

In summary, we have one of the lowest per pupil expenditures in the state, and we receive results among the highest in the state.

Are there improvements yet to be made in 2008-2009?

The goal of the administration and board is that every year must be more successful than the prior year.

The board is currently working on a system improvement plan. Each school has an improvement plan. In the area of planning for improvements in academic achievement, Bryan Tutorial will be available on some Saturdays – not only for children who cannot pass state assessments but also for children who need a little extra instructional time to reach their full potential.

A comprehensive survey of staff supplements, including extracurricular supplements, is underway at the request of the Teacher Advisory Committee. Teachers will receive a $450 raise in local supplement. Teacher benefits have been increased as requested on the Teacher Advisory survey.

Twelve new classrooms will be occupied at RHPS, and 12 new classrooms will be occupied at CES. An additional half assistant principal will be available at RHHS based on SACS requirements. Additional paving at CES will provide additional staff parking. A new bus road will be available to move bus traffic behind RHPS. Students assigned to ISS and alternative school will not have to travel as in prior years. New copy machines will be in place at all schools and offices. Additional clerical assistance will be available in Richmond Hill school offices because of size of schools.

Teacher Advisory Committee meetings will occur more often to provide all staff in a school an anonymous voice through a teacher elected by the majority. The Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Committee will meet more often to provide parents a way to voice questions and request consideration of issues in an anonymous manner.

Parent contact information has just been updated in Good News About Bryan County Schools.

I look forward to working with you and to seeing that partnership pay off for our students. At the open house events, teachers will have a parent survey which will take just a few minutes for parents to complete. Please fill it out so that the system administration and board may benefit from your input regarding what the priorities for improvement should be for Bryan County Schools. When we work together, it is the children who reap the rewards.

I look forward to a productive 2008-2009 in the school system which is great and getting better.

- by Superintendent Dr.

Sallie Brewer

 

 

 

 

 

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