Bibb County educators, staff and community members cannot wait on a plan to improve the countys schools to fall in their laps, but rather, they need to take an active role in coming up with a solution, Bibb Superintendent Romain Dallemand told a crowd of 4,500 people Monday during the second of the systems strategic planning sessions.
To illustrate his point, Dallemand showed a short video of a man and a woman riding an upward-moving escalator, when suddenly, it stops.
They stand still, panicked, and call for help until a repairman comes to save the day. It seems like life will return to normal -- until the repairmans escalator stops, too, and all three are stuck in place through nightfall.
Too often when faced with challenges, we call someone for help, or we wait for someone to respond, he said.
Audience members laughed at the video, and Dallemand pointed out that they must move themselves toward achieving their goals.
Bibb County, we cant wait, he said.
Dallemand challenged attendees of the session at the Macon Coliseum and Wilson Convention Center to help Bibb County become the best school system in the nation, through a major upheaval in the system and having teachers set high goals, such as making sure all students receive a high-quality education.
Our students deserve nothing less, he said, eliciting a thunderous standing ovation from the crowd.
The attendees at Mondays session discussed technology, parent and community involvement, school structure and other topics in morning and afternoon breakout groups, based on ideas generated at an initial planning session Sept. 19.
During the September session, Leigh Anne Floyd, a Title I math coach at Carter Elementary School, saw a commitment from teachers across the county who know something needs to be done to turn around the system.
She hopes to see more community involvement, among other things, and looks forward to continuing to listen to others in the district.
I hope to hear more from the superintendent about his vision as he guides us through the process, she said.
Theresa May, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at Howard Middle School, looked forward to discussing student focus in the classroom and school structure during Mondays session.
In order for us to be successful, we have to embrace change, she said.
However, other Bibb County employees such as Ellis Hogges , who has been a bus driver in Bibb County for six years, said they havent felt included in the strategic planning process.
Gina Smith, who also has been a Bibb County bus driver for six years, said drivers are not recognized for the work they do with students who misbehave.
The board of education is not just teachers and parents, she said. Its all of us united.
The input from Mondays session will guide the strategic plan, and Dallemand said he also will look at research and consult with experts before presenting the final plan in January.
The plan is expected to go into effect in fall 2012.
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 744-4331.