Principals, assistant principals and teachers who work in four Bibb County high schools must sign an agreement by today to be held accountable for their students’ growth and commit to “laser-like” focus, or be removed.
The school board unanimously voted Thursday to require staff at Hutchings Career Center as well as Northeast, Southwest and Rutland high schools to sign memorandums of understanding. The four schools are receiving federal grant money to help turn them around.
“In order that there be no misunderstanding about the expectations of the school district and the obligations of its employees in these four schools, a memorandum of understanding ... has been prepared,” said Cathy Magouyrk, deputy superintendent of teaching and learning. “They are being instructed if it’s not signed by (today), they must submit their resignation.”
The Bibb County school system is receiving $24 million over three years in federal stimulus funds. Georgia is getting $122 million to give schools that haven’t been able to turn around performance a few more resources and tools to help achieve them.
The Bibb school system is using a “transformation model” in all four high schools. Those schools will hire new principals and use a new staff evaluation program to reward teachers who increase student test scores. Those teachers who don’t will be removed.
The plan also calls for increasing student instruction time and heavily using test data.
The memorandums of understanding require staff to work longer days if needed, be transparent and create an annual growth plan. The agreement calls for principals to “make the difficult decisions in a timely manner when it comes to replacing ineffective personnel.”
“We don’t want at any time for them to say at the end of the year or midyear they didn’t know,” board member Tom Hudson said. “It’s all about commitment.”
Rutland High School teacher Tony Jones said it isn’t a big deal to sign the agreement.
“I think all they’re asking us to do is our job,” he said.
Currently, the Bibb school system is rewriting its grant plans so they can be resubmitted to the state.
Acting Superintendent Sylvia McGee said the board likely will vote to hire or name new principals for Northeast, Southwest, Rutland and Hutchings at a tentatively called meeting at 6 p.m. Monday. A new Howard High principal decision will likely be made at a later meeting, she said.
The board is also slated to vote Monday on employee furloughs, transportation cuts and whether to close Neel Academy.
To contact writer Julie Hubbard, call 744-4331.