Bibb County school board members say they still need to work on a handful of improvement areas required for the school district’s continued accreditation.
In May 2013, the school board was given 24 months by the accrediting agency AdvancED to show evidence of improvement in three areas: governance and leadership; teaching and assessing for learning; and resources and support systems.
With the May 1 deadline approaching, board members have completed most of the requirements but must finish their work in the area of governance and leadership.
“Our goal is to be able to submit a final product to AdvancED well in advance of the deadline,” interim Superintendent Kelley Castlin-Gacutan said at a called board meeting earlier this month. At a work session Tuesday night she said the school system has an aggressive deadline of April 1.
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Wanda West and Jason Downey, the board members who are taking the lead on the governance issues, said they reached out to DeKalb County for help.
DeKalb’s school system was similarly admonished by AdvancED in the past. To resolve its issues with AdvancED, DeKalb County school system officials produced a handbook -- a self-governing guide -- for its board members.
“DeKalb County had to go through this same process we’re going through with AdvancED, and they developed a handbook,” Downey said.
The book, Downey said, “literally lays out everything” from polices, procedures, administrator roles and training for new board members, among other things.
He said there was no need to reinvent the wheel and that DeKalb agreed to let Bibb use its handbook. DeKalb County developed it based on another school system in Austin, Texas.
“AdvancED loves it,” Downey said. “It obviously works. There’s no reason it can’t work for us, but not every system’s the same. So we need input from all of you. ... We want to make sure this is specific to us.”
When the Bibb County school district was examined by AdvancED in 2013, lead evaluator Stephen Oborn rated the school board in five different categories on a scale of 1 to 4. The board’s lowest score was 1.67, and that was in the governance and leadership category.
Among the other categories, Bibb scored: 2.0 for continuous improvement; 2.25 for resources and support systems; 2.33 for teaching and assessing for learning; and 2.5 for purpose and direction.
Also Tuesday, Bibb County school board President Thelma Dillard announced the school board’s process for searching for a superintendent is closed.
The district announced a sole finalist, Curtis L. Jones, last week. Jones is currently the superintendent of the Griffin-Spalding County school district.
Dillard said the board would vote on Jones at the Feb. 26 board meeting.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382.