Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bibb County Georgia School System

Listening Tour

Last Monday Evening, April 25th I attended the First Stop on Dr. Romain Dallemand's Listening Tour as he learns of the Citizens Concerns about the Bibb County School System.

He opened the meeting with a few brief remarks and indicated that he was at Howard High School to hear the comments of the people, parents, concerned citizens as they were experiencing education in Bibb County.  The attendees were not restricted as to which School their Children attended.  They could be elementary, middle or high school parents or citizens that were concerned enough to attend this "Communications Event."

Dr. Dallemand's closing comment before the people were given the opportunity to speak was his concern about how Scholars seem to withdraw from education acitivites during the Summer Vacations.  In this regard, starting with the upcoming Summer Vacation each Scholar at all grade levels will be given four books to read.

I will post a brief summary of each remark/concern which was presented to Dr. Dallemand:

  • Lack of Text Books which prevented Scholars from bringing them home.
  • A concern about the lack of Technical Equipment
  • Bullying at the elementary level - poor classroom management
  • A decrease in the time allowed for Music activities at Howard High School.  Support of the fine arts also promoted academic achievement
  • Fine  arts - strings help adademic achievement.  Do not compromise the funding for fine arts education.
  • An individual presented three concerns:
            a.  The arts must be supported
            b.  Must stress Physical Education - fitness must be stressed versus sitting around in
                 in PE class
            c.  Math program
  • The Blog is great.  A concern was voiced about too much testing
  • One individual expressed concern and indicated they had high hopes for Public Education in Bibb County.  The emphasis must be on the Students
  • Special Needs Kids and Gang Activity were the concerns addressed by an attendee
  • The System must focus on the Students and their achievements.  It was pointed out that only 25% of our young people in the 18-24 year old  demographic are even qualified for Military Service.  This is not unique to Bibb County but applies to the population of our U.S.A.  (Please Note:  This was my comment)
  • Tudoring Needs.  The Math teachers at Howard change far too often.
  • After School education activities are needed
  • Concerning Math!!! One parent addressed the need for parents to become familiar with the math program currently being presented to the students.  She indicated that she needed skillsin order to help her student with the math that is being presented now
  • Howard lacks athletic facilities (If I recall correctly this was most evident in the area of a proper Girls Softball field)
  • One parent who transferred from Private Schools to Public Education stressed that an awareness of what good we have needs to be more public and also stated that we need more teachers so that more electives would be available.  She had one Son who learned the Violin in Middle School.  All students need to be involved in the arts as they desire.  Exposure to the arts develops a well rounded student/citizen.
  • One parent expressed that the IB program at Central was an incredible opportunity; however students were suffering.  The system must offer a wider scope of education opportunities.
  • One attendee spoke well of the Ombudsman program.  It was suggested that this program be cloned and used in the other schools
  • During one school visit the Principal was in the room when Dr. Dallemand was talking with the students.  It was suggested that students be free to discuss their school experiences without the presence of the Principal.  Magnet Schools syphon off the good peers in many elementary schools
  • Thanks for using Technology - the Blog and Internet Communications to keep everyone informed and in the loop.  All must use
  • One parent spoke for a uniform uniform for all schools.  This parent had three children in three different grade levels and no one school was the same so there was no possibility of having the potential to hand down clothes the very next year.
  • One attendee spoke that home life for the students must be improved.  Bad Homes was the phrase used.
  • Another addressed three concerns: 
            a.  Regarding Sports.  We need something more than porta-poddys at our Sports Fields
            b.  Parent involvement is vital
            c.  Sports are vital and essential for the development of the whole person
  • We need a strong intervention program to eliminate poor scholars from getting into High School
  • Bibb County needs to attract and keep teachers in Bibb County
  • Block versus Traditional Scheduling.  The statement maker desired Traditional Scheduling
  • Calls to the Central Office are frequently ignored.  The callers desire feedback.  It is essential that communications be two way
  • A Sophmore Student at Howard High School Spoke about the Counselors seem to be unable to function well.  There is a lack of Staff and Visual Arts lack funds for supplies.
  • Some students at Howard Middle School are having a difficult time paying for lunches.  It was reported that lunch was cut off for two students because they each had bills that exceeded $100.00
  • Howard Middle School lacks a proper computer system/software so that Students can focus on current technology.
  • One Parent who has a Teacher in the Bibb System spoke of teachers having to buy hundreds of dollars of supplies to use in their classrooms.
Dr. Dallemand then closed the meeting by indicating that He had notes on all the concerns addressed and that he would work to resolve the issues he learned of at Howard and also the other schools where he would be conducting "Listening Tours" in the days ahead.

I am glad I attended this event and I would suggest that everyone in Bibb County, parents and concerned Citizens become involved in Education. 

I would encourage everyone to read Dr. Dallemand's Blog at:

Also, please be aware that there is a link on this Blog where you can submit your concerns should you not be able to attend one of the stops on his "Listening Tour."

Thank You!!

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