On March 7, 2012, the Board voted in favor of approving the District's proposed Strategic Plan. This was a vote to invest in the future for all students in the Bibb County School District. "The Macon Miracle" is the starting point in the District's work to ensure that our students are college-ready and prepared for a 21st century, multi-ethnic, global society.
To listen to audio from the Board meeting, click here.
To view the approved Strategic Plan, click here.
I have called the Strategic Plan a living plan because we continued to make changes after presenting it based on the feedback we received. Some of the chief concerns brought forward were those focused on discipline and safety in the schools. We listened to you, and we added specific initiatives to the Plan to address these concerns. Some of these initiatives include placing three mental health therapists at the Ombudsman program immediately to work with students there, implementing Blended Learning Opportunities that will include transition plans and wrap-around services for students placed in alternative settings, and a Comprehensive Evaluation of District Safety that will include a look at the District's safety plan, crisis response, and more.
I would also like to remind you that not only have I been listening to your feedback during the community forums, but I meet with Cabinet members, directors, and coordinators at a different school each week. While there, we tour the school, observe classrooms, and meet with teachers and staff to discuss any questions and concerns they may have about the District. I also continue to hold my Sitting with Sup meetings each Monday, during which I meet with employees and community members alike. If there is something you wish to discuss, please make an appointment for one of these sessions so that we may sit down together.
I ask you to continue to share your ideas as we transition to the next phase of "The Macon Miracle" to prepare our students for success in the 21st century. Moving forward, we are going to start bringing teams of administrators together so we can start doing the work and start improving our school system. The real work begins now.
- Posted by Dr. Romain Dallemand
Video shown at "The Macon Miracle," Bibb County's Strategic Plan, Kickoff Celebration on February 10, 2012
Superintendent Dr. Romain Dallemand and the Bibb County School District embarked on a process unused by school districts across the country. Rather than setting the educational direction and goals using a small, core group of administrators, he worked from his first day in the District to engage the entire community in the process.
“We must be committed to students, their achievement, and meeting their individual needs, and that is going to take dedication and effort from every person in our community,” said Dr. Dallemand. “By engaging all stakeholders, we will be better able to identify the needs of our children and how those needs can best be met.”
Disaggregating the data about student achievement and listening to all stakeholders, it became clear that the District was failing to meet the needs of a majority of students. While many success stories and high-achieving students could be put forth as examples of what is possible, it was obvious that education and those opportunities were not being provided to all students.
“What we were doing here for children was not systemic. We cannot consider ourselves successful if we fail to prepare even one child for success.” said Dr. Dallemand. “Our students don’t face an achievement gap as espoused by education analysts; they face an opportunity gap because if they are not prepared for success, then they will have fewer opportunities than their peers.”
Some of the indicators showing a need for fundamental change in the Bibb County School District included:
a 44.6% graduation rate for the 2007-2008 9th grade cohort;
703 students who dropped out of school in 2010-2011;
493 students expelled in 2010-2011; and
7,914 students suspended in 2010-2011.
“It is obvious that what we are doing is not working, and a new direction must be taken,” he added. “That work is going to take a commitment by more than just me, our administrators, or our teachers. It is going to take the will, the effort, the engagement, and the support of our entire community.”
To read more about the need for change, click here for an entry on Dr. Dallemand’s blog, Compass Points.
Dr. Dallemand invited parents, community and business leaders, politicians, faith-based representatives, and every employee to be a part of the Strategic Planning Process on September 19 and October 10, 2011. Unveiled in February 2012 and approved by the Board of Education in March 2012, the Strategic Plan will guide the change and improvement needed during the next five years in order to ensure all children receive a high-quality education that will prepare them to be competitive and successful in a global economy.
“It is my goal – and the goal of our District – that we lead the nation in student achievement and education innovation,” says Dr. Dallemand. “I am enjoying working with the entire community as we commit ourselves to students and move our community forward through education.”
Though the Strategic Planning Process officially began with the session on September 19, Dr. Dallemand spent seven months prior to that meeting with every employee in the District – as well as parents and community leaders – to hear their opinions of the schools. Using individual meetings, small focus groups, large forums, and online surveys, he collected data and information about the District, including: student achievement data; parent, community, and employee perceptions; areas of strength and weakness; and community resources not being used.
“I truly believe that every child in Bibb County can be successful, and I look forward with all stakeholders to build a system and community that is committed to all students and gives them the education, tools, resources, and support they need,” said Dr. Dallemand.
Bibb County Schools - 484 Mulberry St. - Macon, GA 31201 - (478) 765-8711
2011-2012 Bibb County Board of Education