After two years of searching, the Bibb Board of Education hired Curtis Jones to be the Superintendent in 2015.
Jones came to Bibb County with lofty goals like getting the district's graduation rate to 90 percent by 2025, and a desire to turn the school system around.
“The first year, you come in and you're observing, and you’re looking, starting to make some changes,” Jones said. “The second year, you put in place processes and procedures that move you that way. The third year, you ought to start seeing some results, results that are tangible.”
He says his staff, teachers, and students are making progress. His biggest concerns are four main areas he says are all connected.
“You will see graduation rates improve when you see reading rates improve,” Jones said. “You will see reading rates improve when you see attendance improve. That will happen when students don’t have as many discipline issues.”
According to Jones, graduation, attendance, and reading levels are all up. He says teachers are giving more time for reading instruction, and all schools are using the same reading model.
“We know how much time a class should be involved in whole group activities,” Jones said. “How much time they should have with a small group with a teacher, and then what they do with independent activities, that has helped greatly.”
Jones says since taking the district’s top seat, the number of discipline referrals has gone down. He attributes that to the district's discipline platform known Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports, or PBIS.
“We're doing the work, we now have to get the results, and I’m hopeful that it’s starting to happen and we'll be able to see it on a more consistent,” Jones said.
Jones admits there’s more hard work to do, but he hopes parents are already seeing a difference.
“People will be able to say, 'My child’s reading better,'” Jones said. “'My child understands this math better, my child is now able to reason and justify and analyze and talk to me. I can see where school's making a difference.'”
Christy Scott has four children in the district and says parents and community members are seeing improvements.
“We have a good blueprint right now that is making sure that the kids are being invested in so when they are promoted that they are prepared not only for the next grade, but overall as an individual in the community,” Scott said.
Lester Miller is one of the school board members who hired Jones two years ago. He says he hopes the superintendent stays in Bibb for years to come.
“He has the ability to work with all the cross sections of the community,” Miller said. “He gets stakeholder input. He’s gotten along very well with the board and he’s been able to get the board to buy into his strategic plan, which is just now starting to unravel, and we can see the fruits of his labor.”
Superintendent Curtis Jones’ current contract with Bibb Schools runs through April of 2018.