Eight Bibb County Schools are considered failing by the state of Georgia. Three of them will now be under the watch of the state’s new Chief Turnaround Officer. The Bibb Board of Education voted to approve the partnership Monday night.
Veterans Elementary, Appling Middle, and Ballard-Hudson Middle are the schools the new chief turnaround officer will seek to improve under his watch.
“It means we will get more support from the state,” Bibb Superintendent Curtis Jones said. “We will have somebody in our district every day, one person for these three schools. That person will be able to help us determine if were doing the things we thought we need to do to improve.”
Jones says the turnaround officer wants work on one thing at a time in these three schools
“Give them one thing to work on, get it right, make sure it's going well, then move on to something else,” Jones said. “Overall, his theory of action is, 'You’re doing so many things, we're not sure you’re doing any of them right.'”
Board Member Daryl Morton says this partnership should help the district get more resources and grant money. He doesn't expect to see immediate improvement.
“Realistically, we're looking at the next school year when you’re really going to get those programs in place that are going to make a real difference,” Morton said. “Hopefully, it will support what we're already doing.”
Jones says the important thing with the partnership is that they will maintain local control, including with personnel.
“He’s not hiring, he’s not firing,” Jones said. “They will probably sit in on interviews, but the decision for who gets hired will be a recommendation from the principal to me that I will then give to our board, and so they're providing advice, is what they’re doing.”
They can choose to take the advice or not. Jones says they plan to work with the Chief Turnaround Officer for the next three years.