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The Bibb County School District Newsletter

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July 28, 2017

Batts Named District's Teacher of the Year

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School teacher Felicia Batts was named the 2018 Bibb County Teacher of the Year at Convocation on July 25. Mrs. Batts is a special education teacher at MLK and was formerly employed with the Department of Corrections.

"Being nominated Bibb Teacher of the Year is such a great honor, and I look forward to representing my district well," she said.

Prior to her current position, Mrs. Batts taught at Ingram-Pye and King-Danforth elementary schools, and her husband is Willie Batts, assistant principal at SOAR Academy.

Hutchings College and Career Academy's Paige Welch was named runner-up, and the other finalists were Ingram-Pye's Douglas Stewart, Howard High School's Julie Allen and Central High School's Octavia Holloway. All 2017-2018 Teachers of the Year will be honored with a reception at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at Central High School, followed by recognition at the Board of Education meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Central.

Looking for Back-to-School Information?

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School supply lists, dress codes and other valuable back-to-school information is available on the District website.

Middle and high schools held their Open Houses on Thursday, July 27, with elementary school Open Houses scheduled for Friday, July 28, from 4 to 7 p.m. The first day of school is Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Employees Gather to Kick Off School Year

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Employees from across the District gathered at the Macon Coliseum on July 25 for Convocation. Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones said the annual event was an opportunity to get together and celebrate the start of the school year, as well as accomplishments like Georgia Milestones improvements.

"Nobody else can do what you do," he said. "I'm glad that you're here, and we are going to have a fantastic year."

The keynote speaker for Convocation was Ken Williams, who is part of the District's partnership with Solution Tree. He urged educators to remember their own abilities and the gifts of every student in the classroom.

"The talent is in the room," he said.

PBIS Back-to-School Bash Provides Supplies, Fun

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The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports department hosted a Back-to-School Bash last week and drew quite a crowd.

Over 1,300 students and parents were served, with 2,000 school supplies provided. More than 30 community and District vendors participated, several families received transportation services, 49 people received McKinney-Vento Services, 170 people received Family Engagement information and more than 150 school uniforms were provided to our students.

Thanks go out to all involved!

Nominate a District Employee!

WGXA, the local ABC and FOX affiliate, is bringing the Jefferson Awards to Middle Georgia. This honor recognizes individuals with the "values of giving and public service," according to a news release from the station.

For more information or to nominate a District employee, visit the WGXA website.

Did You Hear About the Solar Eclipse?

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A solar eclipse is expected on Aug. 21, with the Bibb County area set to see a partial, but nearly complete, version of the event. A solar eclipse occurs when the orbits of the Earth and moon line up in such a way that the moon blocks the sun's light temporarily.

For more detail about the time and view of the eclipse in our area, visit this simulation. While this is an excellent learning experience, safety precautions should be taken before viewing the eclipse.

District Celebrates Milestones Improvements

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This month, Georgia Milestones assessment results came back for districts across the state from the 2016-2017 school year. Bibb County's students saw improvements in several key areas.

In English Language Arts, students showed increases in grades 3, 5, 6 and 8 and both tested high school courses. Results also showed the percent of students reading on or above grade level increased in the same grade levels that demonstrated improvements in ELA scores. The greatest improvements were seen in fifth grade, where the number of students reading on or above grade level increased by 17 percent, and in eighth grade, where the number of students reading on or above grade level increased by about 12 percent. In third grade, a critical year for ensuring students are reading on grade level, the number of students reading on grade level increased by more than 10 percent.

“Our teachers and students are to be commended for the growth demonstrated over the past year," said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones. "Our focus on academic improvements and interventions in core content areas has been intentional, and the results of that effort are reflected in these scores."

Additionally, students demonstrated growth in Math at all elementary and middle school grade levels.

Camera System Added to District Buses

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Motorists could face heavy fines for improperly passing Bibb County school buses starting this year. Thanks to a partnership with Busguard, the District's bus fleet will be equipped with a camera system that houses five cameras on the driver's side of each bus.

"The ultimate goal of this is student safety," said transportation director Anthony Jackson.

He added that the cameras would be constantly running, but the video would be automatically marked at the "most dangerous part" of the bus route - stops to pick up and drop off students. Anyone caught illegally passing a bus while the stop arm is out would receive a $300 for the first offense up to a $1,000 for the third offense.

The District participates annually in a national survey of vehicles that illegally pass stopped school buses that are loading and unloading students. This survey is conducted each year in April and lasts for just one day. In 2014, 105 school bus drivers documented 122 violations. In 2015, 105 school bus drivers documented 130 violations.

While no measure has been shown to completely eliminate this dangerous decision, data reflects that areas with these cameras in place have seen a decrease in illegal bus passes.

"Overall, this really drives it down," Mr. Jackson said.

For a refresher on the Georgia School Bus Stop Law, visit http://www.operationstoparm.info/Law.html.

Chief of Staff Chosen for Equality Fellowship

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Recently, District Chief of Staff Keith Simmons was selected for the inaugural cohort of the Souther Education Foundation's Racial Equality Leadership Network. This group of 12 administrators was chosen to "champion equity-centered solutions to addressing historic racial disparities in schooling," according to a news release.

We congratulate Mr. Simmons for this and all the work he does around the District!

Rising Southwest Students Visit College Campuses

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As part of Summer Bridge 2017, rising Southwest High School freshmen visited a pair of college campuses. The students, who are interested in honors and accelerated courses at Southwest, learned about forensics, agriculture, robotics and more, and also took tours of Fort Valley State and Georgia Southern universities.

New Teachers Gather for Special Orientation

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In preparation for the 2017-2018 school year, new teachers from the District's 38 schools came together at Howard High School for New Teacher Orientation. This event sought to prepare them for classroom work as well as acclimate them to processes and procedures for Bibb County educators.

In all, about 260 teachers are calling Bibb County schools home for the first time this year. A special thanks goes out to Kelvin Epps Painting, Stafford Construction and Krispy Kreme for catering a barbecue lunch for the group!

Additional community partners helping welcome teachers for the 2017-2018 school year include VALIC, MidSouth Community Federal Credit Union; Robins Financial Credit Union; McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co.; Jones Cork LLP; AXA Equitable; Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE); Georgia Association of Educators (GAE); Atlanta Postal Credit Union; OneSouth Bank/Bank of Early; Eberhardt & Barry Inc.; Andrews, Hammock & Powell Inc.; SP Design Group; State Farm Insurance, Trennis Dumas; Adams Law Firm; Pyles Plumbing & Contracting; Shred Monster; Solomon, Deaton & Buice Insurance LLC; Ocmulgee Outdoor Adventure; Magda Law Firm; Lokey Chiropractic Clinic; and Macon Dentist Office.

New Nutrition Director Readies Staff for School Year

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As school nutrition workers from across the District gathered for training earlier this month, the department's new executive director discussed her goals and plans for her first year. Timikel Sharpe most recently worked in Los Angeles but is originally from Alabama.

"What I first look forward to is a successful first day of school," she said.

Ms. Sharpe encouraged parents and students to take a look at school menus this year and give the school cafeterias a chance instead of packing a lunch.

"That's going to be our goal is that children are going to be our customers and they come here by choice," she said.

Find school menus here: https://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?sid=0209141729107728

Check Out These School Supply Opportunities!

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Bibb County School District

Vision:

Each student demonstrates strength of character

and is college or career ready.


Mission:

The Bibb County School District will develop

a highly trained staff and an engaged community dedicated

to educating each student for a 21st century global society.