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The Bibb County School District Newsletter

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Sept. 29, 2017

District Graduation Rate Up 5 Percentage Points

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Data released today by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) show the Bibb County School District's high school graduation rate increased by 5.45 percentage points in 2017 compared to 2016 for a graduation rate of 77.094 percent. Howard and Northeast High Schools earned the highest graduation rates at 83.117 percent and 80.319 percent, respectively, and no high school scored below 74 percent. All six high schools exceeded the District’s 2016 graduation rate of 71.644.

“I am beyond excited to see our hard work paying off,” said Superintendent Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr. “These scores are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff, who are implementing initiatives and building relationships with students to ensure they are successful and prepared for college or career. This is what Victory in Progress looks like – it’s doing the right work every day to move our District and our community forward.”

Upon joining the District in 2015, Dr. Jones set a goal for the District to achieve a 90 percent graduation rate by the year 2025. A goal of 80 percent by 2020 also has been set.

The 5‐percentage point increase in 2017 may be attributed to a variety of factors, including teachers and staff building better relationships with students, and students demonstrating strength of character, Dr. Jones said. This is demonstrated partially through decreased discipline referrals and increased student attendance. Additional factors that may have attributed to the increase include GEAR UP services, student advisement sessions throughout middle school and high school, and community partnerships.

“All hands on deck at Northeast means just that - all! We are working to create an atmosphere where everyone is committed to seeing our students graduate. That not only includes our faculty, staff and students, but our parents and feeder schools as well. Our biggest change is the expectations that our students have of themselves to graduate. Their mindsets have shifted to meeting expectations and accountability,” said Northeast High School Principal Steven Jones.

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Riley Elementary Makes Cards to Thank Georgia Power

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Students from Riley Elementary School made cards to thank Georgia Power employees for all their hard work following Tropical Storm Irma's pass through Middle Georgia. Even though a large portion of Bibb County lost power, including several of our schools, Georgia Power worked hard to get things back up and running. Thanks again!

Do YOU Want to Help Bibb #ReadfortheRecord?

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JumpStart's "Read for the Record" is a partnership locally between the District and United Way of Central Georgia. It brings community members into the classroom, this year on Oct. 19, to read to elementary school students across Bibb County.

The registration deadline is Oct. 12, but sign up today!

Union Students Collect Coins for Hurricane Relief

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Union Elementary School raised $300 in a coin drive to support hurricane relief efforts. Leading the way was Sarita Robinson's kindergarten class, which collected $75 worth of coins. Way to go!

Stakeholders, District Officials Gather at VIP Luncheon

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Recently, the District hosted its VIP Luncheon for community partners, elected officials and school administrators. Top partners like Dominique Johnson, GEICO, Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission and Blake Sullivan were recognized, and Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones spoke about the State of the District.

He also told the stakeholders in attendance about the meaning behind the Victory in Progress pins they were all given. Dr. Jones noted that wearing the pin is a commitment to the District and its goals.

"When I put on that pin, it makes me proud," he said. "And that's how we want you to feel."

The District would like all the partners that attended the luncheon, as well as the students from the W.S. Hutchings College and Career Academy's Culinary Arts program, the Howard High School orchestra and the REACH Scholars.

Rutland High, Vineville Academy Give VIP Pins

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Several members of the Rutland High School cafeteria staff received their VIP pins during the month of September. Vineville Academy for the Arts also recognized faculty and staff members who have been with the District for a year. The District appreciates all those who make the commitment to our students!
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Brookdale Kicks Off PBIS Efforts

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Brookdale students blasted off the school year with a “PBIS is the Best” kick-off celebration. Brookdale’s Panther Cheer Team and Rap Trio energized the crowd by performing chants and cheers related to positive behavior and attendance. Principal Kim Tolbert reminded the students of the importance of academic and character development, and students also heard about the importance of coming to school regularly.

Springdale PE Teacher Receives Grant

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Springdale Elementary PE teacher Brad Lord received a Rise Up 159 grant from the Atlanta Falcons Arthur Blank foundation. Rise Up 159 promotes flag football for boys and girls at the elementary and middle school levels to get children outside and active. One school in each of the 159 Georgia counties was awarded the grant and received footballs, flag belts, water bottles and jerseys. Lord was one of four school representatives, out of the 159, chosen to get videotaped for a promotional video for Rise Up 159.

In addition, Springdale's Jordan Brewster won the Play60 NFL MVP award and will be recognized during the Falcons' game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Rutland Middle Holds Science Night

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Rutland Middle School held its annual Science Night on Sept. 19. The event, which was free, was open to all RMS students, their families and the community, and almost 200 students attended.

Collaborative Planning among RMS Science teachers and community partners was vital to the success of the event. Representatives from Mercer University and Middle Georgia State University presented information and conducted interactive activities related to health and CPR that were informative and engaging. An activity on healthy heart awareness and stroke prevention was conducted by the Navicent Health Group. The Museum of Aviation from Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins offered their partnership with an assortment of offerings including information about the museum, NASA programs, workshops and the interactive Q-Bot robots which were a hit among the students.

Additionally, Rutland High School presented their Soapbox Derby Car and an interactive Chemistry Lab. A number of Rutland Middle School and Rutland High School students supported the Science Department teachers in their interactive activities as lab assistants. Bibb County School District Science Coordinator Brian Butler shared his knowledge and passion of science in an activity demonstrating surface area with the Bed of Nails.

New Counselors Visit Bibb, Learn About 'Leader In Me' and Tour Industries

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New counselors in Georgia were in Bibb this week. They learned more about "The Leader in Me" and participated in economic industry tours coordinated by the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce and Macon Economic Development Commission to learn more about meeting the career needs of future graduates in Georgia.

CTAE Group Leaders Gather for Rally

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Leaders of various CTAE student groups across the District gathered at Southwest High School for the annual Career Technical Student Organizations Leadership Rally. Officers and chapter advisers from Technology Student Association, SkillsUSA, FFA, Future Business Leaders of America were in attendance. The theme for this year’s event was “It’s In Our DNA (Do Nothing Average),” and students participated in workshops taught by local business and industry partners on topics like dressing for success, social media marketing and community service.

Alexander II Honors Top Summer Readers

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Alexander II presented 46 special invitations to a summer reading celebration breakfast that was held in the school's media center on Sept. 7. The breakfast was in honor of all the students that completed their summer reading logs. We are proud of all our students that commit to reading over the summer!

GEAR UP Senior Chasing Dream in Arts

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To recognize GEAR UP Week, which took place in September, here's a story about one of the program's students.

Before the 2017-18 school year began, Westside High School GEAR UP senior Joshua Jones-Sims had already been accepted to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy located in Los Angeles, California with a full scholarship. Joshua has been performing since he was 3 years old so AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts seemed to be a perfect fit. Joshua enjoys playing the piano, dancing (praise, hip-hop, Western African, Jazz, Contemporary, and tap), singing and performing. Joshua started the drama club at Westside High School during his 10th grade year.

With the support of his family and church, Joshua decided to begin searching for colleges during his junior year in high school. Six months after his tryouts, Joshua received his acceptance letter during summer 2017. Joshua plans on being an all-around entertainer, professional actor and teacher of music and dance. He hopes to tour the country and share his passion for the arts.

Southwest Holding Senior Status Meetings

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As part of the GEAR UP grant efforts, Southwest High School is holding senior status meetings with every senior student. These meetings with the senior counselor, graduation coach and GEAR UP graduation advisor will include discussions about GPA, class standing, number of credits, post-secondary plans and more. Keep up the good work, seniors!

Howard High Holds Senior Parent Night, College Fair

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Howard High School recently held a Senior Parent Night and Mini College Fair, during which more than 70 parents and students gathered for information and to visit with college representatives. This was a partnership with the GEAR UP program.

It is very important to have a senior parent night because it gives me an opportunity to provide parents and students with important information regarding post-secondary plans," said senior counselor Angela Madray. "Even though I do classroom guidance for all seniors regarding this topic, this event is a time that I can share with parents and students how to begin the process of making plans to attend college or pursue other post-secondary plans such as the military or workforce.”

Teachers of the Year Honored at Board Meeting

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The Bibb County Board of Education honored the District's Teachers of the Year at its September meeting. This included all the school winners, as well as finalists Douglas Stewart, Octavia Holloway, Julie Allen, Paige Welch and Felicia Batts. Welch was again recognized as the District's runner-up, and Batts was the overall District winner.

In addition to being honored at a reception and receiving new name badges from Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones, each Teacher of the Year received various gifts from local businesses and organizations. The District wishes to thank these partners for helping to celebrate Teachers of the Year. Partners include: MidSouth Community Federal Credit Union; Kroger Company; AXA Equitable; Spectra at the Macon Centreplex; Sheridan Construction; Middle Georgia RESA; American Pride Bank; Forrest B. Johnson and Associates; Lanford, Smith and Kapiloff, Attorneys at Law; Solomon, Deaton and Buice Insurance, LLC; Dry Falls Outfitters; Kinetix; Museum of Arts and Sciences; Pure Barre; Raffield Tire Master; Signature Salon; Buffalo Wild Wings; The Casserole Shop; Jimmy John’s; The Moonhanger Group; Ocmulgee Brew Pub; Spud Dogs; Tommy’s Bakery and Café; Duresville AME Church; Forest Hills United Methodist Church; Martha Bowman Memorial United Methodist Church; Vineville United Methodist Church; and White Springs Baptist Church.


For a full list of winners and more information about the meeting, click here.

Georgia Power Engineer Visits Porter Elementary

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Georgia Power engineer Leon McBride visited Porter Elementary to teach the children about the company's work. Using the PowerTown demonstration, he explained energy, electricity and engineering jobs to the students.

Fort Valley State Visits Central High School

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Fort Valley State University came out for a lunchroom visit to speak to Central High School students. The students interested in going to Fort Valley State University or that wanted more information spoke with the representative and were able to find out more about the admission requirements along with the programs that they offer.

Vineville Academy Hosts Grandparents' Day

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Vineville Academy celebrated Grandparents' Day with a variety of activities at the school. Students could take selfies with their special guests, tour the school and even take them to classes.

"Grandparents' Day is when they can come and share the joy of learning," said principal Kristy Graham. "It's a day they get to spend showing grandparents what school is like,"

Grandparents also got to see the school's Book Fair and work with students on a handprint art project.

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.