Toombs County Schools and Families Closing the Gap
Toombs County Schools are striving every day toward “Excellence for All.” The “all” in the phrase refers not only to the students, but it also includes our families and community stakeholders. “Parent and Family Engagement” is an ongoing process that increases active participation, communication, and collaboration between parents, schools, and communities with the goal of educating the whole child to ensure student achievement and success.
The Family-School Partnership Program here in Georgia advocates parents, schools, families, and communities working together to create meaningful partnerships that ultimately lead to significant gains across the board in student achievement. There is data to support this fact.
Toombs County Schools’ District Family Engagement Team met on Thursday, January 26, at Toombs County High School. This team consists of parent representatives from each of the schools in the district, as well as teachers and administrators from each school. Rhonda Benton, the Family Engagement Coordinator, gave a brief update and overview on what the school system has been working on thus far this school year to improve communications with families.
National Parental Involvement Day was observed on November 17 with a drop-in lunch and informational time for families. Several parents signed up for the student information system (Infinite Campus), so parents can have access to their children’s grades and attendance all during the school year. These parents were also given access to their child’s assignments through Google Classroom. Families that have accessed these two programs can benefit from being better informed about what is going on with their child during their school day.
Toombs County Schools (TCS) participated in the city of Lyons Real Squeal BBQ Festival in October, and TCS joined forces with the City of Lyons and hosted a Hometown Pep Rally during the football season for all Toombs County Bulldog fans. TCS also has been out recruiting new teachers at various job fairs being held at colleges all over the state.
Families were asked to provide feedback to the schools through an online Title I Fall Parent Survey in September. The results from this survey were presented to the Family Engagement Team. There will be a Title I Spring Parent Survey going out February 9. Parents are asked to be on the lookout for information about this so they can provide feedback to help the system better serve you and your child.
During the Fall meeting, Family Engagement Team members expressed a need for two important items: better two-way communication between home and school and homework help for students at home.
Tabatha Nobles, Assistant Superintendent, explained what is in progress to close the gap between home and school. Four improvements that are in the works for next school year are the following: a better tool for two-way communication to happen between parents and teachers (English and Spanish), more additions with the Infinite Campus access (student information system), new and improved Homework Help videos, and an improved userfriendly school website. At the conclusion of the meeting, a parent commented, ”These updates are great news and I feel like we, as parents, have been heard.”
As you can see, in today’s world, technology is the way we need to go in order to stay connected with our children’s education. There are many barriers for families in our community. Toombs County Schools are striving not only to educate our students in the world of technology, but also our families and stakeholders.