The meetings, held at different schools within each cluster, give stakeholders in the schools an opportunity to hear from the schools’ principals, hearing an annual report of progress for that cluster and its schools.
The Mt. Zion cluster’s annual report was held at Mt. Zion Elementary on Monday, with parents, community leaders and business owners attending the meeting.
The Bowdon Cluster will meet at Bowdon High on Sept. 24, the Central Cluster at Central High on Oct. 1, the Villa Rica Cluster at Bay Springs Middle also on Oct. 1 and the Temple Cluster at Temple Middle on Oct. 2.
“This is a cool thing we did last year and was well-received by everyone,” said Superintendent Scott Cowart. “A lot of school systems don’t do this type of thing, but we think it’s important to reach out to the community and be transparent with the progress we’re making.”
Cowart said the meetings usually start at 6 p.m., but residents should call the schools for a concrete time.
The annual reports include data on test scores, but Cowart said the meetings are “about more than that.”
“We get a report of progress in test results, of course, but we like to balance our appreciation on improvements,” he said. “We also hear about parent engagement, safety and the technology advancements the schools have made.”
The presentations are followed by a question-and-answer session and a survey given to attendees on their satisfaction with the schools for the past year.
“We get these reports from the federal and state level, but parents rarely hear from their local school systems on what they’ve done,” Cowart said. “And this local accountability is, in many ways, more important than that of the state and federal levels.”
Cowart said the meetings are an effort to fight any negative perception stakeholders have about their schools.
“Perceptions are just that — perceptions,” he said. “But they become real in the eyes of our residents until a new set of data comes out or someone tells them we have a lot of good things going on in Carroll County Schools.”
Cowart said the reports will not be all about the good things the schools have done, but also what needs to be improved.
“Each school will present information about what went well, what they are working to improve and highlights from last school year,” Cowart said. “These nights give our stakeholders a chance to hear about the progress happening in our schools.”