The Jefferson City Board of Education recently held its annual fall board retreat at the Memorial Stadium Field House to review the school year leading up to 2021, plan ahead for growth, and train for school board improvements among stakeholders.
Board members and school administrators spent two days hearing updates on district finances, college and career readiness, facilities, communications, and school culture.
Georgia School Boards Association representatives facilitated training sessions both days of the retreat.
Thursday’s training session was conducted by Dr. Steve Barker and Ms. Lynita Jackson, who both serve as leaders of GSBA’s Strategic Planning Services and Georgia’s Vision for Public Education.
Following the training session, Ms. Annette Beckwith, the Principal of Jefferson Elementary, presented plans for the development of an Early Learning Center, which included a facility expansion to JES.
The Early Learning Center would provide children ages three to four years old with a high quality learning experience aligned with the vision, mission, and goals of the Jefferson City School System.
The Early Learning Center was designed to create partnerships in the community for the purpose of supporting early childhood initiatives that address healthy child and family development and serve as a hub for families with children beginning at birth.
On the other side of the educational spectrum, Ms. Holly McShane, the Academic and Career Plan Coordinator for JCS Instructional Services, presented an update to the Board about college and career readiness.
Jefferson City Schools partners with seven local colleges and universities to provide students with opportunities of dual enrollment and exposure to different career pathways. The District wants to expand programs, partnerships, and create a College and Career Center in the future.
Friday’s board retreat session was focused on communications and the growth of JCS, which included discussions about facility expansions, upcoming projects, and funding.
GSBA’s Director of Superintendent Searches and Board Development, Dr. Samuel T. King, led Friday’s training session for all board members and school administrators. Dr. King discussed the benefits of improved communication among the board, community, stakeholders, and the District.
Mr. Joe Morgan, who is a former television broadcaster and communications professional, worked alongside JCS Communications Specialist Ms. Joy Holmes, Broadcasting and Engineering Instructor Mr. Randy Farmer, and Digital Learning Specialist Mr. Kris Plummer to present an Arts, Audio/Visual and Communications Pathway for students. This pathway would provide students an opportunity to explore a student led broadcasting team and develop a web TV channel for the District.
The topic of growth and facility expansion was a closing topic of the retreat. While expansions are expected across the District, the middle school project is the first priority.
Mr. Craig Buckley of James W. Buckley and Associates presented blueprints for the upcoming middle school project, which will be evaluated further by District leaders.
Jefferson City Schools Financial Officer Kim Navas followed with a financial report. Ms. Navas reported the JMS expansion will be funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST, as well as the Capital Outlay Program.
Additional projects for the future of JCS include: BioSTEAM Center footbridge at the Wetlands, JHS renovations, expansions and parking, and a privacy fence at JES.
Thank you to Eterno Realty, American Financial Network, and James W. Buckley & Associates Inc. for providing meals during the retreat.