“One Dawson. Excellence together.”
Dawson County’s Board of Education met on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and approved their 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. The plan was divided up into four key goals and summarized with core values: “One Dawson. Excellence together.” The plan that was constructed for the upcoming years was a “collective effort” to ensure the align with the county’s long-term goals.
The first goal that the BOE team focused on student performance and growth. Superintendent Damon Gibbs said this upcoming schools year is very important due to the time that was taken away when COVID-19 initially took over.
“This year is probably one of the most critical years that we’ve had because of the instructional time lost,” Gibbs said. “It really gives us an idea of where our students stand academically…to meet their individual needs. It’s a tool that we use internally…to determine what they’re ready to learn.”
The second goal area being “culture and climate.” The goal’s basis is being able to improve student behavior and develop more positive student behavior. Engagement from families in the county is vital to the school system and Director of Instructional Support Secondary Schools Nathan Hand stressed the importance of that.
Hand said “we can’t accomplish anything without our community.” Additionally, Hand said that communication has become more relevant – especially virtually – during the school year due to COVID-19 and it has also allowed for more unique ways to engage with parents such as Zoom meetings and live messaging.
“Throughout this COVID process, it opened up the doors for us to be creative,” Hand said. “This [also] creates more opportunities for our students.”
With September being Suicide Awareness Month, Gibbs commemorated Director of Student Support Janice Darnell and her team in helping kids not only in Dawson but in other districts.
“I know one of the things we talk about a lot in the education business is test scores, graduation rates…all of those things are important and I don’t want to diminish that but the greatest threat that we face today is the mental health of our children,” Gibbs said. ”
The third and goal’s focus: “learning and growth.” The quality of teachers is something important to the county and having professional development and training.
Collectively, the board is looking forward to the “excellent work” that will be accomplished over the course of the 2020-2025 plan.