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Parents rally to support Riley Elementary | News

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Parents rally to support Riley Elementary
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Concerned parents, students and community leaders spoke to the Bibb School Board in favor of keeping Riley Elementary open.

At a meeting earlier this month the school board discussed the possibility of closing Riley, merging those students with Morgan elementary students and building a new school at the Morgan location.

But after hearing people speak, Interim Superintendent Steve Smith had a change of heart.

"There's no question I'm going to reconsider my recommendation to close Riley. I made a mistake, and that mistake was, I looked at the figures from a financial basis and what would save the school system the most money and I failed to realize the commitment that parents and their community have made to that school," said Smith.

The school board has still not approved a five-year facilities plan that would outline what schools would close.

They need to approve such a plan by March 1st so it can be submitted to the state.

The board also released its district performance scorecard. It includes operational effectiveness, stakeholder satisfaction and support and academics.

In regards to academics, the scorecard shows that students' overall average scores on state standardized tests are below the state average. Smith said this needs to be improved.

The board was also reviewed discipline data information.

The data shows there were a total of 8,650 incidents across Bibb schools since the beginning of the school year until last week. Deputy Superintendent Edward Judie said when compared to the same time period last year there was an increase of more than 550 incidents. He added that part of the increase can be attested to the change in how incidents are now classified by different levels.

" I want to make it very clear. These are duplicated incidents that I described tonight so one kid could have done multiple things, and then the infractions are not an indication that I'm reading of some egregious behavior that may have taken place last year," said Edward Judie, deputy superintendent.

"For example one particular school had 543 on the uncivility, but basically incivility when you look at that is basically dress code violations, bringing their phone into school, having a hat," added Lester Miller, school board member.

Judie said this data will be reviewed by the school board quarterly and that the data helps board members to understand ways they need to intervene.

The board also named Kristy Graham as the principal of Vineville Academy. She was the assistant principal. Graham replaces Paulette Winters, who retired after 37 years with the district.

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