Fayette Superintendent to focus on achievement, operational efficiency and district image

By Sarah Plummer

REGISTER-HERALDREPORTER

FAYETTEVILLE — Although lacking the specifics many teachers, board members and parents were hoping for, Fayette Superintendent Terry George shared broad, longterm goals for the county at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

Three central goals for the school district are to enhance the efficiency of the school system across all departments and locations, to enhance pre-K through 12th grade programs to improve student achievement and create career and college readiness, and enhance community and public relations. Improving system- wide efficiency will include conservation ofutilities and transportation costs, innovative scheduling practices and comprehensive preventative maintenance for all facilities.

”Right now our facilities have been let go a little bit, not for lack of effort, but primarily a lack of funding,” said George.

He is currently developing a longterm plan for school alignment and grade configuration as well as a program for facility sustainability, which will determine how many facilities Fayette County can afford to operate.

Many citizens are waiting to find out what, if any, school could go through a closure process, but George said a plan won’t be released until it is approved by the West Virginia Department of Education.

After it’s approved, he will present it to the board and the community,he said. The superintendent also said he hopes to boost the transparency of budgets and finance processes.

George itemized a list of steps he hopes to move forward on to boost student achievement and preparedness by increasing the expectations of staff, students and parents.

These steps include demanding faithful attendance, monitoring educator evaluation systems, providing technical support for lower performing schools, and providing transition services for postsecondary education or employment.

”We need to utilize technical education opportunities to ensure college and/or career readiness. Seventy percent of our students find employment without attending college. We have to focus programs in our technical system so students are trained and prepared to enter a career and be productive citizens of Fayette County,” he explained.

The Fayette Institute of Technology is an excellent example of positive work ongoing in the system,he noted. George also discussed implementing personalized learning for all students, including a comprehensive at-risk program from pre-K to 12.

In addressing the district’s public image, George vowed to take an active role, attending school functions and being engaged with council meetings, commission meetings, chamber of commerce events and other civic and community functions.

”Our school system will only be successful if the person on the street understandswhat we aretrying to do and we educate the citizens of the county on how we want to correct our issues longterm,” he said. “The school system will become the product of the choices we make as the local governing entity. It’s time to move Fayette County forward and keep the big picture in view as decisions are made that will affect our students.”

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @Sarah_E_Plummer