The school district leadership team consisting of principals, directors, assistant superintendents and Dr. Morris Leis, Superintendent, gathered at the Board of Education ion November 16 to virtually receive an award from the Georgia Charter System Foundation. The Foundation represents the 48 charter school systems in Georgia.
Coffee County Schools was selected from a group of three other school systems: Baldwin, Barrow and Calhoun City School Systems. The district was selected from their work in the areas of Leadership, Educator Development, Governance, and Partnerships.
Dr. Leis serves as an executive board member on the Charter Foundation and participates in governance activities to support and strengthen efforts. Recently, Dr. Leis and Pam Smith, CEO of the Wiregrass Regional College and Career Academy, served as participating panel members in professional learning sessions pertaining to Diploma Option B. Option B is a non-traditional path to graduation that exchanges required high school courses with postsecondary training. A student is required to complete nine high school courses while simultaneously completing either 1) two Technical Certificates in one of several eligible career pathways, 2) a technical diploma or 3) an associate degree. Wiregrass Regional College and Career Academy continues to lead the way with Option B graduates in the state. Several counties attended and toured the Coffee County facility to see the initiative in action. Dr. Leis, Ms. Smith and Mrs. Nation, school counselor also presented at the Georgia School Counselors Conference.
The Charter System Foundation was founded on the belief that meaningful change in education can occur only if principals, teachers, parents and community partners are empowered with the authority and flexibility to make decisions at the school level to best meet the individual needs of each student.
There are 48 school districts in Georgia that are Charter Systems. This means that the local board of education and the state board of education have signed an agreement referred to as a “charter” contract. The charter grants the schools flexibility to operate free of state mandates and rules. Key aspects of the Charter System Performance Contract are broad flexibility, committed to higher performance goals and committed to decision-making at the school level with School Governance Teams comprise of parents, community members, teachers and principals. The 48 districts include the smallest which is Taliaferro County with 170 students and two of the largest, Fulton and Atlanta.
In addition to receiving the Charter System Leadership Development Award, Coffee County School System was selected as the Charter School System of the Year in 2019. No other school system has been recognized for both of these awards.
From this recent recognition, the district will receive a check for $10,000.