On August 4, 2016, the Wilcox County PASS program conducted their annual staff orientation meeting. In addition, very useful information was provided through a staff development workshop presented by Ritchie Ray. Ritchie is the Region 4 Educational Research and Evaluation Specialist from the GaDOE.
Program Director Ginny Clack welcomed the group and shared the results and recommendations from the summative evaluation from the 2015-16 school term. She was excited that the program met all 12 of the goals and objectives set forth in the grant. In other good news, because of improved attendance in the previous school year, the state reinstated a portion of funds that had been cut from the budget. This will allow the M/H site to serve a greater number of students in FY17. Lastly she encouraged the group to communicate regularly with regular school day staff and parents.
Ginny then introduced Superintendent Julie Childers and other members of the administrative staff including DeAnne Brownlee, data specialist, and Jena Rossman, family engagement coordinator. They each shared information with the staff to assist them in the upcoming year.
Elementary site coordinators Pam Worthy and Susie Gordon met with the WCES staff while M/H site coordinators Nathan Gibbs and Tim Conner met with their respective staff. Each group discussed the employee handbook and other pertinent information.
After the individual sessions, Ritchie Ray shared enrichment ideas with the group and reminded them that the afterschool program should be different from the regular day in order to succeed. He challenged the staff to find activities that would stimulate thinking and reinforce the skills taught during the regular school day. As an example, he shared a mathematical magic trip which served as an attention getter and promoted creative thinking as the staff worked to find the solution. Ritchie then invited the staff to ask questions about the program and promised his support during the upcoming year.
In conclusion, staff were reminded of items that will need careful documentation. They were encouraged to promote student recruitment, retention, and regular attendance. The PASS program looks forward to serving at-risk students in Wilcox County and providing academic support to the regular school day teachers in the Wilcox County School System.