Instead of relying on the media, residents can hear for themselves as the Muscogee County School District's new superintendent presents his initial assessment and recommendations.
David Lewis, hired in July from Polk County, Fla., will conduct two public forums to discuss his report: Feb. 27 and March 4, both at 6 p.m., in the Muscogee County Public Education Center board room, 2960 Macon Road.
Reaction to his plan has been favorable. He has presented it to the school board, business and community leaders and media representatives.
The most popular initiative he has proposed, Lewis has said, is to divide the district into three regions -- west, central and east -- and assign a chief administrator and other staff to each region. He says this organizational structure will serve schools better and help combat the racial and economic separation between north and south Columbus.
Perhaps his most controversial proposal is to change high school scheduling, which has prompted residents to contact the Ledger-Enquirer to express their concern. Lewis wants to switch the eight-period 4x4 block or A-B-day schedule to a seven-period schedule with more yearlong classes.
This would allow the high schools to add a period called Increased Learning Time for students to receive remediation or enrichment during the school day instead of after school. It also would allow for more common planning time among teachers and allow the district to reduce the high school staff by as much as 15 percent to save $4 million-$4.5 million through reassignments and attrition but without layoffs, Lewis has said.