School board expected to vote on early success centers

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comApril 20, 2014 

The Muscogee County School Board is expected to vote Monday night on the proposal by superintendent David Lewis to create early success centers that regionalize the existing pre-kindergarten classrooms across the county.

According to the agenda, at its 6 p.m. meeting in the Muscogee County Public Education Center, the board will also be asked to approve three regional chiefs nominated by Lewis.

Lewis said at a work session last week that 30 pre-kindergarten sites will consolidate into nine early success centers.

The district’s 50 pre-kindergarten classes have approximately 1,100 students. Those numbers are expected to remain the same.

Lewis said the change will not cost jobs.

Officials say the academic benefits include more opportunities for pre-kindergarten teachers to receive professional development, mentoring and coaching, and to collaborate on planning lessons and analyzing data. Consolidation would also allow administrators to visit classes more often for teacher evaluation and better monitor implementation of Georgia’s new pre-kindergarten curriculum.

Furthermore, the proposal will transition four existing pre-kindergarten classrooms into blended Head Start classrooms generating an additional $2,800 per student. The additional revenue, $197,030.08, will be used to offset some of the existing pre-kindergarten program expenses and to partially fund a director to oversee the Early Success Center initiatives.

Lewis is nominating James Wilson, Terry Baker and Ronald Wiggins as pre-kindergarten through 12 regional chief officers.

Wilson is currently principal at Northside High School.

Wilson has been an educator for 28 years and has been employed with the Muscogee County School District for 13 of those years. Besides serving as a teacher at Columbus High and Shaw High, he has served as assistant principal of Spencer High School from August 2001 to January 2002; and principal of Midland Middle School from January 2002 to July 2007.

Baker is currenlty the district's director of elementary education.

Baker has been employed with the Muscogee County School District for 27 years. Baker served as teacher at Forrest Road Elementary; assistant principal at Britt David Elementary Elementary Magnet from August 1997 to July 2002, and principal at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary from July 2002 to December 2012.

Wiggins is currently principal of T.W. Josey Comprehensive High School in Augusta, Ga.

Wiggins comes to the Muscogee County School District from Augusta, Ga. and has been an educator for 22 years. Wiggins has been an English teacher and served as assistant principal at Hephzibah High School from 1999 to 2002 and principal of Sego Middle School from 2002 to 2008.

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