Muscogee County School Board holds planning retreat - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Muscogee County School Board holds planning retreat

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Student misbehavior is becoming a topic of discussion in Muscogee County, but the Muscogee County School Boards says black students are four times more likely to be suspended than all other races combined. This was just one of several major issues mentioned during today's retreat.

According to the School Board, the out-of-school suspension rate is going down in Muscogee County schools compared to three years ago. Today, the Board and Superintendent Dr. David Lewis came together to discuss how to continue lowering the numbers.

"This is a planning retreat," said Lewis. "These have been topics that have been of concern, both to the Board and to our constituents. So we want to continue to monitor those and update the Board on progress, and how we are going to be addressing these as we go forward."

For instance, Out of School Suspensions (OSS) for African American students is a huge concern. The school board says a contributing factor might that the population of black students is increasing, and schools with a high number OSS cases were located in economically poor areas, despite an overall decline.

"We've been working with our high school principals, and their leadership teams, to develop a model to bring as recommendation of going forward," says Lewis. "But we think we've got a plan that, by way of principals and their leadership teams, will be effective and efficient for us going forward.  

Dr. Lewis looked at ways to change high school schedules to save money and to improve students' academic performances. High school students would have a seven period schedule, instead of the eight period schedule. This would cut about $4 million in expenses. 

The Board also brought up the budget and the upkeep of old school buildings. Today's findings will be passed along to the cabinet on Monday, and on Wednesday, the district will hold a media roundtable for Q &A's on today's retreat.

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