Rome City Schools’ mission of working to make sure all students graduate from Rome High School prepared for college or work cannot be accomplished without input and investment from the community. It is because of this philosophy that Dr. Leslie Dixon (RCS Director of School Improvement), and other administrators and educators invited stakeholders to their College and Career Academy for roundtable talks about how the schools can better achieve the mission.

The feedback collected is vital to making system progress a workable goal. Dr. Dixon also said that these gatherings are also a part of making plans for school improvement accessible to students, parents and community leaders who support the education of Rome City Schools children.

“This is an annual federal program stakeholder meeting,” Dr. Dixon explained. “Because of the last two years under COVID restrictions, we had to hold this meeting virtually. But I prefer to speak to our stakeholders face-to-face. Today, we have different department heads available for questions and feedback. Any department that operates with federal funds is represented here, and we have a table set up to specifically address their roles in the system.”

From the communications department to Title I programs, RCS administrators and educators walked parents and students through the daily operations of each of the nine departments present and opened the table to discussion. Dr. Dixon said this information will be used, along with frequent surveys sent to stakeholders via the system’s mass text messaging service, to make all school programs better for RCS families.

“Each group will rotate from table to table, and department heads are explaining how federal funds are being used. We are answering questions, and we are collecting written feedback. We are asking them what we do well and how can we improve. I will collect all the data and categorize the responses. Then, I will share the information with our department chairs and with our directors to ensure they know how we are doing. We will use that feedback to create our CLIP, which is our Consolidated Local Education Agency Improvement Plan. It is our district improvement plan,” explained Dr. Dixon.

This information will be communicated to principals who will then pass the data on to teachers. Student and parental feedback are also added to the plan, putting stakeholders in control of some of the educational efforts they will see in schools across the system.

In the past, Dr. Dixon said the virtual tutoring program was a result of this meeting. She also credited data collected from the stakeholders meeting for the creation many RCS afterschool programs, and more professional learning opportunities for administrators was also spun from this network of engaged community members.

“We take this feedback, and we work very hard to make it happen,” Dr. Dixon said. “We will share this information with everyone, from our Superintendent to our School Board members. The information will be available on our system website when we can organize everything gathered in our meeting. And if you could not make the meeting today, we would still love to hear your thoughts. We have a survey available on our website, as well. There, parents can provide feedback. The survey is under federal programs. I also would love for people to email me directly if they have any questions or suggestions we can use to improve our system.”