A new notification system will provide parents up-to-the-minute information regarding school events.
Madison County Schools, starting Feb. 2, will be a pilot system for this program, which uses emails and text messages.
“It really has an unlimited potential,” Madison County Schools superintendent Mitch McGhee said.
The technology will provide updates for anything from emergency school closings to a team bus delay.
Of course, the program won’t be fully utilized when it comes online. It will take time for administrators, teachers, coaches and parents to get into the habit of using the system, McGhee said.
But once the system is established, it will offer plenty of options.
“For example, we can send out football scores — to everyone that signs up — at the end of each quarter,” McGhee said. “If you have a booster club member that’s in charge of that you can send out running scores of a football game or a basketball game.”
The board of education, principals and administrative staff will be administered a tutorial over usage of the system.
School leaders open to suggestions
For those with ideas to improve schools, the central office will now consider those thoughts via suggestion forms.
“This is one thing that we want to be clear on, just because someone turns in this form, that does not guarantee that we’re going to add that (suggestion) or delete that,” McGhee said. “However, we do want as much input as we can get.”
The forms can be submitted anonymously, if desired.
McGhee said he’s not a fan of anonymous submissions but will allow them since these suggestions aren’t for publication.
The intent is to generate ideas.
“If we get 100, and 10 of them give us a good idea, then it was worth it,” McGhee said.
Increase in max class size means savings
The maximum class size in the state being raised by two students will translate into savings for Madison County Schools.
McGhee estimated this will keep four to five teachers from having to be hired.
“Roughly speaking, about $50,000 apiece, that’s some real money for us,” McGhee said. “For the bigger systems, it’s millions of dollars, but it’s still significant to us.
SPLOST collections sag compared to last year
Madison County collected $15,000 less in SPLOST funds last month that it did this time last year.
“Which isn’t surprising with the economy,” assistant superintendent Bonnie Knight said.