Board Meeting Spotlights How Cobb Invests in Importance of Literacy

Board of Education meeting highlights

A day after State School Superintendent Richard Woods presented Literacy Leader Awards to 10 Cobb Schools, the Cobb County Board of Education Meeting focused on the importance of literacy and the steps the Cobb educators are taking to ensure students are reading on grade level and beyond.  

“I was most impressed, but not surprised, to learn that the longer a student is with us in Cobb, the more proficient reader they are becoming over time. Our students are not plateauing in third grade like in other Districts. Cobb’s literacy success is directly related to the work our educators do every day and the District’s investment in literacy screeners, interventions, and programs that help Cobb students successfully transition from simply learning to read to reading to learn,” said Cobb Schools Board Chair Brad Wheeler. 

During a presentation to the Board, Dr. Catherine Mallanda, Cobb Schools Chief of Academics, outlined some of those programs helping Cobb students to become literacy leaders.  

For example, the newly adopted Amira Reading Screener can help teachers identify students who may need additional support with specific skills, including dyslexia. Cobb educators can also use the Reading Inventory assessment to see if students are on track to read on grade level. Some of the District’s literacy intervention programs include Headsprout, System 44, and Read 180. Cobb also has interventionists who provide targeted, individualized, data-driven support to students to treat specific learning needs—changing the trajectory of a student’s academic career.  

During her presentation, Dr. Mallanda stressed that Cobb is not done. There is work to be done, and the District is taking steps to increase literacy achievement even more. The District’s future literacy steps include acquiring a K-3 Intervention tool, providing intensive professional learning for all K-5 teachers, and further enhancing intervention plans. 

Also, in the meeting, the Cobb Schools Board of Education voted to approve the following legislative priorities for 2024: financial sustainability, educational access, and safety and security.  


Earlier in the meeting, the Board voted 4-3 against Ms. Becky Sayler's motion, which attempted to end "all further involvement" in the Finn lawsuit, led by the Southern Poverty Law Center and their team of over 40 lawyers. Mr. David Chastain also made a related conflict of interest motion, which was found to be procedurally improper, which requested Ms. Sayler recuse herself given the SPLC's endorsement of her Board candidacy. 

Mr. Tre Hutchins also made a motion in connection with the lawsuit, which attempted to "remove" and "condemn" the statements from the District's law firm (about the lawsuit) that reference "the Honorable Stacey Abrams" and "the Democratic Party." His motion was voted down 4-3.

Board Recognitions: 

Cobb STEM Certification – Bells Ferry Elementary School  


Cobb STEM Certification – Fair Oaks Elementary School  


Cobb STEM Certification – Mountain View Elementary School  


Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2023 Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics Elementary School – Dyanna Motes, Kemp Elementary School  


Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2023 Gladys M. Thomason Award – Jean Linner, Lassiter High School