Just the Facts: Q and A with the Board Chair

Just the Facts Q&A

Hi there! Welcome back to Just the Facts, everything you need to know about your child or grandchild’s school in 5 minutes or less. 

I was in a couple of schools recently and heard how excited the students are for winter break!! Enjoy spending time with your family and friends over the next week, and stay bundled up! 

A month or so ago, I talked about our time together as a conversation. Many of you have taken me up on that when you have seen me at schools, in the community, or by phone. I have really enjoyed hearing your questions and thought I would share a few here. Keep them coming!! 

1. Is the district banning books? 

Although the media likes to use that headline, NO. Not allowing children to access sexually explicit content while at school is not banning books. It is making sure parents are the adults making decisions about what is appropriate for their child, not schools.

2. Can employees get in trouble for their own personal beliefs? 

Absolutely not! We are proud of every one of our 18,000 Team members, and the variety of thoughts and backgrounds make us what we are - the best place for children to learn in the country. Every employee should live their personal lives as they wish. When our employees are at their jobs, we simply ask them to focus on teaching state-approved curriculum standards. Schools are places where students learn academics, while your home is where you, as parents, grandparents, and adults who care, guide what your children believe.

3. We hear a lot about safety being the number one priority. What does that mean in the day-to-day for me as a parent? How do I know you are? 

Great question! This one probably needs its own “Just the Facts,” where I can spend more time. Over the last couple of years, we have heard from some who have tried to remove our highly trained and equipped police officers from your child’s school and spend your dollars on items that are important to them. Please know that most of our Board members and the Superintendent have rejected those calls to de-fund safety and, factually, spend as much time and dollars on safety as possible. But to briefly answer your question, when you pull into your school, most likely you see at least one of the 80 police officers whose only job is to keep your child safe. Whether it’s those highly trained safety experts or all of the safety programs our staff calls Cobb Shield, you can see how important it is to us with your own eyes.

Very soon, you will hear more about the programs in place in every school to keep your child safe.

4. I have heard about a program my teacher friends are excited about called Georgia’s BEST; what is it?

 Another great question, and I have heard this one a LOT over the last year or so. It is a trailblazing partnership with the University of West Georgia, which allows Cobb educators to receive a higher degree at no cost to them. It is the first program of its kind in the state. I am told we have received applications from over 5,000 Cobb educators. I firmly believe this program will make our teachers better for your children and grandchildren, all while improving their salaries. I believe you will hear more about how the first year has gone at our next Board meeting.  

That’s all for today; I did promise 5 minutes or less after all! See you again in a couple of weeks. Please enjoy your family and this winter break. I am always happy to see the smiles on our children’s faces when they are on a school break and can be carefree.

Board Chair Randy Scamihorn

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