Superintendent seeks community feedback at forum

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News 12 at 11 o'clock, October 1, 2007

Augusta, Ga. --- Dr. Dana Bedden now runs one of the larger school systems in Georgia. It's home to one of the top high schools in the state, and lots of other schools that are struggling to make the grade. The idea is to help the stronger schools continue to succeed, while helping the rest of Richmond County schools meet the needs of their students.

Parents, teachers, and students had a chance to meet and greet Dr. Dana Bedden at Cross Creek High School. His goal was to get feedback from the community to improve the school system.

"In this position you typically have a lot of directors and assistants and so I think its important to give them an opportunity to see me face to face and have a chance to talk to me," Richmond County School Superintendent, Dr. Dana Bedden said.

Dr. Bedden said he's been getting a lot of positive feedback from parents.

"Some just want to come up and introduce themselves, others want to share their thoughts and feelings and their high hopes for the school district so I listen and try to absorb as much as I can," he said.

Parents and students said they appreciate the chance to meet Dr. Bedden.

"His plan is actually working for our schools. Tardy policies, everything that's going on is making our schools a better place to be," Brittany Carpenter said.

Dr. Bedden has been the superintendent for two months now, and said things are going well.

"We have some successes to celebrate and some challenges that we need to overcome, but again, the system is not broken, but we have work to do that we can improve and do a better job," Bedden said.

Principal Thomas Norris said he has seen a lot of student improvement this year.

"When you have kids come up to you and tell you I am learning, or I use to make all D's and F's but I'm finally getting it," Tubman Middle School Principal, Thomas Norris said.

Bedden said his goals are to work on the Special Ed. and Math programs and AYP scores.

"Overall, they don't have the number of schools we'd like to make AYP, but we've had successes with the percent of targets that have been met, which is a part of AYP," Bedden said.

And if the community helps out, Bedden said the school system will be even more successful.

"We've gotta move away from being critical and just identify the problems and then say what can I do to help to make it better," Bedden said.

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