DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Schools took an important step Monday night in its transformation into a charter system.
Starting this fall, Sherwood Acres Elementary and other schools will have individual school governance teams. Those team members will have a say in what goes on at their school.
With their hands held in the air, Dougherty County School Governance Team members made it official.
More than 140 community leaders, parents, teachers and other school personnel were sworn in to the district's charter system at Monday's school board meeting.
Consultant Jewel Faison said that the members who received certificates can now make official decisions at their schools.
"People were wondering, would you have chaos if you people don't really know what school governance is all about, but there is a process and its very distinct," explained Faison. "Our people have gone through the training for governance."
That training also taught teams about curriculum, finance and other school business. Members clocked in more than twelve hours of preparation during the six-month training process.
Radium Springs Middle Magnate School of the Arts Principal Valerie Williams said that Monday's ceremony has her team members looking forward to the future.
"We're excited about the direction our system is going in," said Williams. "This governance team is going to help move Radium Springs forward."
Williams said that her group is focused on building partnerships with parents and other members of the community to benefit students.
"It's important for not only our school, but all schools that parents know what's going on with children in their schools to partner with those people educating them," explained Williams. "We're a team, not just individually trying to do it. It's not all on the parents or all on the school. We need their help."
And Faison said that Monday's big crowd signifies the community is ready to get to work, and that the faculty and governance team members at all 22 schools making the change will be fully trained before next school year.