DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - The Dougherty County School System is now officially a charter system.
Each school now has its own school governance team.
The team at Sherwood Acres Elementary met on Tuesday for the first time.
Those meetings are open to all parents, because at the end of the day, school leaders say the goal of the charter system is to have everyone involved.
Jewel Faison is the internal charter system consultant for the Dougherty County School System. And on, she trained new members of the school governance teams.
"What we are doing is trying to make a whole system of schools great," said Faison.
Each school will have an individual team made up of two teachers, parents, students, community partners and employees at the school who aren't teachers, like custodians or cafeteria workers.
"We believe that our leaders, parents and our community business leaders working together can do what needs to be done to help our children achieve academically," explained Faison.
Kenya Hamilton's daughter is in the seventh grade at Merry Acres Middle School. She recently became part of their school governance team.
"I think it's going to be a great program," said Hamilton. "It's going to help our kids and guide them in the right direction for what they need and their learning ability."
Hamilton and Faison believe parent involvement is important for a child's learning.
"Many times parents have not felt invited in and many times school people have not felt like parents wanted a place at the table," said Faison.
Faison said that governance teams will give parents a place at that table.
They will bring ideas into the schools that cater to that school's needs.
They will also monitor the school's improvement plans to make sure changes are being made.
"We don't need to wait until the end of the year test to know how we are doing," said Faison.
Faison said that it all goes back to the African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child."
"Well this is it. This is that village raising children by collaborating together," said Faison.
At Tuesday's meeting, the governance team went over their duties and responsibilities.
Albany Middle School will have their first meeting Thursday morning at 10 in the school media center.
The meeting schedule for the governance teams can be found at the DCSS website.