Pine Belt News prepares for community forum on public education

The date is fast approaching for Pine Belt News‘ Upcoming Community Forum on Public Education, which will offer residents the opportunity to learn about the performance of local school districts, and the individual schools within them, from local superintendents and Mayor Toby Barker.

The forum, titled “How do we support public education?” will be held from 6 to 7:30 pm on November 30 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. It is free and open to the public.

Barker will moderate the event and ask questions of the following superintendents: Robert Williams (Hattiesburg Public School District), Matt Dillon (Petal County School District), Steven Hampton (Lamar County School District), and Donna Boone (Lamar County Agricultural School District). of Forrest). Brian Freeman, superintendent of the Forrest County School District, wanted to attend but will be out of town that week due to a prior obligation.

“We are so blessed here in Forrest and Lamar counties to have some of the best public schools in the state,” said Christina Pierce, publisher of Pine Belt News. “With all of our local school districts earning ‘A’s (in the recent accountability ratings from the Mississippi Department of Education), I’m eager to ask the question, ‘Could our schools be any better?’

“And most importantly, ‘What can I personally do to support public education?’”

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The primary role of a superintendent in today’s school systems;
  • Major initiatives to focus on in the upcoming school years;
  • Trends in education;
  • The correlation between parent involvement and student outcomes;
  • Community relations programs; Y
  • How the community can help foster excellence in public education.

In particular, it will look at the MDE ratings, which assign each district and school across the state a grade from ‘A’ to ‘F’. The Hattiesburg Public School District was perhaps most impressive in that effort, earning “A” after several years of “D” ratings.

The forum will begin with a maximum of 15 minute presentation, during which Pierce will open the event with comments on its purpose, the importance of excellence in public education for everyone in the community, and the forum rules. Pierce will then introduce each of the superintendents, along with Barker.

The mayor will share his thoughts on the state of local public education and community involvement in education. He will then follow up with approximately 45 minutes of questions to the superintendents.

The audience will have the opportunity to address any questions or concerns with the panel. For more information about the event, call the Pine Belt News office at (601) 268-2331.

“I hope we all learn more about our exceptional public schools and how the community can better support (education),” Pierce said.

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