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Mitchell County parents bring concerns to school board

Mitchell County resident expresses concerns to school board on Tuesday night./ Jazmyne Hankerson

It was business as usual during the regular meeting of the Mitchell County School Board.

But right before adjournment is when the real conversations started.

“Communication is the issue,” said Mitchell County resident and former teacher Jerome Jester. “There must be more dialogue between the administrators in the parents.”

That’s why Jester, parents and concerned citizens showed up on Tuesday night.

Rumors were flying about firings, issues were laid out about changes being made and the transparency of system decisions.

“There is no one to date that we’ve said ‘oh your job is cut’. What we’ve said is there might be question of whether you (teachers) believe that we need to make a change and what I’m asking you us tell me ‘what you're going to do for Mitchell County?’,” said Mitchell County Superintendent Robert Adams.

Adams said the school system only has a 15% passing and has had failing schools for the past three years.

“There is a real sense of urgency that we immediately begin to take corrective actions. We should just do it because we care about our kids and we don’t want them to get behind," said Adams. "You can’t do it the same way and expect different results.”

Leaders said a part of that corrective action is putting more emphasis on better elementary education so that growth builds from the ground up.

Parents and residents called for better support for new teachers and more opportunities for students.

The board says its working on that and everyone has the same goal of success for the students.

“If you say 'I’m all in I realize what we didn’t do I’m going to fix it' then cool. But if you think we’re just going to go 'oh well sorry they didn’t do it we’ll do better next time', we owe [students] more than that,” said Adams.

Board members also encouraged the parents to come back to meetings and stay connected.

Jester, like others, said they fully intend to.

“The only way to hold the board accountable for any of your concerns is to be in the schools and see if these things are happening or if these issues are improving,” said Jester. “It has to be a continuous evaluation of your concerns.”

Anyone with concerns is asked to make an appointment with the superintendent.

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