Paulding County Rotary Club meeting November 8th, 2016
Rotary club president Travis Miller called our November 8th meeting to order and then handed over the podium to former Rotary president John Grant. Mr. Grant introduced our guest speaker, Paulding County School Superintendent Cliff Cole.
Mr. Cole thank the Rotary club for a warm welcome as he introduced himself. Mr. Cole gave a state of the school's address with regards to the Paulding County school system. He gave an extremely thorough overview of Paulding County schools. Our district by the numbers has 33 schools. This includes 19 elementary schools nine middle schools and five high schools. The school system employs 3278 people in Paulding County making it the second largest employer in the county. These numbers highlight what a large economic footprint our school system has in the county. With that said the Paulding County school system has again received encouraging results based on our students. This spring Paulding County students outperform the state and percent of students scoring developing or above and 31 of 32 assessments given on Georgia milestone assessments. Over the last three years the percent of Paulding County students scoring 3+ on advanced placement exams increased annually. Also Paulding County school students have improved the district overall CCRPI ratings in each of three levels: elementary, middle and high school. These are very encouraging results and recognize an upward trend in our school system as a whole.
Mr. Cole covered the budget for school system thoroughly. As everyone in Paulding County is aware, our county is growing. Unfortunately tax revenue insider our County is not matching the infrastructure cost needs required. Education is and enormous and expensive task. With a $300 million million dollar budget, 98% went back into school system. The school system was able to maintain zero furlough days, invest in new buses, safety and security, technology along with improving student achievement and instruction. Additionally 3% raises given all school system employees. Paulding County has managed to achieve more with less than any other school district its size. On an individual scale, the Paulding County school system has managed to achieve and succeed while keeping per student expenditure down. Looking ahead, Mr. Cole outlined the strategic planning and community focus groups that the school system is utilizing to plan for the future. Technology improvements have been one of the greatest direct benefits to students this year. The Paulding virtual Academy, district implementation of learning management system (Canvas), and a district network upgrade which is increased network speed and capacity to all classrooms and enhanced wireless network coverage. All these technological advancements have helped students and educators directly with speed and accessibility. Mr. Cole specifically mentioned the Paulding virtual Academy (PVA) and the Move On when ready (MOWR) programs. Educating students and helping them find the correct path for them, whether it be to college or the workforce has been much improved.
Mr. Cole thanked the partners in education for all their input and assistance. Specifically Mr. Cole congratulated the Chattahoochee Technical College, Paulding County Chamber Of Commerce, Paulding County Economic Development, Greystone Power, CW Matthews Construction, RKR Construction, WellStar Health System, Ragsdale Heating and Air and Metromont Materials. All of these along with MembersFirst Credit Union have been very strong supporters of the Paulding County school system in taking the initiative to invest in our community. Additionally Mr. Cole also congratulated the community as a whole for its feedback and involvement with the school system. The success of Paulding County School System has had would not have been accomplished without the strong support from the Paulding County community as a whole.
In closing Mr. Cole answered some questions off by the Rotary club members. He thank them for their time and the opportunity to share with them about our school system.