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The area: The Chattahoochee-Flint Regional Training Service company helps it 15 faculty districts in southwest Georgia. One of many districts served by Chattahoochee-Flint RESA – Macon County College System in Oglethorpe, Georgia – is a small rural district with three faculties and 1200 college students.

The problem: Macon County Elementary and Center Faculties have struggled with low tutorial efficiency and excessive absenteeism charges, which have contributed to the identification of the district’s elementary and center faculties for Complete Help and Enchancment and Focused Help and Enchancment. in 2018 by the Georgia Division of Training. Faculties recognized for CSI and TSI are ranked amongst the bottom 5% of Title I faculties throughout the state, in accordance with the Georgia DOE web site.

That identification standing allowed the college system to voluntarily obtain focused assist from Chattahoochee-Flint RESA and its wraparound companies coordinator, Shonda Inexperienced.

Inexperienced, a former instructor and principal, knew that tutorial and attendance statutes wanted assist from group companions, however she and the college district needed to first perceive the basis causes of those challenges.

“It helps faculties establish what a few of these non-academic issues are which can be inflicting their college students to fail to achieve their full potential within the classroom,” Inexperienced mentioned.

The strategy: Inexperienced labored with the college district’s father or mother engagement coordinator, Verneda Johnson, and Macon County Household Connection Program Coordinator Nicole Howell to review college students on what they thought have been non-academic obstacles. for presence and studying. The outcomes of the survey confirmed the best considerations of the scholars targeted on private hygiene and meals insecurity.

Addressing these wants, Inexperienced held smaller group pupil discussions in center faculty on these subjects. Via extra conversations between Inexperienced, Howell and Johnson, and reviewing attendance and tutorial knowledge, they realized that Macon County Center College college students felt uncomfortable coming to high school as a result of they may not put on female hygiene merchandise due to it. of the district’s bagless coverage, which had been put in place for safety causes, Johnson mentioned. There was additionally a restriction on when college students might go to their closets.

Additional conversations with mother and father have confirmed the considerations of girls who got here to high school once they have been menstruating, Inexperienced mentioned.

“After we came upon about this, you recognize an alarm went off and it was like,‘ Oh no, we’re going to repair this, ’” Inexperienced mentioned. “We had no thought what the women felt like and what they have been going via – that they have been agonizing simply at the moment.”

What labored: One of many first efforts made after this discovery was that the superintendent and the board of schooling have modified the bagless coverage to permit feminine college students to put on small clear baggage, Inexperienced, Howell and Johnson mentioned.

As well as, since district group collaborators have been concerned in serving to to raised perceive the challenges of attendance, they have been prepared to assist with assist options. Howell, who organized the Household Connection companions with 50 native organizations, together with faith-based teams, nonprofits and companies, have shared info with organizations.

This assist community has led to an abundance of donations of feminine hygiene merchandise. One regional firm – Worldwide Paper – has supplied ongoing donations of feminine hygiene merchandise, in addition to particular person care bins for every pupil, Howell mentioned. One other group donated clear beauty baggage to college students, Inexperienced mentioned.

With all donations, feminine college students can now take dwelling further provides for themselves or for different members of the feminine household, Howell mentioned. “The profit has been that we’ve taken that weight off that expense along with the mother and father’ pockets, ”Howell mentioned.

The pandemic has not stopped this work. Household Connection, together with its friends, made dwelling deliveries when faculties have been closed, Howell mentioned.

Worldwide Paper has made a big donation of feminine hygiene merchandise to the Macon County College System in Georgia.

Courtesy of Nicole Howell

The outcomes: In 2019, Macon County Elementary College and Macon County Center College have been faraway from the Georgia DOE listing of CSI and TSI faculties, in accordance with a Georgia DOE web site. The college system had elevated the rigor and relevance of curriculum {and professional} growth for academics, the web site mentioned. The state schooling division has additionally accredited the robust group partnerships of the district and work with State College Mile employees to enhance outcomes.

Inexperienced mentioned that whereas the feminine hygiene resolution found at Macon County Center College could seem easy and solely a part of the transfer towards progress, it has had a big constructive affect on feminine pupil confidence and has in all probability contributed. to elevated tutorial efficiency as attendance is improved.

“For those who can change a unfavorable scenario for only a very small inhabitants of individuals, then that has a big effect,” Inexperienced mentioned. “And so it was superb what number of women, you recognize, took benefit of getting these provides, so readily and abundantly out there now to them.”

Inexperienced, Howell and Johnson additionally imagine in progress in joint work between the college system and its group companions and fogeys.

“I actually wish to emphasize the rationale why all this labored out was as a result of there have been so many partnerships and collaborations and conversations between completely different companions in the neighborhood,” Howell mentioned. “That was the important thing.”

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