Bowling Green Ind. central office staff taking road trips - to schools in the district - to gain better understanding about what's taking place there, what needs exist

Bowling Green Daily News, Sept. 28, 2016

City school staff visit schools to gain new perspectives
by Aaron Mudd

When it comes to school districts, there's often a divide between employees working in schools and the district's central office.

Central office staffers with the Bowling Green Independent School District have been trying to bridge that gap by visiting schools to gain new perspectives. Camilla Sympson, the superintendent's administrative assistant, was among a group of 16 central office personnel Tuesday observing the school day at Bowling Green Junior High School.

Sympson, who used to be a secretary at a school, knows how intimidating school visits from higher-ups can be. That's mainly because you don't know them, she said.

Ken May, the director of personnel, agreed.

"This gives them that opportunity to get out into the schools," May said. "I heard a lot of positive comments about it."

Employees also visited Potter Gray Elementary School and Bowling Green High School last week. May said the idea came from Superintendent Gary Fields, and visits possibly could be done on a regular basis.

Transportation Director Mike McCloud, enjoyed seeing what's happening in contemporary classrooms, adding that school is a lot different from when he was a student. For McCloud, schools are now more open, allowing for more interaction between students and teachers, and technology allows for faster feedback on school work.

The visit taught him "how to relate to the kids a little better."

Barbara Smith, a special programs associate, appreciated observing Laura Crabtree's special education classroom. She said it was exciting to see "just how well she connected with the kids at each issue that each student has," she said.

"It gives you a chance to watch the teachers – how they interact with their students, what they try to accomplish," she said.

Sharon Logsdon, the district's director of technology, took the day to check in on the school's technology needs.

"I have the opportunity to see some of the technology that's been purchased at use in the classroom," she said.

Logsdon said a teacher told her a new 3-D printer is bringing in more students interested in the class.

"It's exciting times when you see that kind of stuff happening," she said. "If it turns one student around enough to make a difference in their lifetime, it's all worth it."

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