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Message From Dr. Edwards

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 5229

Posted by: RStokes
[email protected]
Date: Aug 25 2019 6:53 PM

A Message from DCS Superintendent, Dr. Phyllis Edwards



Dothan City Schools opened on time Tuesday; after much construction and a complete change in the structure of the school system. Our Principals and teachers attended training this summer and were very calm; yet enthusiastic in welcoming students. Buildings were clean, and floors were waxed and shiny, the walls were painted as we convey to the students that they matter by creating an environment that says we care.

As the Superintendent, I went to each school on the first day. Students were moving through the schools very nicely. At the high school, students walked through the halls, signed up for car passes, and stopped to ask where a particular classroom or building might be located. There were no fights or harsh words between students, as some would have you think.

In the elementary schools, students were dressed in their appropriate colored shirts and walked through the halls with their teachers. Lunch went off without a hitch. One little one was thrilled with his lunch and came back to get more fruit and chocolate milk. His big smile showed how he felt. Principals and teachers were out and about; welcoming new students, registering and making sure students knew where to go.

On the first day of school, after people have had a summer of much less traffic at certain times, it always seems more than hectic. More people wish to drop their child off the first day, causing long lines. Some street/traffic warning signals had not been changed.

I was in contact with the Chief and spoke with several SRO's. The three areas of quite a bit of traffic on the first day seemed to be Carver, Dothan High, and Dothan Prep. The Chief will have traffic/police cars out at the times of drop off and pick up at those locations.

We are working internally to resolve issues. For example, at Dothan High School, parking passes for students who drive are being switched out so that student drivers are not parked or driving where the buses are set to load or unload. At Carver, after speaking with Dr. Chambers, on Wednesday morning, he tells me that the afternoon of the first day went very smoothly and we believe that the process will be better. At Dothan Prep, in the back bus area, we have instituted a slight change that will allow buses that are in line and ready to load up, then be released; rather than hold all the buses. Bus numbers will be prominently placed in the front window of the buses. Walkers and car riders will be released first.

I’m happy to report that all schools have decreased the time spent on loading buses or carpool.

The Principal at the Early Childhood Education Center at Honeysuckle is meeting each car, and the little ones are being brought out to the vehicles. We are talking about how to change the flow of traffic slightly and should be able to do so as the construction moves out from Honeysuckle. Before anything is changed, we will provide each parent with a flyer or a letter that describes the change to the carpool pick up and drop off.

Parents are still enrolling, and we are pleased to have their children with us. Some parents have not yet filled out the bus transportation information or perhaps did not give us a current address or phone. As we receive proper information, we will make the corrections and adjust the bus schedules.

We have almost 9000 students. The teachers and staff are very caring and professional, while everything is not perfect. I ask for patience and understanding of the complexities that we deal with daily.

The staff has been working very hard, and they are concerned about the safety and well-being of every child. We had so many positive instances of community members getting involved to partner with us and improve the education of our students. Special thanks to those that find a way to help.

Our first week was positive, and we will work to improve areas of concern!

Family First Funeral Home

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