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Group, BOE talk

Discussions to better improve education became school-specific during the after-meeting of the Brewton City School Board Monday.
Once the day’s action items were handled, school board members, educators and parents assembled into three working groups for the talks.
The initiative was started after a group called “Parents for a Better Brewton.” The group said there was a “culture of fear” at T.R. Miller High School which prevented students from reporting inappropriate behavior by the school’s former band director who was arrested in August on charges of sexual abuse, ethics violations, unlawful imprisonment.
The group asked the school board to implement not only policy changes but also procedures to better protect students and create a more conducive environment for parents.
Last month, the school board requested input from parents in the form or a four-part questionnaire. At Monday’s meeting, the crowd was broken up into groups for the elementary, middle and high schools. The team was composed of approximately six people.
Board Chairman Stephanie Walker said she was pleased to begin meeting in school-specific groups.
“Each of the three groups discussed methods of communication that are most effective for today’s busy families,” she said. “The board’s goal is to connect with every parent so that they can support the education of their children. We talked about the barriers to asking for help, for reporting a problem or for just getting information.”
Walker said the groups reviewed a sampling of the suggestions offered on the surveys, which fell into two areas – activities for team building between parents and teachers and activities for team building between students. 
“This dialogue will continue because communication is the key to understanding,” she said. “We are grateful to everyone who came, and we hope to continue to see new faces.”
Walker reminded parents that parent contact day is Thursday, and parents are encouraged to attend their child’s school.
She said the elementary school will also hold a math and science night on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. in the board’s meeting room. Representatives will talk about the Common Core standards in math and science for elementary students.