Local News

March 28, 2013

New schools chief switches staffing, ends Schlechty partnership

(Continued)

Same direction, new method

An eight-year partnership with a Kentucky-based think tank that many school officials have praised and some community members have criticized is set to end this fall. The Schlechty Center is an organization that has provided professional development that school officials said assisted them in implementing teaching techniques and other changes that helped students and staff. Gilreath said because of that partnership, more than 80 employees are trained to teach the same methods Schlechty employees taught.

“I felt like, and our leadership felt like, now we’ve built capacity and we will be able to continue the direction without having to pay an outside source,” she said.

The school system has spent well over $1 million on the Schlechty Center since 2005, funding it through state and federal grants that can be used only for professional development. During that time, there were occasional community complaints — and sometimes whispered concerns from employees — about taking teachers out of the classroom several times a year for training. Gilreath said she’s had that concern too and hopes to address it with the new staffing and training plans.

The superintendent said ending the partnership when the roughly year-long contract with Schlechty expires Sept. 30 could save the system a small amount of money since the federal dollars required a 25 percent match in local dollars. Yet the net effect of all the changes is expected to be close to cost neutral. Perhaps three or four employees affected by the personnel shakeup will see their salaries decrease by some amount, Gilreath said, while several others will get paid a little more.

“Nobody got a big raise,” she said. “What we tried to do was look at the responsibilities of the jobs, the number of people reporting to them, and kind of do a range of salaries.”

Gilreath said she’s built rapport with people in the school system since she was hired in 2001 and hopes employees will continue to trust her and feel comfortable coming to her with concerns.

“I don’t want to be just sitting up here making decisions by myself,” Gilreath said. “I need input. I think I’ve been in the system long enough (to build rapport). I just hope that doesn’t change since I’ve changed offices.”

Board member Rodney Lock, who often expresses concern about changes even when other board members don’t, said he is comfortable with the moves.

“I believe Judy will do a good job,” he said. “Everything she’s done (on the recent changes), she’s kind of run by us. She’s very open and honest about things and very approachable.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014