- Gadsden County's students proficiency rate is 31%
- The district wants to increase it to above 50%
- Thursday's back to school walk was a way to show the community support
BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
"It means a lot to me as a parent and as a man to come and welcome these kids back to school."
As many students head back to school, James A Shanks Middle School had men from across the Gadsden County come support students.
This year Gadsden County School District wants to increase students' proficiency rate and Superintendent Elijah Key says it starts with the community's help.
"I just want to touch base with the kids, shake their hands and give them good spirit for them to do good this year" said Travis Barkley
Barkley is a father of four children. He showed up for James A. Shanks Middle School students. His mission is to be a leader and role model for them.
This school year, Gadsden County School District leaders are working to increase students' proficiency level.
Gadsden County Superintendent Elijah Key says he wants to make sure the teachers in the district are taken care of in order to reach this goal.
"Making sure they are prepared, making sure that they have all the tools that they need in order to serve our students better" said Key.
According to Gadsden County School District, right now, the proficiency level for their students is 31%. Their goal is to increase the level to above 50%. Key says the schools' and the community will help them achieve this goal.
Thursday's back to school walk was a way to show the community support.
"These young people see positive role models that are in our community to know that they are here to help them out" said Key.
Dr. Kisha Jarrett is James A. Shanks Middle School's principal. She says other districts' walks inspired them to do the same. Larry Ford is a James A Shank middle school graduate. He came out to welcome students too.
"These young men and women are the future of tomorrow. So if you take time and invest in them and show them that you care, they will turn around and do the same thing, play it forward" said Ford.
A mission Barkley says he's glad to be part of.
"Just five minutes of your time, 5 seconds, 10 seconds of shaking a child's hand and giving them encouragement that motivates a child that lets them know that they can do it" said Barkley.
I'm terms of staffing, Superintendent Key says there is an average of one to two open positions across all the schools in the county. He says the staff is enthusiastic for the school year.