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Superintendent named to state advisory council
I-Gibbs to advisory council mug

Dawson County Superintendent of Schools Damon Gibbs was chosen to participate in a special advisory council by State Superintendent Richard Woods for the upcoming year.

Around 15 superintendents from across the state were asked to be a part of the council that will meet quarterly during the year, according to Gibbs.

"The State School Superintendent, from what I understand, establishes this group each year to get input about education initiatives from districts across the state," Gibbs said. "I consider it an honor to serve and represent Dawson County."

The first meeting gave superintendents a chance to offer feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that was signed by President Obama in Dec. 2015.

The act was a bi-partisan measure that is the new version of No Child Left Behind.

According to the Department of Education, passing the ESSA reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The Georgia Department of Education is looking at ESSA and what it will mean locally, according to Gibbs.

"A major topic at this point centers around student assessment, although it is certainly not the only component," Gibbs said. "The state will have to make some decisions due to changes that have been made at the federal level."

Gibbs was able to offer his input for the assessments during the first of the meetings held last week.

"My recommendation was to minimize the number of state mandated assessments and allow districts some flexibility to decide how to best assess the academic performance of the students they serve," he said.

The upcoming meetings of the advisory council will focus on other topics. Those have not yet been announced, according to Gibbs.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 19.