Community leaders "get on board" with Dothan City Schools

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- As part of the Public School Week celebration, Dothan City Schools is encouraging the community to "get on board" with their vision and goals.

Community leaders, business owners, and officials boarded a bus Tuesday morning to take a look inside of some DCS schools since restructuring. When they got off for the final time some were on board for much bigger things

“Mr.Duke that's with 211, he's just blown out of the water. He says I just didn't know what y’all did and how many opportunities you give and I want to be a part of that. How do I do that? Now we're now developing relationships,” says DCS assistant superintendent Lee Jacobs.

Some say initially the thought of restructuring was scary but the tour gave them the chance to see the changes for themselves.

“It was really eye-opening to see those changes implemented and seeing the great things Dr. Edwards and the staff at Dothan City Schools have been doing this past year and the impact that's it is making,” says tour guest Mikhele Trice.

Guests saw firsthand how preschools to high schools are implementing signatures like STEM, arts, and career readiness programs that will help students long after graduation.

“When you see the students doing the same kind of things that they will go out and experience when they are in the real world that's just crucial for what we need to do for our students,” says Dothan City Schools Phyllis Edwards.

“Unfortunately, we have children that are involved in extracurricular activities when they go home. Their families can't afford it or they just are not able to do it. This gives them exposure to it and it gives them interest,” says Jacobs.

Dr. Edwards says she hopes the tour helps guests understand why hard changes and difficult decisions were made.

“In order to do these types of things and be able to put the resources where they belong which is with students and teachers we had to look at ways that we could pare down in terms of other operational costs,” says Edwards.

Guest also saw that tutors, partners, and mentors are helping make the difference in classrooms.

“We need to really almost get one person in Dothan to come and be next to one child in the school system and clearly since we have less than 9,000 students and we have a lot more citizens we should be able to do that,” says Edwards.

Tour guests were served lunch from Dothan Technology Center's culinary arts students.

The Public School Week celebration continues with a state of education address and connection event with the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

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