SCCPSS leaders gives update on plans for the rest of the school year

Published: Aug. 28, 2022 at 11:00 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah-Chatham’s school superintendent gave an update to the local NAACP chapter Sunday.

She says the school system is on the rebound from COVID disruptions but also adds more work needs to be to address school safety bus driver shortages and mental health.

Savannah-Chatham public school leaders are pledging more mental health help as they say some students are in need of support.

“Many of the children are in crisis. This thing called quiet quitting, burnout, we’re all experiencing that,” SCCPSS Superintendent " Dr. Ann Levett said.

The district promising to open a wellness center to give support to students their families and even faculty amid ongoing staffing shortages.

“It’s not just teachers who are burned out. It’s also the administrators and the classified staff who are burned out. Any time you have staffing shortages, that means the job still has to be done,” Levett said.

Those shortages extend to buses.

According to school officials bus driver numbers are below previous years which has forced the district to prioritize transportation needs for some students.

The deputy superintendent says it’s about finding the right people to fill the vacancies.

“We can go out and we can find folks, take you through the CDL process and put you on a bus, but you’re an extension of that village and we make sure our drivers are aware of that,” Deputy Superintendent Vanessa Miller-Kaigler said.

Also top of mind for many school safety.

The district’s campus police chief addressing athletic event security screenings in the wake of a recent scare at a non-SCCPSS game at Memorial Stadium.

“We’re looking to make sure that there is continuity in how we screen and how screening is done with other teams that we play,” Campus Police Chief Terry Enoch said.

But there are signs of progress says the district’s superintendent touting high graduation rates college and career readiness and expanded early learning opportunities.

“The more young people that we have that are engaged at an early point in their lives, so that they learn how to be a part of a social environment, that they are ready for school, the more likely we are to continue experiencing success,” Levett said.

As she says student welfare is a collective effort.

“And when that is not there. When that village is not there, we create one. And that village is not there for a lot of our children,” Levett said.