City schools host Trojan Talk

Published 6:15 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021

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Administrators from the Troy City School System gave an update on the status of current  initiatives.

Superintendent Cynthia Thomas said the purpose of the 2021 “Trojan Talk” was to increase and promote community partnerships by keeping members up to date on what was happening in the Troy City School System.

Christie Armstrong, administrative assistant superintendent, discussed the system’s strategic plan — which she called “Trojans Committed to Success.” She said the plan consisted of seven stages. She said Troy City Schools has excellent teachers, but they are always looking at ways to improve, and the plan helped address that.

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First was to improve the quality of teacher recruitment, improve teacher support and increase professional development opportunities.

Second, was to strengthen the K-12 curriculum through improved instruction and assessment. Armstrong’s third point in the plan was to improve academic standards and success. She said the school system had a 93.3 percent graduation rate and an 89.7 career readiness rate.

Fourth on the list was to continue to grow and develop relationships with the parents of children in the school system. Her fifth point in the seven point plan was to grow existing community partnerships and to foster new ones.

Her next to last point was the system wanted to make the best use of its current facilities and initiate the planning of new facilities. Lastly, she said the school system was making the best use of existing revenue, but the system was also looking at new ways to generate revenue.

Tricia Norman, chief financial officer, said the school system had an unusually large budget for the year, topping out at $34.5 million. She said the reason the budget was so large this year was because the school system had received federal assistance through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds totaling about $13 million. The said the ESSER funds had to be budgeted in 2021, but the school system had three years to spend the money.

She said the budget also included salaries for 220.5 full-time teachers and 65.3 percent of those teachers had master’s degrees or higher.

She said the system was required by state law to hold one month of operating expenses in reserve, but the Troy City School System currently had 3.6 months in its operating reserve.