Upson-Lee Middle School made quite the impression on State Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge when he visited Thomaston last week. Dr. Barge was touring several schools throughout the state to see how the policies that are formed in Atlanta affect teachers and students on a local level. While on his tour, he commented on how impressed he was with the use of technology at the school, as well as the teaching methods being used.
“I saw some really phenomenal teachers with outstanding teaching methods that really engaged the kids who were eager to learn,” said Barge.
He was only in town for about an hour, but in that time Dr. Barge received a tour of the middle school, visited several classrooms and was even treated to a musical performance by a band class. He also noted that ULMS had a very solid score on the recent school report cards that are put out by the state and throughout his tour he could see why the marks were so high.
However, one of the things that impressed him the most is not part of the middle school, but rather the high school; specifically, the dual enrollment program that the Thomaston-Upson School System has with Southern Crescent Technical College. The program allows seniors the opportunity to enroll in not only their regular classes but also simultaneously at SCTC for cosmetology, electronics, automotive and welding for the time being. There are plans to expand the program in coming years.
Dr. Barge stated that while many school systems have dual enrollment programs, Upson County’s is unique because the students have the option of being bused between the two locations. He noted that it was a great way for the school system to go above and beyond in order to reach the students, which is something he really appreciated. He also mentioned making the program part of the “Highlight of the Week” which the Department of Education has on their website, which points out good things going on in Georgia’s school systems.