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Movers & Shakers

Douglas County principal reduces tardies with "class bells" music

New District of Columbia Public Schools chancellor is known for curbing suspensions
Principal DeMarcos Holland created “Fantastic Fridays" to interact with K12 students on social media.
Principal DeMarcos Holland created “Fantastic Fridays" where he interacts with K12 students on social media.

Principal DeMarcos Holland, of New Manchester High School in the Douglas County School System in Georgia, has replaced traditional class tardy bells with music, including compositions created by students and teachers. The friendlier sounds have lowered the average number of tardies from between 50 and 60 per day to less than 10.

Holland has also introduced “Fantastic Fridays,” during which he interacts with students on social media, and tells jokes and asks trivia questions to help them understand how to use the platforms.

Jacquelyn Thigpen, superintendent of Cleveland School District in Mississippi, has a new plan to correct segregation problems that have lingered for decades. Thigpen wants to bring together students from school facilities on both sides of the railroad tracks that run through the community, integrating the predominantly white west side of Cleveland with the predominantly black east side.

Students will be combined by grade level in three new schools being created: one for grades 6 through 8, one for grades 9 and 10, and one for grades 11 and 12.

Antwan Wilson is the new chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools, officially taking office on February 1. While superintendent of Oakland USD, Wilson improved graduation rates among African-American, Latino and English language learners.

He has focused on decreasing out-of-school suspensions, increasing teacher pay, promoting accountability and gaining fiscal stability for the district.