by Katrina Smith
Dr. Janice Epperson has hit the ground running since she started work on July 1 as superintendent of Humboldt City Schools. She and her staff have worked hard to continue to work for the betterment of the school system.
In the first 90 days, you will see Dr. Epperson all around the community on tour. That is right, she will be conducting “listening tours” during her first 90 days. These tours are geared towards hearing the concerns of teachers, the community and most importantly the students.
On Thursday, July 15, Dr. Epperson held a listening tour at the Boys & Girls Club. As tour started, there was a crowd of about 40 eager listeners including parents, students and teachers. Staff members were greeting guests as they arrived and Dr. Epperson was passing out a few TACOs. T.A.C.O. (talent, academic, culture climate, and operations) is the developmental tool Dr. Epperson plans to implement as the guide for teachers and students for this school year.
“When people don’t feel comfortable with things, they tend to shut down, and so do the kids,” said Dr. Epperson. “That is why it is so important for us to be aware
of situations involving our kids. If your child is receiving too many worksheets, we need to know that so we can revisit the structure in the classroom. Worksheets can’t teach your child but teachers do.”
She encouraged the parents to challenge the teachers. She wanted to demonstrate how the T.A.C.O. worked. “When people feel uncomfortable doing something, they shut down or remove themselves from the situation,” she said. “That is what happens to our kids.”
In the new school year, the kids will be in a transitional period, meaning they will have a certain amount of time to get to where they are going. When the demonstration started, it was no different for the parents. Parents got to their destinations to finish their assignments and returned back for discussion.
At the end of the meeting, door prizes were given out and Dr. Epperson was able to chat with the kids. The kids were excited to see her and she was very excited to see them.
Be on the lookout for the next listening tour to share your ideas while focusing on building lasting relationships that will promote healthy change.