During the Leon County School Board agenda review on Monday, March 7, Superintendent Rocky Hanna informed board members that he decided to streamline operations by consolidating services provided by the Intervention Services Department.
Services related to children experiencing homelessness and foster care will now be handled by the departments for School Choice and the Office of Student Enrollment under the direction of Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michelle Gayle.
Assistant Superintendent Allan Cox will oversee School Management, which involves student suspensions/expulsions, mental health, bullying/harassment, hope scholarship applications, equity, and Title IX issues.
Hanna stated that he reassigned the duties to existing departments already handling many aspects of the Intervention Services Department. He said the changes streamline the services.
Board member Joy Bowen said the changes are “jarring” and “concerning.” “It seems to me that the services that you are placing on your various staff members are splintering and causing some silos,” Bowen said.
Chairman Darryl Jones was also discouraged by the changes and expressed his concerns. He asserted that many children and families depend on the assistance offered by the Intervention Services Department.
In addition, Jones voiced his dislike that Hanna decided to make the changes without regard to the Board. “These changes have already been made and are already in effect, and at no point did you think it was important enough for us to be made aware that a principal division of the Leon County School District has been dismantled or of the plan of action going forward.”
Hanna explained he has no problem with hiring more staff if needed. However, he feels strongly that consolidating certain aspects of the Intervention Services Department into areas already handling those issues makes it less fragmented and will operate more smoothly.
Hanna maintained that he wouldn’t do anything to “jeopardize the services” to the children.