Escambia County Schools celebrated a “Grand Re-opening” of its Atmore office. The school system said the office is a way for system leaders to be closer to schools showing the most significant need, according to current state test score data and employee data. The system added a full staff and expanded hours for the office.

Superintendent Michelle McClung hopes the new office, located at 501 South Pensacola Street, will offer parents a more convenient way to ask questions or air concerns.

Aime Kramer, who has worked with McClung for 15 years, will work in the Atmore office.

“We’re here to support parents in every way, and my intent is that they leave here with a smile,” said Kramer. “Sometimes parents just need someone to talk to.”

Kramer will be on hand to assist parents in the community, get answers to their questions, and facilitate in solving problems. She will act as a liaison to the superintendent and will debrief with her daily on issues and concerns brought to her by the parents of students in Atmore.

McClung said the office will promote equity for families of Escambia County Public Schools that reside in Atmore.

“While the instructional support team supports all schools across the county, we have the key leaders set up in offices in Atmore to better serve the Atmore community and utilize Atmore’s professional development training there onsite for collaborative planning and quality training to occur,” McClung said.

School Board Member Coleman Wallace, whose district includes Atmore, supported adding more presence in the area.

“If there’s such a thing as a black man being tickled pink,” Wallace said. “I’m over the top. I’m excited about her [McClung’s] sensitivity to the Atmore community. Having a person in place here is to the community’s advantage.”

In the past, parents might have thought no one was in the Atmore office with so few cars in the parking lot. New office hours are 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a staff of about 10 people on any given day. Kramer is also personally undertaking the remodeling of the building.

McClung hopes parents will take advantage of the facility and likens the availability to basic customer service.

“The Escambia County Public School System is committed to providing quality customer service to all of our families in the entire district while promoting excellence in education for every student every single day,” McClung said. “We are one school system, one community of learners, and we all contribute to one heartbeat necessary for our students, teachers, leaders, and community to thrive.”

Escambia County High School is in Atmore. According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the composite ACT score for seniors in 2019 was 15.5. The same year, seniors at Flomation High School had a composite score of 19.3, and seniors at W.S Neal had a composite score of 18.5.

McClung is in her first year as superintendent of Escambia County Schools. Prior to moving to Escambia County, she was the director of teaching, learning and assessment at Mobile County Schools.