With more than 59,000 students enrolled, the Mobile County Public Schools System wants to promote the positive features of the day-to-day life in public schools in the county.
A new initiative will hopefully get the word out MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek said on Aug. 6 during the unveiling of the “It Starts With Us” campaign.
“So many times people don’t hear about the positive things in the (MCPSS),” Peek said. “That’s what we’re changing.”
The first part of the marketing initiative was a new logo for the school system, which features Barton Academy. Peek said the school represents where education started in Mobile.
Another part of the “It Starts With Us” campaign is the new website feature MCPSS TV, video advertisements featuring prominent alumni from the system. Peek showed two videos during the Aug. 6 unveiling. The first was of Scott Hunter, a former NFL quarterback who graduated from Vigor High School. The second was of state Senator Vivian Figures, who went through the public schools as well.
Peek said the “It Starts With Us” campaign is more than just marketing. It is also the beginning of a public-private partnership.
“This campaign is about people believing in the school system and promoting it,” she said.
Daniel Dennis, who is with Roberts Brothers, said promoting and helping the MCPSS is important on an ethical level as well as a fiscal level.
“Mobile needs all the programs already in place in schools to be successful. The kids need them to be successful. It’s not just a moral issue, but an economic issue,” he said. “At Roberts Brothers, we are making sure to support the school system any way possible, but there needs to be other businesses helping.”
Dennis, who graduated from a private school, said the “It Starts With Us” campaign is not about private schools versus public schools, but instead it is about doing the best for everyone.
Mobile Area Education Foundation Executive Director Carolyn Akers also noted the possible economic benefits for more students graduating. In 2012, the MCPSS graduation rate was 70 percent.
Citing a study conducted by the Alliance For Excellent Education, Akers said if 50 percent more MCPSS students graduated in 2010, then 1,500 more students would have had a high school diploma. That means another $4.3 million in investments into the area and 150 new jobs. It also means there would have been $1.1 million more in tax revenue.
“Making sure all Mobile County Public School students graduate ready for college, career and life is the job of the entire community, not just the school system,” she said. “And that is why the partnership between MAEF and the new MCPSS slogan ‘It Starts With Us’ is so important.
“It shows the community that economic growth, healthy citizens and safer neighborhoods all begin with a school system and community that is doing the work to produce successful students.”
The new MCPSS website can be found at www.mcpss.com and features the new MCPSS TV, which will always be playing information and news about schools within the system.