Selma schools have a promising futurePublished 7:37pm Thursday, December 29, 2011
The future of public education in Selma is bright. The current plan is to expand technology throughout the school district, employ certified and highly qualified instructors and to restructure the alternative school on a separate campus. Also, there is a need to place physical education teachers in elementary schools, hire intervention teachers in the middle schools, implement a ninth grade summer enrichment program and ninth grade academy at the high school. A seventh period class day is desirable at the high school.
Every student in Selma deserves to attend a high-performing school with a great teacher as the instructor. Research has proven that the most important factor in learning is the quality of the classroom teacher. Research also indicates that teachers’ subject matter knowledge and knowledge about teaching and learning are strongly associated with ratings of teacher effective in the classroom.
The school system’s vision states, “Selma City School System will be seen as a world-class learning institution that promotes excellence in education.” The foundation of this vision begins with superintendent, central office staff, principals, teachers and community stakeholders who are open-minded and positive. Closed-minded individuals talk about other people and their misfortunes. Great minds talk about “ideas.”
Childhood obesity has become a national and state epidemic. I, personally, experienced it as a youth, at a weight of 198 pounds. Dallas County is ranked as one of the fattest counties in Alabama. Physical education teachers in elementary schools will assist to combat the rising rate of childhood obesity.
President Barack Obama’s administration should make non-competitive funds available to hire physical education teachers in U.S. elementary schools.
Federal title funds can be used to place highly skilled reading and mathematics intervention teachers in Selma’s two middle schools. These teachers will provide one-on-one instruction and small group instruction to identified struggling pupils.
The freshman year has proven to be a difficult period for many students. A summer enrichment program for incoming ninth graders will allow them to become acclimated to a high school environment. The students will attend core classes for one-half day during a summer six-week period. Also, a ninth grade academy during the academic year will place the students in a separate building area. Individualization will be highly focused. High schools experience their highest number of dropouts during the transition from ninth to tenth grade.
An undereducated person is a potential economic burden to society. It is the mission of the Selma City School System to, “Provide a nurturing environment which promotes academic excellence as we prepare our students to compete in a global society.” Upon completion of secondary requirements, students will leave high school skillful enough to enter the workforce, enroll in a career technical college program, or attend a four-year institution of learning.
The South rose after the devastating Civil War. The Selma City School System will resurface and reclaim its status as the “education jewel of the Black Belt region.” This school district is an education incubator for future contributors to society.
The current recession has forced school boards to seek superintendents and chief school financial officers who are fiscal conservatives. Therefore, some employment patterns have to be altered. Downsizing central office staff and contracted services are becoming prevalent. There is a need to conserve money but also to maintain a quality education and services.
This is a great era to be a part of the Selma City Schools.