Extension awarded to Selma City Schools

Published 6:57pm Saturday, November 2, 2013

After issuing a scathing report on the Selma City School System, the Alabama Department of Education gave city school officials 21 working days to provide a corrective action plan.

State officials have now extended that timeline.

The Selma City School System requested an extension last week during a meeting with the state board, where they discussed their general plan for improvement. Superintendent Gerald Shirley said they requested the extension, so the school system would have enough time to construct the proper plan.

“We didn’t want to rush it,” Shirley said.

Shirley said he is not sure when they will complete the corrective plan.

Craig Pouncey, the chief of staff of the State Board, said the Selma City Schools board must now present a proposal some time next week.

“I have not given them a specific time,” he said. “We want to work with them and their staff.”

The state originally gave the local school board 21 days workdays, which started on Sept. 25, to submit a formal response to the investigation report findings. In the report, the board revealed that there was “evidence of noncompliance with requirements, standards, and protocols governing instructional activities, standardized testing, graduation requirements, and other state and federal guidelines” within the Selma City School System.

The state conducted the investigation after the complaints and request for assistance from local residents, community leaders and education officials.

Pouncey said this is not the first time they have extended a deadline for a school system in this predicament. He said the state tries to be flexible, because they want the plan presented to meet their standards.

“We try to work with them as long as they make what we think is significant progress,” Pouncey said. “We want it to be an extensive plan.”

The Selma City School Board will conduct its monthly work session Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the central office board room.

The work session, which is open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m.

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