Back to School

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 11, 2003

The summer clock is winding down. Wednesday, school doors will swing open and the bells will ring to greet Selma City School students as they head back to class.

Principals and teachers have been busy unpacking boxes, decorating classrooms and getting equipment ready to start a new school year.

Students will likely notice a few changes as they arrive back from summer vacation. Along with undergoing much-needed maintenance repairs, almost all the schools will have a reduced staff.

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Students at Selma High School and Knox Elementary will also be welcomed with new principals at the helm.

Over the summer, Principal Joe Peterson made the move from Knox Elementary to Selma High School.

Despite having spent the past five years dealing with younger students, Peterson said he has experience working at high schools and knows exactly what to expect.

He said his main goals for this year are to improve student achievement, boost moral and encourage increased parental involvement.

With a tight budget to work with, Peterson admits this task will not be easy.

Peterson said he hopes the recent renovations at the high school will help to achieve his goals.

Workers have been busy at the school all summer, installing new lighting, new heating and air conditioners, refinishing the woodwork, painting, upgrading the electrical system, and much more.

Taking over Peterson’s position at Knox Elementary School is Jocelyn Reddick.

This will be her first year as a principal. &uot;I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work,&uot; said the new administrator.

Reddick’s plans this year include increasing performance on standardized tests, achieving 100 percent literacy by grade 3, and reducing teacher stress.

Like Peterson, Reddick said she is going to make the best of a tight school budget.

Amendment One is Gov. Bob Riley’s controversial tax reform package, which comes up for a statewide vote Sept. 9.

Some of Reddick’s fellow principals at other city schools say they plan to find as many ways as possible to raise money.

Payne Elementary School Principal Arthur Capers said that along with wanting all his students to score 50 percent or above on the SAT-10 exams and create intensive one-on-one reading instruction, he plans to &uot;receive all the money we can get our hands on.&uot;

All of the principals said that whether they have adequate funding or not, they are committed to having a successful school year.