Accomplishments at Selma City Schools

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 15, 2007

To the Editor:

When I was placed at the helm of the Selma City Schools, the school system and the community were in chaos; the staff was divided as as was the community. The administration, staff, faculty, along with the community, turned a system that was “upside down to right side up.”

Because we worked together, we can all proud of what has been accomplished for the past 17 years of hard work, perseverance, consistency and cooperation of all stakeholders.

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I am reminded of John Donne’s “No Man is an Island.”

‘No man is an island, entire of itself …’

and because I am involved in the lives of people, especially the boys and girls of the Selma City Schools, this poem definitely exemplifies my philosophy.

As I send this chapter and travel to view the other side of the mountain, I reflect on all of the programs that were implemented and accomplishments during my tenure as superintendent.


Fiscally-sound system ($8.5 million in reserve).

Student Achievement

System met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP); Lowest drop-out rate in state (six percent); 87 percent graduation exam passing rate (up from 67 percent); Rigorous curriculum; Recruiting and hiring of highly qualified teachers; Accreditation maintained by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS); Developed/enhanced technology (three students per one computer); 504/ADA Plan; Truancy Reduction Program; Global Connect

Program-Based Academia

Parental Involvement Program; Selma Early College High School (SECME); Volunteer Tutorial Program; Academic Improvement Plan (AIP); Disciplined Based Arts Education; Artist-in-Residence Program; BRIDGE program; Saturday tutorial program; English as a second language; Dual enrollment; Foundation for Excellent Schools; Evening academics/activities program; Extended day; Biomedial symposium; Just Born! Connections to Grow On; Looping; Developed ACT prep program; College and career resource room @ Selma High; Alabama Reading Initiative; Alabama Reading First Initiative; Alabama Mathematics Science Technology Initiative; Selma Enrichment Program; Student participation in youth government/youth leadership; Alternative Program; Contributing author to “Why They Marched;” Development/implemented recruitment program; Implemented Beginning Teachers’ Assistance Program; Distance Learning Lab; Enhanced Professional Development Program; Improved the Advanced Placement Program; Ninth Grade Concept/Curriculum Design; Guidance Advocacy Program; Strong relationships with area colleges and universities

Health/Safety/Security Measures

Safety Plan; Code of Conduct; Security Plan: Schools, Athletic Program; Pandemic Plan; Child Nutrition Program; Spearheaded Health Wellness Program; Bridging the Gap

Buildings and Grounds

Magnet Schools: C.H.A.T., School of Discovery; Erecting buildings: Sophia P. Kingston, New Central Office

Renovations of existing structures: Byrd, Cedar Park, Clark, Edgewood, Knox, Meadowview, Payne, School of Discovery, Selma Middle C.H.A.T., Selma High School, Phoenix, the Alternative School

The majority of money for capital improvement was not provided through local funds, but through grants and bond funds received from the state and federal government. These monies were low interest loans.

Additions to Pre-K structures: Edgewood, Knox, Payne; Restoration of Old Clark Building for Pre-K; Innovative 6th Grade Campus; Eliminated all portable classrooms; Phase II of Selma High is in progress (renovation of auditorium); Major renovation of Selma High’s gym (double seating capacity; Major renovation of the football “hut.”

As I exit this phase, I know that I have done my job to the best of my ability and I truly thank the community as a whole for embracing my family and me. I am a firm believer that in order to continue to do your best in any position, you must have the needed support and confidence. After all, it is about the boys and girls. Again, thank you, Selma, for the opportunity to serve.

Dr. James H. Carter