Selma Schools presents 5-year strategic plan

Published 9:38 pm Friday, June 8, 2018

Selma City School System (SCS) Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams presented the five-year strategic plan for the school system for a first reading.

“On behalf of the Selma City Schools District, I am pleased to present our new five-year strategic plan, ‘A Framework for Excellence,’” said Williams. “We have intentionally established high expectations for district improvement that sets a new direction for Selma City Schools. We believe this framework has the potential to move SCS from a status quo district to a district of excellence.

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“Developing this strategic plan was a true collaborative process that documented dozens of meetings, numerous surveys and a wide-range of conversations with varied stakeholders,” said Williams. “These stakeholders included students, parents, community leaders, clergy and business and higher education partners. In fall of 2017, we created and engaged a Transition Team that included members of the aforementioned groups, plus teachers, principals and central office staff.

“With a sense of urgency to turn around our district, this group set out to build this Framework for Excellence with four key areas as the focus,” said Williams. “Those four areas are teaching and learning; culture, climate and community; leadership, management and governance and technology and facilities.”

Williams said she hopes to leave behind the time of state intervention.

“Leaving behind the stain of state intervention, Team Selma is empowered to pursue excellence,” said Williams. “Already, as we acknowledge the power of a positive culture, we have begun to celebrate and recognize excellence within our ranks. Additionally, we are strengthening our efforts to create a leadership pipeline that enables us to develop and select high quality talent from within Team Selma. Most important, we have established a teaching and learning community that is poised to change the trajectory of student outcomes within SCS.”

Williams said she and the system are committed to a strong and positive relationships.

“Excellence is the only option,” Williams said.

Williams said that the framework provides a clear set of four focus areas for Selma City Schools, a clear and measurable goal per area of focus, a listing of recommended strategies for implementation and a clear assignment of owners to ensure both oversight and execution of the goals set in place.

“At the center of our Framework for Excellence lies the ultimate goal of increased student achievement as measured within both college and career readiness, as well as students’ character and social development,” according to the plan documents.

The goals of the first area of focus, teaching and learning has a goal of ensuring all students are prepared for grade level success, college and career readiness through high-quality teaching and focused experiences for intellectual and social development.

The plan’s implementation for this goal includes developing annual performance benchmarks to promote systematic achievement growth and success for all students; ensure equitable access to rigorous standards-based instruction and strategic teaching and provide targeted and personalized professional development for instructional staff.

In the culture, climate and community area, the goal is to enhance the supports and opportunities for engagement in schools for all stakeholders.

According to the plan, the goal will be achieved by ensuring schools are physically and emotionally safe from perceived and actual threats, and develop positive relationships with stakeholders to promote diversity and inclusion as well as involvement and participation across the Selma City School district.

In the leadership, management and governance area, the goal is to strategically and deficiently allocate human and fiscal resources to ensure long-term viability within the district.

This will be achieved by actively recruiting, hiring and retaining a qualified and diverse workforce, ensuring every school and every department have highly effective instructional leaders, providing ongoing, job-embedded responsive professional learning for all staff to improve overall performance and continuing to maintain a minimum of one-months reserve in the general fund.

In the final goal, facilities and technology, the goal is to streamline the district’s geographic footprint to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources, more efficient operations, and to enhance the current technology infrastructure, equipment and devices available to schools.

The two ways Williams and the school system hope to achieve this is to analyze and review facilities to support services for improved district outcomes and to provide technologies that operate efficiently, enrich programs and improve district outcomes.

There will be a public hearing for the plan on June 21 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Selma High School Library.