Williams seeks input at parent meeting

Published 7:58 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Selma City School Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams sought the input of the parents of R.B. Hudson Middle School students at a community meeting on Tuesday night.

Williams said she had divided concerns into safety, instructional, learning environment and school culture.

“There is nothing more important than our younger people,” said Williams. “We want to ensure that we pave a path for them that will lead them to success.”

Email newsletter signup

Williams said she is not denying the problems that the middle school has.

��I just want to own the fact that I know that we have some problems,” said Williams. “I have had a number of conversations with parents, and I have been to the school myself. Just know that I have heard you, and I will continue to hear you all as far as what the concerns are. I also need to challenge all of you to work with us as we work through the problems.

“These schools are just a reflection of the society,” said Williams. “Sometimes it is a reflection of our home. Sometimes it is a reflection of our community. We have to all work together as we identify those challenges.
“During the hours that students are at school, a big chunk of that is on us,” said Williams. “As teachers and educators, we know this. But we also need your help and support.

“Right out the gate, the fighting is a big issue,” said Williams. “I have met with school officials and students, and they concur that fights most of the time start with horse playing. The horse playing is oftentimes what leads to the fighting. Other times it is bullying, social media and just rumors.

“The biggest problem I have identified that is within our control is the supervision and the engagement part,” said Williams. “Our kids need skill sets to deal with all aspects of these causes. The adults in the building need skill sets to help them moderate, and teach conflict resolution.”

Williams said that supervision should extend to before and after school.

Some safety solutions that Williams presented included a Peace Day, that involves all students having a type of ceasefire and working on conflict resolution.

Mentoring also is another proposed solution, and is part of the Adopt-A-School program where parents and other people in the community can be involved with the students.

Williams said that engagement is the main solution point that is on the teachers and educators, and that an extracurricular activities list will be circulated around the school with events beginning Oct. 1.

In instructional concerns, Williams said that new teachers, building relationships and some classroom teaching methods are things that can be addressed and worked with.

Williams said that instructional leadership support is important for new teachers, and mentors would be put in place for them to reach out to as a professional resource.

Williams said she met with 12 R.B. Hudson students. While meeting with them, one student said that worksheets and lecturing were not enough, and that she “wanted to be taught.”

Williams said she agreed with the student and added keeping students engaged will enhance their learning experience.

The learning environment is a factor, according to Williams. This includes the air conditioning and furniture, which is both being addressed.

Williams stressed the importance of volunteers that are needed, and the opportunities to sponsor an after-school program or extracurricular activity.