Dallas County School Board held first meeting of ‘23

Published 7:26 am Tuesday, January 31, 2023

By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

The Dallas County School District returned to normalcy on January 26 as the school board met for the first time in 2023 to discuss issues in the district.

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Most of the meeting came from the Superintendent’s report. The report went by each grade and subject to show where students stood, according to the data.

The data showed some improvements in the lower grades, but as the grades got higher the data started showing issues. Dallas County Superintendent  Anthony Sampson pointed out some seniors who are about to graduate did math on a seventh-grade level, which would cause problems for them in the business world.

Sampson told the board the data is starting to show that students and staff are starting to buy into the process. He also said that the numbers are starting to turn even slightly, which Sampson sees as something positive/

“Dallas County Schools is constantly receiving and analyzing data it receives from internal and external sources concerning academic progress,”

Sampson said.

“We have seen historical trends as it relates to the areas of reading and math. The data shows these problems to be systemic. Dallas County Schools is working to redress the situation by identifying the root causes that lead to deficiency gaps so that they may be remedied.”

“While there are issues, data is indicating trends of academic promise in our K-5 classrooms. Moreover, we have developed and executed data- informed turnaround plans that are customized to our schools’ needs so as to yield improvement over time. Our school leaders are tailoring support to meet the needs of our students. Our classroom teachers are proactively monitoring academic progress to ensure they can move quickly and competently to address those needs. We are looking forward to celebrating the small academic wins throughout the system.”

Other staff from the district gave reports. One report came from the Director of Maintenance Jerry Ware, who said that the school district received no damages from the tornado on Jan.12. School Board member Leroy Miles said that he was thankful for the work he did the day of the tornado.  Board President Mamie Solomon backed up this sentiment of Miles.

“I think it was an awesome thing for EMA to say we need to be at school,” Solomon said. “I think we would have lost a lot of students as well as parents if they weren’t in school but the board approved of going to classes and maintaining safety. That was the best place to be not only in Dallas County, but Selma. There was no major damage other than really the power went out. The principals did an awesome job staying there until 5 p.m. until all kids were picked up and all the staff made it home safely.”

The board went into an executive session for about 25-30 minutes but no decisions were made based on the executive session.

The board discussed the needs of students who were affected by the tornado and how the district can help those students now and in the future.

Zella Ford told the school board what was being done to help families and students in need and what will be done in the future.