Lowndes has no schools on failing schools list

Published 4:15 pm Friday, February 12, 2016

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By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
For the first time since 2013, Lowndes County has no schools on the failing schools list released by the state Department of Education on Wednesday.
And Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd said when he saw the list, “It was one of my happiest moments as a superintendent in Lowndes.”
Hayneville Middle School and Lowndes Middle School in Fort Deposit have been on the list since 2013 when the Alabama Accountability Act was passed by the state Legislature.
When Boyd first learned of the schools being on the list he said, “We are really disappointed that this has happened. We’re working really hard to have data rooms and meetings and classroom visits by the Central Office (staff) to help remediate this problem.
When contacted regarding the absence of Lowndes County schools on the 2016 list, Friday, Boyd said,”I’m really happy that none of our schools are on this particular list. It’s a testament to the work of our principals, our teachers, our students and our parents. It just goes to show you when we work together as a team, great things can happen.”
He said, “We’ve all been working hard for the last few years to get off this list and our hard work has finally paid off.”
Boyd said Lowndes County Schools have been having summer programs the last three or four years re teaching what the students learned in the school year.
He said in addition, the school system has had quarterly performance index reviews after each nine-week period in which Central Office personnel would go to the schools, visit the classrooms, and the principals would make presentations regarding the data at all seven schools.
He said the school system also did “prescriptive professional development” looking at the data to see where teachers were missing the mark and providing professional development to help remediate those deficit areas.
Boyd said the Lowndes County School System also implemented a “parent log” program in which teachers would call students’ parents not just about problems but also when a student was doing well.
He said a problem area for Lowndes County students was reading. And he said an Accelerated Reading Program was started in which children checked out books and won prizes for reading.
“So, It’s a combination of a lot of different things,” Boyd said.
He said said, “It’s like having this brig rock… trying to break this big rock, you keep chipping at it every single day and all of a sudden, there’s one strike and that rock splits in half.”
Boyd said he told the principals, “We can’t rest on our laurels, and we need to just continue to work.”
He said as a reward he planned to feed the principals at the central office on Tuesday.

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