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Williford dropped from takeover list

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Williford Elementary School likely will not be included in North Carolina’s Innovative School District in the coming year.

Dave Prickett, a spokesman for the Innovative School District, told the Telegram Monday that the school is not on the list of schools that LaTeesa Allen, superintendent of the Innovative School District, will be recommending for inclusion to the Innovative School District at the Nov. 1 meeting of the State Board of Education. The final list of schools included in the Innovative School District will be voted on by members of the State Board of Education at that meeting.

“I am really excited about the possibilities for Williford Elementary School,” school board chairwoman Ann Edge said. “We are hoping that on Nov. 1, when this is presented to the state board by Ms. Allen, they will realize that we are working on methods for a tremendous turn-around for the school. We can breathe easier after that meeting.”

This is the second year in a row that Williford Elementary School has been on the short list under consideration for inclusion in the state-managed school district. This year, it was one of six schools in the state under consideration and two to four of those schools were expected to be recommended for state takeover. The list of schools that will be recommended for inclusion has yet to be released.

In order to be under consideration for inclusion in the state Innovative School District, schools have to meet several criteria. This criteria includes performance scores in the lowest 5 percent of the state, the school has some variation of kindergarten through fifth-grade classes, the school did not exceed growth in any of the past three years and the school did not adopt one of the state’s established reform models by the deadline set by the state.

Though Williford has not been approved for adoption of one of the state-sanctioned reform models, the Nash-Rocky Mount school district is engaging in a number of new efforts to turn the school around. Williford Elementary has been converted from a K-5 school to a K-2 school and is now working with the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Rocky Mount to offer a health clinic at the school. The school also is working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region to offer a HERO’s Program that targets 40 of the most at-risk students for 15 hours of extended learning time each week and is working to improve other aspects of instruction as well.

The others schools that were on this year’s short list for consideration include Carver Heights Elementary in Wayne County; Fairview Elementary in Guilford County; Gaston Middle School in Northampton County; Hall-Woodward Elementary School in Forsyth County; and Hillcrest Elementary in Alamance County.

Note: This article has been updated to correct the name of the person who will be presenting the recommendation to the State Board of Education.

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