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State superintendent visits Selma City School system

Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey visited Selma City Schools on Monday before speaking to the Selma Rotary Club as Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams’ guest.

Mackey visited three schools to look at changes the school system has made in the past few years.

First on the stop was Sophia P. Kingston Elementary School where Mackey and Williams visited the new Pre-K setting since the closing of Byrd First Class Learning Center.

From there, Mackey visited Clark Elementary School that is now considered the Social Justice Academy of the school system.

The last stop was R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy where Mackey observed the robotics class, music and dance classes.

“He is my guest for Selma Rotary Club today,” said Williams. “Since he was in town anyway, I asked if he would be able to visit a few schools with us this morning. He graciously said yes and we are excited about sharing all about Team Selma with him today.

“We started out at Sophia P. Kingston which is where we moved our Pre-K Early Learning Center,” she said. “From here we will go to Clark Elementary to take a look at our social justice academy. All of our elementary schools have created academies of academic excellence and Clark has decided to focus on social justice. From there, going to the R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy to take a look at the phenomenal work that our teachers and staff are doing at R.B. Hudson around STEAM. We are excited about the great things that are happening with Team Selma. One team, one voice committed to excellence.”

While at Kingston, Mackey and Williams interacted with students who were working on activities pertaining to Bullying Prevention Month.

“October is Bullying Prevention Month and we want our scholars to be aware that bullying is wrong all year,” Williams said. “This month we take time to really highlight why it is important for our schools to be safe and bully free. All of our schools are participating in activities and doing competitions to bring the awareness to the forefront. Our hashtag is ‘be kind’ and we are just encouraging all of our scholars and the community to just be kind to one another.”

“We have a great time this morning,” said Mackey. “Some of the things I really wanted to see was the good things going on in Pre-K. Selma is one of the few towns in the state that offers Pre-K. We saw eight classrooms this morning of really outstanding Pre-K. This month we are really focusing across the state that bullying is not cool.”

Mackey also talked about recent legislation that would require third-graders to pass a reading benchmark before moving to fourth-grade.

“Within the next few years, there will be a kick-in provision that students will have to be reading on level to move onto fourth-grade or be on an intervention plan,” said Mackey. “Certainly, the things we see going on in Selma puts them ahead and gives them a step-up on that process. What we see with things like the Pre-K program today doing phonetic spelling and three letter words those are exactly the kind of strategies that produce great leaders.”