Dothan Five Year School Plan

By: Alex Zequeira
By: Alex Zequeira

Under a newly-proposed five-year strategic plan, Dothan High School and Northview high school would merge together and provide upper-class men with technical training.

That's the plan the school board wants to sell, but it is also the plan that some parents aren't willing to buy into.

Dothan city schools officials want to help prepare all students for today's competitive job market and they're proposing a new plan to reach that goal.

"We have recommendations for all three levels for how we can move our kids forward, so that in 5 years 90% of our kids will be proficient in reading, and math, and other core subject areas," said Dr. Sam Nichols

There is also a recommendation for a new Dothan high school and that it be the only high school in the circle city. Under a newly-proposed five-year strategic plan, ninth graders would be separated from 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.

The goal is to provide 10th, 11th and 12th graders with technical training by placing them into four separate academy programs.

Construction/pre-engineering, information technology, and health science.

School officials say two public school systems in Okaloosa County Florida, have done the same thing, and the results have been very positive.

"And they've rebuilt their high school around a concept of technical academy's where they group kids with similar interests into academies... sort of schools within a school and they've been very successful," said Dr. Stokes.

However some parents don't like the idea they say they are concerned about safety issues, and potential staff cuts that could result from the high schools merging.

"What has happened to the neighborhood school concept? This is going to force teachers to retire that had their time in parents are going to pull their children out and go to private schools, and I might be the first one on that list," Dr. Stokes

Although school officials maintain that while different, this new plan will help students at every grade level prepare for the real world. Whether they decide to jump right into the job market or go to college after graduation.

It is important to note that this is only a proposal and is subject to change.

School board members will be hosting several public forums in coming months so parents and students can share their comments and concerns about the proposed plan along with possible alternatives.

The proposed plan will be presented to Dothan’s city commission and chamber of commerce this coming Thursday.


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