Dothan City Schools Adopts Improvement Plan

By: Ryan Rodig Email
By: Ryan Rodig Email

Both Dothan and Northview High Schools have failed to meet adequate yearly progress, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act, for the past 4 years.

That means Dothan City Schools must select a school improvement plan as mandated by the State Board of Education.

Monday night the Dothan City School Board approved a plan they hope will bring necessary changes to Dothan's secondary schools.

Superintendent Sam Nichols announced a partnership with Southern Regional Education Board. Dr. Nichols calls them a highly acclaimed non-profit group out of Atlanta with a great resume.

"They have reformed school systems, increased student achievement, create professional development opportunities for teachers that are going to make it much better for our kids," Dr. Nichols said.

To pay for the program, DCS received a grant from the Wiregrass Foundation in the form of $528,176 over three years.

Agreeing to this reform was more attractive then some other options. They included removal of school staff due to not reaching AYP goals or an extensive search for a distinguished principle.

Dr. Nichols says this program is what Dothan City Schools has needed.

"Its data analysis, teacher training, and it is coaching and mentoring teachers. It's working in the classrooms."

The new program will be put into place at high schools, four middles schools, and Dothan Technology Center.

Among other things, the plan aims at giving all students the chance to learn an accelerated curriculum while providing grading and support systems that require students who struggle to redo and be re-taught.

"As we intervene with students that are at-risk, we have firm data to support what we are doing," Dr. Nichols added. "We do data analysis not only to see where we are, but where we are going. And once we get there, have we achieved our goals or not?"

If Dothan's high schools do not make AYP next year state intervention could come next. Measures such as removing decision making of principles and replacing staff would be considered.

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