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UPDATE: State Wants Intervention At Halifax County Schools

The state plans to step in and help the Halifax County School System where state figures show more than 71 percent of its elementary school kids and 74.3 percent of middle school students are not proficient in reading .

The state Department of Education teamed up with the Department of Public Instruction to devise a plan to step in and give the slipping school district a boost.

Student Shaquillia Murphy said she was happy to see the state stepping in.

Halifax County Schools spokesperson Keith Hoggard says, "We're happy to strengthen the collaboration because what we're about is helping our kids achieve academically and just what the judge wants, just what DPI wants, that's what we want also."

The assistance comes one week before a judge was to make a decision if the school system should be shut down. Hoggard says the students needed this timely help. "The kids have to be educated and this is where they have to be educated."

Under the proposal the state would provide intensive support and training including 3 weeks of professional development for all principals and two weeks for teachers.

The state has also proposed to keep 12 full-time master educators hired by Halifax County Schools to help classroom teachers improve instruction.

The plan will be presented before a judge in Raleigh April 29th.

PREVIOUS STORY:

The state says it wants to intervene in a low performing school system in Eastern Carolina, just a week before a judge was to consider a takeover of the troubled system.

Governor Beverly Perdue announced today what it being called an unprecedented intervention in Halifax County Schools. The plan was crafted by the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction.

Next week a Wake County judge will hold a hearing to determine who should run the low-performing school system.

Under the proposal from the governor, state staff would provide intensive support and oversight to coach principals in effective leadership, provide tools to help central office staff to better guide the district, and ensure that teachers get the necessary support to improve student learning.

The model for improving student learning in the district features:

*3 weeks of professional development for principals and central office personnel
*2 weeks of professional development to teachers
*12 full-time master educators hired by Halifax County Schools to help classroom teachers improve instruction
*3 school transformation coaches provided by the NCDPI and
*A district transformation coach provided by the NCDPI
*Consultation with NCDPI regarding use of federal and state appropriations.

The plan will be presented to the judge at his April 29th hearing in Raleigh.


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