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What is key to success for school district?

Young artists train by copying the works of the great masters. It only makes sense.

How can anyone expect to achieve a high level of competency in something without studying and emulating the works of those operating at a higher level?

Last week when the state’s school accountability rankings were released, we were disappointed to know that all but one of the Natchez-Adams School District schools were given an “F” grade.

That’s disappointing on many, many levels, but mostly because it means generations of our youth may not be reaching their highest potential.

Rather than simply lament about the grade, we choose to focus on the one bright, shining spot — McLaurin Elementary School. The school received a “C” grade. While we’d all much prefer all As in our schools’ results, we’d be happy just to see improvement at each school.

Interestingly McLaurin’s success breaks any stereotype that our local public schools are simply doomed to be of poor quality and that there’s nothing that can be done about it.

McLaurin’s student population is virtually the same as any other in the district. The school building is old and has its flaws, just like all others. So what is it about McLaurin that works, and how can we get that same secret sauce to all the schools?

Answering that question is part of new Natchez-Adams School Superintendent Frederick Hill’s plans to reorganize the school district’s leadership this year.

Clearly, our schools can be led to success. McLaurin is proof. Now we’ve all just got to believe it’s possible.