Natchez-Adams schools to hold open houses

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 6, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Seeking to boost public opinion, Natchez-Adams Schools are opening their doors every week for the next four weeks.

West and Frazier primary schools will host the first open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday. All residents are invited to take a tour of the schools and meet teachers and students. Other schools will follow suit in coming weeks.

Interim Superintendent Mary Kate Garvin said the idea is to get the &uot;community at large&uot; to see for themselves what the public schools are all about.

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&uot;We want people to come in and see the programs we have to offer,&uot; she said.

Garvin acknowledges that the school system has suffered from a poor reputation in the community. But she hopes that when people see first-hand what the public schools have to offer, they will change their minds. &uot;Let’s set some of those negative things aside,&uot; she said. &uot;I think people will be pleasantly surprised.&uot;

Garvin recounted a story of another school tour &045; this one by the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce last fall.

When chamber members on the tour who were not familiar with the school system took a look around, &uot;they were quite pleased,&uot; she said. Some of the people on the tour even admitted they had had an unfavorable impression of the school district before that tour.

But Garvin said that impression can hold back not only the school district but also the community. &uot;In order to have a strong community, you have to have a strong public school system,&uot; she said. &uot;And in order to have a strong public school system, you have to have community support.&uot;

The Natchez-Adams School District has just hired a new superintendent, Dr. Anthony Lee Morris, director of personnel for the South Panola School District. Morris is a former Natchez High principal.

Garvin, who has been serving as interim superintendent since last summer, said she hopes the school district will continue its public relations push in the future.

&uot;It’s not my school district; it’s not the teachers’ school district,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s the community’s school district.&uot;