Supervisors weighing options for school board change

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors is still exploring its options in regard to how it might effect change in the Natchez-Adams School District.

Board of Supervisors Attorney Scott Slover said he has at the instruction of the board done some preliminary research about the matter.

“It would be to see what are the avenues that the board of supervisors — or any interested citizen — would have regarding the contract extension of the superintendent or with the current board of trustees,” Slover said.

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The remedy would likely involve some sort of lawsuit, Slover said, but he said he was not ready to give a report to the board yet.

This comes after the supervisors asked one of its appointees to the school district’s board of trustees, Tim Blalock, to resign from his position earlier this month, in part because of his defense of Superintendent Frederick Hill.

Under Hill’s tenure, the district has seen school test scores improve, but his methods for school improvement — which have included the reassignment and removal of some employees — have raised the ire of some community members and educators.

Blalock cast the deciding vote in a school board meeting to renew Hill’s contract last week, just two days after Hill interviewed for a position in Flint, Mich.

While the supervisors wait for answers to their questions, Supervisor David Carter said he would pass along questions from the community about the district’s operations to the school board.

Those questions included, he said:

• How much teacher turnover has the district seen this year?

• How much input do principals have in hiring?

• How often does the district renew contracts before they expire?

• Why has the district had such a turnover in athletics coaching staff?

“There may be valid answers to (these questions), but I don’t know them,” Carter said.

“I was going to send this list to (Blalock) saying it needs to be responded to in writing or at least (in person) at their next meeting.”

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell, who offered the initial motion to seek Blalock’s resignation, said he thinks the methodology of having the community direct questions to the school district through the supervisors is a good one.

“We want these questions answered by our next meeting,” he said. “If we don’t hear anything back from the chair of the school board, we will go before the board and present those questions to see if we can get their board to answer those questions. We are definitely going to look into that.”