No action taken on NASD corrective action plan

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 16, 2018


NATCHEZ — The Mississippi Department of Education took no action Thursday on the Natchez-Adams School District’s plan to shed its probationary status.

Members of the state education board considered 10 other district corrective action plans Thursday, each of which was approved.

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Natchez-Adams’ corrective action plan was among three on which no action was taken in Thursday’s meeting.

The corrective action plans are created to plot the path of a school or district out of probation or withdrawn status, by rectifying areas in which a district does not meet accreditation standards.

“There has been a variety of things that we found that need (attention),” Superintendent of Education Carey M. Wright said in the meeting Thursday.  “Information that may be missing or wording that needs to be changed or an increased focus on student outcomes.”

The Natchez-Adams School District was put on probation in October, with the MDE citing teachers working outside of their area of expertise and a lack of certified teachers in the district as reasons for the citation.

At the time of the citation, Natchez-Adams Superintendent Fred Butcher said 16 unlicensed teachers served in the district in the 2016-2017 school year. Two other teachers were working outside of their certification subject areas.

At the Jan. 11 Natchez-Adams School Board meeting, the school district passed an action plan, which detailed ways in which the school district might correct its licensed teacher deficiency.

Many remedies include training existing employees who are unlicensed and looking for new, licensed professionals.

This plan was submitted to the state education department but has not yet been approved.

Natchez-Adams was cited among 18 districts the department put on probation, 12 of which also suffered from a lack of licensed teachers.

The three remaining districts — Natchez, Hazlehurst and Jackson — were deferred for approval at Thursday’s meeting, pending more conversation between the state department and districts.

“I want to be very clear, we are not asking you to vote on Hazlehurst, Natchez-Adams or Jackson public schools today, because we are still working with those schools and working with those districts,” Wright said. “We’re planning to bring those CAPs to you in March.”

The Natchez-Adams School District’s Superintendent Fred Butcher and Deputy Superintendent Zandra McDonald could not be reached for comment Thursday.