Detailed timeline released of state's intervention of Montgomery - Montgomery Alabama news.

Detailed timeline released of state's intervention of Montgomery schools

The Alabama State Department of Education Board (Source: WSFA 12 News) The Alabama State Department of Education Board (Source: WSFA 12 News)

At Thursday's meeting and work session of the Alabama State Board of Education, State Superintendent Michael Sentance announced the timeline for the instructional audits currently taking place in the Montgomery Public School system.

All school reviews are expected to be complete Friday. Starting Tuesday, the state and district teams will spend three days reviewing the results of those audits. They will then spend two months coming up with school-specific improvement plans that will be revealed the week of July 17.

"There will be a lot of commonality I think among those plans, but they'll also raise very specific issues about leadership, culture, climate in each school," Sentance said.

Depending on what issues are raised, the leadership in some MPS schools could be changing.

"That's a conversation that we're having with the Montgomery Superintendent," Sentance said. "We're going through each school and each principal and having those kind of conversations. I think some of those decisions will be made evident in a couple of weeks."

But the intervention isn't just about academics and oversight of the 27 schools the state has taken over. The financial and organizational efficiency audit is also underway. According to documents presented at the meeting, ALSDE and MPS are working together "to restructure the central office for increased efficiency."

Sentance didn't want the move to be thought of as a downsizing.

"I see it as right-sizing the central office. Making sure we have the right people in the right positions that if they're overstaffed in some areas, making sure they're reallocated to another area or we just cut the position and re-purpose the funds," Sentance said.

The draft restructuring plan of the central office is due to Sentance on May 19. After the central office is restructured, a curriculum and instructional resources audit is expected to begin in June. ALSDE says this is an area where they believe additional staff and money is needed. 

In addition, a comprehensive budget amendment for the 2017-18 school year is expected to be provided by June 30.

Also in June, a Principals' Institute is expected to be held to address the topics of culture, climate, and special education, as well as any other managerial topics that are identified by state and MPS leaders.

During the week of July 24, a standards, content, and instructional systems professional development for leaders will be held. The following week of Aug. 1, a two-day Standards and Content Institute will be held for MPS teachers as part of teacher professional development and training portion of the intervention.

Once the new school year begins, the state will recruit parents to do their part in the intervention. The presentation given to the state board of education says "A specific approach to community/stakeholder involvement is currently being formulated." 

The state plans to have school-based community meetings in the fall to address community concerns and questions with transparency. They hope this, in turn, will create active involvement in the intervention process. But since each school is different, the school will have the opportunity to decide what that community engagement will be for parents.`

Also addressed at Thursday's meeting were the state graduation rates.

Those numbers were released in late-April before being pulled for being inaccurate.

"We've made a lot of progress," Sentance said. "I think that there were a handful of districts that have not finalized their numbers but I think we're down to a handful of school districts. 30 or 40 students we have questions about so we're pretty much finished with that."

As far a timeline for a re-release of those numbers, Sentance says they "probably will have a pretty clear understanding of what the graduation rate was" at the next state work session, currently scheduled to be held May 24.

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