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Caddo schools transformation plan

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The Caddo school district is working to transform some of its lowest achieving schools.Step one was to restructure several campuses for the coming year, one won't even exist when schools open in August.
Step two was revealed Tuesday night.  A new transformation officer was announced, who's job is to oversee improvement efforts and save 10 under performing campuses from state takeover.

Assignment education reporter Crystal Whitman discussed the turnaround process with the new administrator.
Billy Snow joins the school system as the new transformation and innovation officer. His job will be to work with nine new principals who have been assigned to these struggling schools.  

Targeted for urgent turnarounds next school year; are Atkins and Midway elementary schools, Fair Park and Woodlawn High Schools.  All schools that were in danger of state takeover before the agreement with the state. Atkins and Midway will serve pre-k through third grade. Fair Park High and Woodlawn High school, will return to traditional 9th-12th grade campuses.The district has named Betty Jordan as the new principal of WoodlawnLeadershipp Academy.

Caddo schools are also kicking off a 'Re-imagine our schools' campaign that will kick Tuesday. 
The district is in the process of hiring excellent teachers during a job fair at Caddo Middle Career and Technology school on April 28th.
An additional job fair will be held at Southwood High School, On May 3rd.

"My passion is for students, all students. Economically disadvantaged students, title one schools, because I truly believe that there are no excuses, that we have to lift all of our kids up. That all of our schools have to be successful," said Snow.

With new leadership in place at those schools, and 5 of the other 6 academically unacceptable schools, Snow will focus on recruiting teachers.  As part of Caddo's agreement with the state, staffs were zeroed out at the four most critical schools.  

"I am a former principal of two successful title one schools. In both those experiences, I was able to take students through the turnaround process raising scores for all students," said Snow.

Snow said there is no magic bullet, but there are proven strategies.  Each campus must have an excellent academic climate and management.And data and accountability are essential. 

Snow says it's about community support, too. And mentoring programs, for instance, that helps extends beyond the school's walls.
"One of the things that brings me to Caddo Parish is that I am passionate about the mission and vision of Dr. Goree and the district," said Goree.

The transformation plan also includes the closing of Newton Smith sixth grade center in the Martin Luther King community. The changes will go into effect during the 2014-2015 school year.



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