State Superintendent of Education Tours Schools in Selma
State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey was in Selma Monday — where he toured schools — and spoke with a civic group.
One of the schools he toured — was Sophia P. Kingston Elementary — which houses the district’s Strong Start Pre-K Learning Center.
“Selma’s one of the few towns in the state that offers Pre-K, enough opportunities in Pre-K, for all the children that want to come. We saw 8 classrooms this morning of really outstanding Pre-K instruction getting students ready for kindergarten.
Mackey says a new law requiring third-graders to read on grade level in order to pass to fourth grade — kicks in — in about three years. He says that makes focusing on early childhood education — more important than ever — in the education process.
“Students spend really the first three years of school learning to read,” said Mackey.
“By the end of third grade they need to be pretty proficient readers because they begin using that reading skill to build the rest of their knowledge, in science and math and in social studies.”
“You have to have a solid foundation for literacy skills,” said Selma School Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams. “Which again is why I’m excited about having our strong start Pre-K because that early learning part of learning is so important to ensure that our scholars are getting those literacy skills early.”
Mackey also got observed some of the anti-bullying activities happening at the school — for Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.
“Making sure that children understand that bullying is not cool. We all want to be a part of stopping bullying. So, I saw some great interactions this morning where students were coming up with their own strategies for stopping bullying.”
“October is Bullying Prevention Month,” said Williams. “And we want to make our scholars and really the whole community aware of the damage that bullying can do.”
Mackey also toured Clark Elementary School and R. B. Hudson STEAM Academy during his visit.
He was also the guest speaker at a meeting of the Selma Rotary Club.