Birmingham schools look for improvement

Birmingham School Superintendent Barbara Allen (WBRC video)
Birmingham School Superintendent Barbara Allen (WBRC video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham school leaders are working with teachers and strategists to improve the system's graduation rate and reading scores as students prepare to return to school.

Birmingham City Schools Interim Superintendent Barbara Allen talked about the plans with FOX6 News anchor Sarah Verser on Good Day Alabama Thursday, saying plans are being put in place to improve reading scores and help more students graduate high school, two areas that caused six of the city's seven high schools to fail to meet the state's Adequate Yearly Progress goals this year.

Allen said some of the high school students who struggle in reading did not have the benefit of learning under the Alabama Reading Initiative when they were in elementary school, so teachers and strategists are putting plans in place to help them improve their reading skills.

Allen also said the school system's high schools had a graduation rate of 87 percent, just short of the 90 percent AYP goal. She said strategists are also working on plans to improve the rate.

Parents with children attending school at Robinson, Carver, Jackson-Olin and Wenonah have the option of transferring their children to other schools.  Allen said letters detailing the transfer process went out this week to parents.  Allen also added that in the past, most parents choose to keep their children at the same school.

"We expect very few to transfer," Allen said.

Allen said the best way to help improve student scores is for parents to get involved in their child's education.

"When parents are involved, we can succeed," Allen said.

Allen also was excited about the new school construction within the system.  Students at Hudson will be moving into their new school this week while Epic is getting a makeover.  Also, students at Inglenook were moving to McElwain so that renovations could occur at Inglenook.  Allen said renovation or construction plans are also in the works for Parker, Olive and Hayes schools.

Birmingham city students return to school on Friday, August 7.