Conference meets with cabinet from school system

Conference meets with cabinet from school system
March 22
04:00 2018

The Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV) has never shied away from issues concerning the community.  Last week they met with members from the Priority One school executive cabinet led by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools instructional superintendent, Dr. Karen M. Roseboro.

The main objective was for the cabinet to introduce “Inspire 340,” which includes schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School District that have special designation of being a Priority or Focus School. The mission of Inspire 340 is to inspire the students to achieve and excel despite life challenges through the power of education.

“What we have done is put them together to unify them and invest resources to make sure we are revitalizing education as we know it or creating innovative teaching practices for our kids,” said Roseboro.

“It is just a concerted effort for us to come together as a network of schools because we don’t want to be known as the lowest performing schools; we want to be known for the inspiring work that goes on in those schools on a daily basis,” she continued.

Lionel Kato of the superindent’s office said the overall message was “community cooperation and collaboration” between the community and the school system.  He says they will continue to work to get the best out of the students but feel they cannot do it alone.  He feels the parents need to be just as involved as the students.

Once they discussed Inspire 340, the conversation switched to the potential mold issue going on at Ashely Elementary School.  Many of those in attendance were concerned with the well being of not only the children but the staff as well.

Rev. Dr. Lamonte Williams, president of the MCWSV, felt it was very important to get the information about Inspire 340 out to the conference.  He felt even more compelled to touch on the issues going on at Ashley Elementary as well. Williams works at the school.

“The things going on over at Ashley are a matter of high concern,” Williams said.  “People moved to asking this administration some hard hitting questions, many of which were above their pay grade, so the goal was to figure out how to let the powers that be know the issues surrounding the African-American community.”

Those from the conference posed the question as to why haven’t the students been moved from this environment if there is the potential of mold.  Many feared the breathing and lung issues plaguing several students and teachers would spread if they are forced to attend school while a determination on mold is being decided.

Scarlett Linville, principal of Ashley Elementary School and part of the executive cabinet, wanted to express her concern over the mold issue as well.  Linville informed those in attendance the school system is doing all they can to remedy the issue as fast as they can.  She stated her own children attend the school, so her willingness in fixing the potential problem is paramount to her because she does not want her children in a possible dangerous environment.

“I guess many people want them to err on the side of caution versus taking the chance of doing testing every other week, which exposes people to two or more weeks of exposure while in the building,” Williams said.

Another hard-hitting question posed to the cabinet was why are so many poverty stricken students concentrated in mostly low performing schools?  Williams applauded the question and wants the conference to understand that now they have to figure out “where do we go from here.”

“We can’t just accept the answer ‘it’s above my pay grade’ because there is a level of accountability by administrators because they are paid by taxpayer dollars,” Williams went on to say.  “We are looking to have a town hall meeting where we can get the decision makers at the table in front of our community and demand some very tough answers.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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