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WS/FCS addresses remaining priority schools
BY TEVIN ST1NSON
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Teachers and administrators at ten
schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth
County School System are still waiting for
answers on what new education model
will be implemented at their schools next
Last year the federal government noti
fied Superintendent Beverly Emory that
11 schools in the district made the list of
schools in need of reform. According to
chief academic officer Kenneth
Simington, the "priority school" designa
tion means a new reform model must be
implemented at the school.
The Chronicle reported that the school
board decided to implement the federal
government's restart model at Cook
Elementary, which means it will operate
with a new principal, new staff and new
instructional model. The school, which
will become Cook Literacy Model School
in August, is the only school that will oper
ate under the restart model.
Earlier this week Paula Wilkins was
named the new principal at Cook.
While Cook seems to be well on its
way to reformation, not much has been
said about the other ten priority schools in
the district. President of the Forsyth
County Association of Educators Rhonda
Gordon said her phone rings non-stop with
calls from teachers with questions about
"The only thing 1 can tell them is Cook
is the only restart school and no school
will be closing,"- said Gordon. "But
beyond that, I don't know what to tell
Gordon mentioned teachers and other
staff members have questions about what
the priority school designation means, and
if they will keep their jobs next year. She
said a number of parents have expressed
their concerns as well.
"Students, teachers, and families need
to know," Gordon said.
During the school board meeting on
Tuesday, March 8, Emory and other
administrators addressed the other ten pri
ority schools and the future of staff mem
bers. Emory said any teacher who would
not be returning next year has already been
"Early February was the deadline,"
said Emory. "So anyone who there is a
concern about, they should already know
that. There shouldn't be anyone in March
1 T ? .
with concerns about their performance."
According to Simington, the remain
ing priority schools will implement either
the turnaround or transformation models.
The turnaround model brings back no
more than 50 percent of the current staff
and replaces the principal. The transfor
mation doesn't require any staff changes,
but does replace the principal.
Emory said the board has not
announced the models for the remaining
priority schools because they wanted to
give schools enough time to improve in
troubled areas. She did mention that the
board has set a deadline for early next
"We wanted to let performance drive
these models," she said. "We didn't want
to pick a model that didn't align with
what's going on in that school."
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WS/KJS names leadership tor Look Literacy Moaei acnooi
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SPECIAL TO THE
Paula Wilkins and
Constance Hash will lead
Cook Literacy Model
School as the school is
restarted with a focus on
literacy. Wilkins will be the
schools principal, and
Hash will be the school's
several literacy models
throughout the curriculum,
and teachers will serve as
models for others through
out the district.
"As we looked for a
tor, it was clear that we
needed a combination of
innovative thinking and
experience leading turn
The district announced
the school's restart last
month and had several
meetings with parents and
staff. Cook was chosen
after considerable effort
and investment in the
school did not lead to
increases in students' per
The school will use
Emory said. "We found
this combination in Paula
Wilkins has been the
district's director of profes
sional development and
recruiting since 2014. In
that role, she led the dis
trict's professional devel
opment for ail departments
and recruitment efforts.
Hash is a longtime
principal with experience
turning around schools,
most recently at Forest
Park Elementary School.
She retired in 2013 and has
been Cook's interim prin
cipal since January.
Wilkins and Hash's
next step is to iorm a
design team of teachers
and parents as they plan for
the 2016-17 school year.
The school will have a
new staff next year.
Current staff members can
reapply to work at Cook or
work with the district to
find equivalent positions at
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