The state takeover of the Selma City School District is about to enter its sixth month with more than a year to go.
"We are trying to raise a standard of excellence," said intervention team leader Dr. Larry DiChiara.
DiChiara's team took over in February and since then the three top administrators, including superintendent Gerald Shirley, have been removed, and a former Selma High School teacher is now in jail.
DiChiara says the goal going forward is to gain a sharper focus, and change the mindset and culture that Selma city schools can be better.
Senovia Wilson admitted she had reservations when the state intervened.
"It was the fear of the unknown, but I think it's been a smooth transition," said Wilson, who is one of the Instructional Coaches for the school district.
With less than three weeks to go before school starts, Wilson is entering the new year with confidence and ready to turn the page.
"I've been very pleased," Wilson said. "They've given us the resources we need."
Still, Dr. DiChiara cautioned the school system has a ways to go.
The next superintendent, for example, won't be hired until next spring with the hope of ending the state take-over in December of 2015.
By the time intervention period is over, it will have a cost the state at least $500,000.
This is the first public school take-over in history that involved the removal of top administrators.
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