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Education goals key as Autry takes over position

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
July 6, 2003
Sylvia Autry says she wants parents and Meridian residents to know she has specific goals for the Meridian Public School District next year and she isn't going to just "tread water."
Autry, former assistant superintendent of Meridian Public Schools, officially took over as interim superintendent last Tuesday while the school board searches for a replacement for Dr. Janet McLin, who retired June 30. Autry talked with The Meridian Star's editorial board on her first day to outline goals and challenges facing the district and what she thinks can be done to improve student achievement.
One goal is for instructors to deliver immediate, consistent and effective interventions when students are not achieving.
The veteran educator and administrator said such an intervention should be guided by pretesting to determine the child's learning level.
Teachers should play a dominant role in interventions, she said.
Also, for the first time, all sixth graders in the district will have structured reading. This is based on "the fact that our Mississippi Curriculum Test scores for fifth grade in reading were not good and we couldn't just send those students to sixth grade without a continuation of the reading process," she said.
In Meridian two junior highs, students who score at minimal or basic will have their schedules redesigned so they will have two periods of a subject in which they are deficient, such as math.

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