Local school board reaches decision on school restructure

Local school board reaches decision on school restructure. / Photo: Danielle Ledbetter

The Pelham City School Board voted unanimously Tuesday evening to convert from a Strategic Waiver System to a Charter System.

The school board held a public interest meeting to answer questions about switching to a charter system before they made a decision.

Parents and community members came to ask questions about what a switch would mean.

Superintendent Floyd Fort said the biggest concern he's gotten is what is a charter system.

Fort says, "We will be a charter system which basically means we will have flexibility from state laws."

This will allow the school system to come up with different opportunities for their students, according to Fort.

He adds, "Some of the innovative things were looking already is creating a college and career academy, we're also looking at providing more high school courses in a middle school, we're also looking at providing Spanish at elementary school and middle school."

Another change that would come with the transition, "We're going to have a school governance team so we're going to make it a more intentional effort to get our parents and our community members and our teachers involved in actual operations."

The goal is to get parents and community members involved so they can make recommendations to the board.

The superintendent says the buses will continue to operate and the high school won't have uniforms under this new system.

The board also received a question about the impact the change will have on taxes.

Fort says, "By going to a charter system, it's not going to have any impact on our local taxes. What it will allow us to do is possibly get more funding from the state to operate as a charter system, if the state legislator approves."

The superintendent said most parents won't notice a big change in their child's education from switching systems.

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