NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— It has been 100 days since Dr. Avis Williams took on the position of Superintendent of NOLA Public Schools. In the first 100 days there are lessons learned at hurdles to still overcome.
Dr. Avis Williams is measuring her first 100 days as NOLA-PS Superintendent, and it has been a learning lesson.
“The biggest accomplishment is engaging with the community, which was one of my goals,” she said.
Dr. Williams is proud of her “ABC Tour” which stands for Avis’ Beignets and Conversations, which gave her the opportunity to listen to those in the school community on what needs to change, and one top concern is literacy.
“I certainly see that as an area of need and something we will be focusing on through the upcoming years. Making sure our teachers have the support they need to really engage with their scholars around teaching reading and supporting struggling readers,” she said.
She says moving forward her goals are unwavering.
“We are looking at our accountability framework, what changes do we need to make that truly align with having more quality schools,” she said.
The biggest hurdle is teacher shortages, so retaining teachers is a must.
“Unfortunately I don’t see an end to that soon. I’m optimistic about working with University partners,” Dr. Williams said.
NOLA-PS received a “C” grade for performance from the Louisiana Department of Education, but Dr. Williams believes they can raise that score.
“This work can’t be done alone and the community engagement I’ve enjoyed thus far will continue and the goals will be accomplished by us working together collaboratively,” she said.
Dr. Williams said another concern she’s heard from the community is that the schools need to do a better job of preparing scholars for the workforce if they decide they don’t want to go to college. She’s working on improving workforce development through apprenticeships and internships, but she still believes college benefits everyone.