Martinsville City School leaders determined to create success

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) Martinsville City Schools are facing several hurdles, including low enrollment that will cut state funding.

And this week, they got bad news with accreditation.

WDBJ7 sat down with the interim superintendent who says they are already making progress.

When the accreditation results came out this week and none of the city schools passed, Martinsville City Schools Interim Superintendent Zeb Talley say they were not surprised.

He is already putting a plan in place to fix them moving forward.

"The biggest thing that we did I think was to re-instate our assistant principals in schools," Zebedee Talley Jr. said.

Talley started making changes in July of this year.

With assistant principals back in the schools, the principals can observe classroom instruction.

"Very important that they are free to get professional development and then to go in and to coach teaching," he added.

Next, Talley says they have hired reading specialists and are working to hire reading tutors.

"Lower the size of the reading groups. And to give students more of a chance to interact one on one," Talley said.

Both Martinsville Middle School and Patrick Henry Elementary School, did not show the necessary improvement for state standards this past year. They are now are Partially Accredited: Warned School status.

Improvement coaches from the state will be assigned and spend the school year observing and offering support at those two schools .

"We have had them before in the division and we will work close in hand with them," Talley said

They will also be changing around the daily schedule and provide more professional development for teachers. But Talley says most important of all, the community is behind them.

"Some select businesses and organizations have donated books, and have offered their services," Talley said

Talley says they are working with the budget to help balance out low enrollment.

The nation-wide search for a new superintendent is set to begin soon.