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Aberdeen Schools enter second school year under state control

Reported by: Robert Byers
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Updated: 9/05/2013 6:23 am
ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA) - High school English teacher Pamela Andrews takes time between classes to grade student assignments.

She is only in her second year at the school but sees a big difference in the attitudes of teachers, students, and parents from last school year to this one.

Andrews said, "I would say right now that everyone is looking forward. They're looking at what's going to occur the next day and the next year."

In the spring of 2012 the Aberdeen School District was taken over by the state because of several reasons including financial failures.

The conservator says changes in spending are working.

Conservator Bob Strebeck said, "We've curtailed spending where it's just out of necessity and not legally contractual to do so. I think that's helped the district tremendously. We are in better shape. The district still needs to maintain scrutiny on their spending procedures. That's what we plan to do."

Several changes in staff from principals to teachers have happened.

Strebeck said, "There was a lack of leadership when we came in. I believe now that there are the right people in the right places the leadership is coming forth. We're beginning to see improvements across the board."

There's no timetable on how long this conservatorship will last.

There are certain goals that must be met.

The conservator also says the district has implemented new ways of measuring a student's academic success.

It's directly tied to more rigorous standards that are ahead including Common Core State Standards.

Andrews said, "I'm not saying everything is perfect, but it's really going quite well."

School leaders say they'll need the continued support of parents and the community to get Aberdeen Public Schools returned to local control.
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