(MOBILE, Ala.) May 26 -- What some dubbed a disaster decision may now be reversed. The Mobile County School Board dropped LeFlore High School's designation as a “magnet school” in 2006. Now, just two years later, that designation may return. As NBC 15's Andrea Ramey tells us, some parents say it's about time.
What's in a name? Parents of LeFlore High School students would probably say a lot, especially when that name has the word “magnet” in it.
To understand the controversy surrounding LeFlore, you have to understand the history. For years, LeFlore was two schools in one; part magnet performing arts school, part regular high school. The school board decided in 2006 after numerous community meetings to revamp the school and make it one college preparatory academy.
Enrollment dropped, a whole new staff was hired and parents, like Vanessa Snooks criticized the board for making such sweeping changes. "Even though they made a commitment to put more faculty, more resources into the school, we never received those resources. It has been very frustrating."
Now, it seems the board is acknowledging the failed attempt to improve the school.
Superintendent Dr. Roy Nichols wants to add “magnet” back in the school's name and has approved adding pre-law and pre-medicine programs to next year's curriculum. But some board members question the reversal, saying it's a knee-jerk reaction and the school needs more time to adjust to the changes. Here are the comments from School Commissioner Bill Meredith: "Now, we're going back and we're going to do LeFlore like it was before we started, all over again? Why? Why are we continuing to do LeFlore, we've got a lot of other schools?"
But for now, the focus is on LeFlore, and the one word that will change its name.
Doctor Nichols says the curriculum changes and name change will move the school in the right direction. The Mobile County School Board will meet Tuesday night to vote on Doctor Nichol’s recommendations.
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