ECHS has big plans, no bucks

Published 12:26 am Monday, May 7, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Escambia County High School principal Kyle Ferguson has many things in store for the school for next year but if the 3-mill tax for the county school system is not renewed in the June 5 election, Ferguson's dreams will be crushed due to lack of funding.
"We've got some plans in place for next year that would compliment the curriculum," Ferguson said.
Some of Ferguson's plans include offering classes over the Internet and also classes virtually to other schools.
"Next year we are offering to our students Web-based classes from instructors from all over the U.S.," he said. "We also want to offer the middle school advanced students Spanish I. We are going to offer classes here to other schools that don't have them. We need to hire an instructional aid to monitor the technology of the program."
Ferguson said that ECHS also needs a reading curriculum to help the students pass testing and more history teachers because of the amount of freshmen the school will have next year.
"We would love to implement a reading program," he said. "We don't have a reading instructor on campus. We need to implement the program to help the students pass the graduation exam. We also need two additional history teachers. We have about 175 students coming from the middle school and about 15 to 20 coming from other small schools. History is the portion of the graduation exam that gives kids the most trouble. We need someone who can help those who are struggling."
The programs that Ferguson has proposed will need the funding in order for them to become more than ideas.
"We've got some great ideas but programs must be funded," he said. "We've worked hard to become financially stable here, but not enough to fund all the programs."
Ferguson said that the money from the renewal will go into the school system but will eventually make its way back into the community.
"If anyone in Atmore thinks they aren't putting money back in the community they are mistaken," he said. "These kids will go to college and a lot of them will come back to Atmore. Citizens of Atmore are getting a lot of bang for their buck."
Ferguson hopes that the community will take the renewal seriously for the sake of the students in the area.
"The community should be pleased with the schools and I hope they'll see education as a priority," he said. "When citizens step up and show support for the school system it shows where their heart is. The renewal is paramount for us to move into the right direction. Atmore schools are on their way up."

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