Consultant helps Lee schools deal with audit

TUPELO – Lee County School administrators met with an outside education consultant this week as the district attempts to follow the recommendations of its recent curriculum audit.
Consultant Judy Birmingham spent 31/2 days with district administrators, principals, assistant principals, academic coaches and lead teachers.
She told them how they could make their curriculum more rigorous, develop better assessments to monitor student progress and improve principals’ classroom observations.
District officials “wanted to see more rigor in the written curriculum and when visiting a classroom seeing teachers teach at a high level,” Birmingham said.
Birmingham, who is from Naples, Fla., is affiliated with Phi Delta Kappa, the company that recently completed Lee County’s curriculum audit. She had served on the teams that conducted recent audits in New Albany and Nettleton.
Among the recommendations of Lee County’s audit were making board policies more specific and assessments more demanding. It also called for the district to develop better standards of what it expects from its teachers.
Birmingham was invited to address the district as it begins to implement those goals, a process she said could take as many as five to seven years.
She said she was impressed by the district’s eagerness to improve.
“They are unbelievably willing to say we are on this level now, and we want to go to the next level,” she said.
Lee County Chief Academic Officer Kathy Mask called it one of the best training sessions she had ever done.
“This will help us take a closer and deeper look at our curriculum and curriculum design,” Mask said.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal