Avis Williams II

Avis Williams is the superintendent of Selma City Schools. 

In the matter of days, 2021 will be in the books. Wow. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has been with us for nearly two years. This time last year, I’m sure I was not alone in hoping that the new year would see the end of that ordeal. With high hopes, we entered into this year not knowing what to expect. It was truly a year to remember.

After months of remote learning, Team Selma began in-person learning in late March. Immediately, following our reopening, there was a school shooting at our beloved Selma High School. Thankfully there were no injuries.

We responded by partnering with our community and increasing our safety measures. Further, we provided restorative practices, trauma-informed practices and mental health supports. Additionally, we focused on a Summer of Restoration which included an amazing summer learning program where we served nearly a third of our scholars and families.

Despite our efforts, the school year was wrought with many fights at the high school and we dealt with the negative perceptions that naturally follow videos of school fights being posted on social media. It was not a good look for Team Selma. As always, we moved forward being solution-oriented and were able to turn things around by late October.

We persevered. During the school year, we updated our Covid dashboard weekly, added air purifiers to all work and learning spaces, we cleaned, screened, monitored, tested and vaccinated. We ended the semester with a Peace Day at Selma High where we encouraged our scholars to choose peace and to be safe while making smart choices during the holiday break.

What I am most proud of is that we took time to take a step back and to learn from our challenges. This learning led us to the relaunch of our strategic plan, A Framework for Excellence. As we return to school in January, we will do so with updated goals, strategies and a new focus on Safety and Wellness. Our scholars need and deserve layers of support along with rigorous, engaging learning experiences. The new plan is designed to do just that.

This year was unbelievable. We lost several cherished team members which was more difficult than I could have imagined. We also received a number of accolades and recognitions. We have announced new 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year and even received a resolution from the Alabama State Department of Education. As a leader, I am grateful. This was a year like no other and truly one to remember.

So, what’s next? We will find out soon! For now, I am looking forward to enjoying my family and using this holiday break as a time to reflect and refresh. I pray that you are able to do the same. Let’s make 2022 the best year ever! This is my final Class Notes for 2021 and I will resume writing the second week of January.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. Our Winter Break began on December 20. Schools and offices will reopen on January 3 with scholars returning to school on the 5th. Be sure to check out our website and social media outlets for more Team Selma news. We also invite you to join us in Doing Our Part Everyday. Stay safe and be DOPE!

For more information, email me at avis.williams@selmacityschools.org.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.