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Education Guide 2022: Orleans Parish Welcomes New Leader Avis Williams

Avis Williams is committed to fairness, excellence and joy. But first and foremost, she wants to have a conversation with Benier.

Avis Williams is the first woman to serve as permanent superintendent of NOLA public schools in 181 years.Photo credit: NOLA Public Schools

A native of North Carolina and former superintendent of Selma City Schools in Alabama, Williams is the first woman named permanent superintendent of NOLA public schools in the 181-year history of the Orleans parish school system. She is a former US Army Sergeant and as an educator she has over 20 years of experience.

On July 11th, she launched her 100-day plan. This includes 20 community engagement sessions with teachers, staff, students, school leaders, administrators, families and members of the community, under the moniker “ABC Tour”. avis’ B.with inet C.conversation.

“This plan is contingent on community engagement and will only be possible if we work together to build a stronger future for our scholars and parishes,” Williams said. Centered on our values ​​of equity, excellence, joy, and the priorities of our district and board, we ask our school families and communities what they stop and do in our school system. It asks important questions about whether they believe they need to start and continue.”

Williams said her first key question was, “How do we ensure that families have adequate access to school through an effective and equitable admissions system?” “What key qualifiers are needed within the accountability framework to hold schools accountable?” How can we increase access to mental health and wellness services to reduce the impact on students?”

Upon completion of the ABC Tour, Williams hosts ten solution circles to identify key issues and implement problem-solving solutions.

I plan to end the conversation with, “What is something you should have asked but didn’t?” “These are open conversations for people to share their thoughts and for us all to step up and meet those challenges,” Williams said. I encourage you to reach out to: Successful public education is the engine of our economy, and I look forward to exploring the internships, resources, workforce opportunities, and corporate partnerships available to our scholars.”

Williams will succeed outgoing superintendent DHenderson Lewis Jr. after serving seven years as superintendent and serving more than 25 years in Louisiana public schools. “I’ve been following Dr. Lewis over the past few months and he’s been very helpful with the transition,” Williams said. “He and I had a deep conversation about our needs and challenges, and he gave us a bird’s eye view of how best to solve the challenges within the system.”

NOLA Public Schools is a public school district in the Orleans Parish. This includes the district administration and the Orleans Parish Board of Education. NOLA Public Schools currently oversees 76 public schools and her 45,000 students. After Hurricane Katrina damaged schools in 2005, the state created Recovery School Districts, eventually leading to the all-chartered public school system that now exists in New Orleans.

In 2019, Act 91 returned RSD Charter Schools to OPSB governance, giving the Superintendent clear powers to recommend and implement charter licensing actions. However, the Act preserved autonomy for charter school operators at the local school level, including programming, curricula, teaching materials, personnel decisions, and budgeting.

“I am neither for nor against the Charter. It is the superintendent’s responsibility to oversee, approve and review,” Williams said. I look forward to working with you.”

Williams led Selma City Schools out of state intervention, and the school district increased its state report card score from 68 to 76. As assistant superintendent of the Tuscaloosa City Schools, she developed the district’s educational framework and helped her improve early literacy rates by 25 percentage points. She also led a $170 million capital project.

Although Selma only had 10 schools and 2,800 students, Williams said there were many similarities between his previous job and his new one.

“Schools are the epitome of community. I am passionate about serving in communities that remind me of where I grew up – areas of poverty, high rates of violence, broken families, poor housing. Lack of communities, lack of resources, all result in young people struggling in the world with unmet needs: the school system,” Williams said. “It’s not an easy task. You can’t do it alone. To change a culture, you need a community of leaders. I’m ready to serve and do my part.”