Community’s input important

The Pelham community gave its incoming superin- tendent a warm welcome last week, but also made very clear what they expect of him and the city’s new municipal school district.

Pelham residents packed the city’s Civic Complex on the night of May 1 to voice their concerns, dreams and visions for the upcoming school system, which likely will form on July 1.

In addition to parents, teachers and interested Pelham residents, the forum also was attended by Interim Superintendent Dr. Tim Alford, newly hired Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield and Pelham Board of Education President Rick Rhoades, along with a contingent of municipal leaders such as Mayor Gary Waters and City Council President Rick Hayes.

The forum marked the beginning of a monthlong session during which the Pelham Board of Education will seek the community’s input before formulating its comprehensive plan and mission statement.

The School Board has done some important work over the past few months,

but this may be the most important step the board has taken so far.

During the May 1 meet- ing, Pelham residents voiced concerns about smaller student-teacher ratios, implementing more technology in the class- rooms and a continued commitment to ESL and special education pro- grams.

Residents also voiced concerns about the Pelham School System’s future plans to serve its special- needs students – certainly a very valid concern.

Through May 22, Pelham residents, parents and school employees can also visit Pelhamcityschools. com and take surveys to share their opinions with the school system’s leader- ship as it plans the sys- tem’s future.

We encourage everyone who will be impacted by the Pelham School System to take the time to make their voices heard over the next few weeks, and we encourage the school system’s leadership to take those opinions into account when planning the future of Pelham’s education.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.