Superintendent: Changes coming to Petersburg schools

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jan 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-03 18:22:54-05

PETERSBURG, Va (WTVR) -- Petersburg Public Schools' new superintendent says there will be changes in the classroom that will make a difference for the district.

Dr. Joseph Melvin took over as superintendent on Dec. 3, a month before he was scheduled to start the job.

During that time, Melvin has been working on a seven-point plan of change for the struggling school system.

Melvin also added several new staff members and meet with parents and staff to help formulate the plan.

Right now, three of Petersburg's seven schools are fully accredited. Three other schools are accredited with warning. And Peabody Middle had their accreditation denied.

"The first priority is to ensure that strong and consistent leadership is provided for every school and department," Melvin said. "The second priority is to increase student achievement at all levels and grades." 

Melvin said one area of focus will be reading in pre-K through fifth grade because a good reading foundation is a necessity that will take students through every phase of their education and life.

Some parents, who have heard more than a half-dozen superintendents over the last 20 years that said they could make the necessary changes to improve the schools, think one key to success will be having a leader stay in charge for more than just a couple of years.

That's something Melvin repeatedly said he is committed to doing during a news conference Thursday morning.