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Middle school students in Montgomery are shifting to a new modified block schedule this year. Superintendent Barbara Thompson said students can expect more from the concentrated learning from the alternative day program. The Montgomery Public School System is working to improve the performance of its middle schools. Recently the Alabama Department of Education placed six Montgomery middle schools on its failing list.
36 private schools in Alabama have now signed up to accept students under the Accountability Act. More than 20 of those institutions are Catholic Schools including all three on the list for Montgomery. Principal for St. Jude Educational Institute in Montgomery Anthony Brock says from a philosophical standpoint Catholic schools want to help. As part of the new law, students from so-called "failing" public schools can transfer to other non-failing public schools or private schools.
The U.S. Attorney's office has announced the sentencing of a Phenix City man on drug trafficking and weapons possession charges. 40-year-old Shedrick D. Hollis received 35 years in prison after being convicted of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine powder, crack cocaine, BZP-a club drug similar to Ecstasy and marijuana. Five of those years was for possession of firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking activity. He was arrested at a residence in Phenix City in March of 2011.
The Alabama House has opened sessions with prayer for as long as most can remember. House Speaker Mike Hubbard said Wednesday that he has no plans to stop legislative prayers despite a legal challenge to the practice in a New York town. Members of the Legislature say the prayers are generally kept non-partisan and are not offensive. The prayers are given just before members say the Pledge of Allegiance. Hubbard says members are asked to recommend who they would like to give the prayer. He says a variety of people from different faiths are chosen to give the prayers.