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  Mission Statement  


“Soaring Beyond Expectations”


The mission of the School of Discovery Genesis Center (SOD) is to provide a child centered, integrated curriculum of academics, technology, and the arts. The school’s environment will allow collaboration among stakeholders to help children discover and develop their individual talents and interests, while recognizing their roles within the school and community.

The vision of the School of Discovery is to provide a positive, safe, and respectful learning community for all students, faculty, and families while preparing students to be productive members of society.


“I am somebody”

I am responsible for my behavior and what I become in life.
Life does not accept excuses.
I will not let my need to be accepted by a group keep me from doing what is right.
I am somebody. I am one of a kind.

There has never been and will never be another person like me.
Therefore, when faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on trying until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath - or just stay
and turn the mountain into a gold mine.
I will do my best! I know I can. I am a winner. I am somebody!


The faculty and staff of the School of Discovery believe that:

- all students can learn, achieve, and succeed when actively engaged in the learning process;
- instructional practices should incorporate differences in learning styles;
research-based strategies should be utilized to help ensure that students are College and Career Ready
- instructional rigor should be increased through the incorporation of College and Career Ready Standards;
- a safe, physically comfortable environment promotes student learning;
exceptional students require special services and resources;
- all students should be exposed to the arts and technology in order to develop and exhibit creativity; and
- teachers should be provided with effective, ongoing professional development so that they are better equipped to meet the needs of students.


The vision of the Selma City School System is to be documented as a world-class learning institution that develops students in academics and citzenship so that they are prepared to compete, successfully, in a global society.


The mission of the Selma City School System is to provide a safe and supportive teaching and learning environment, through the collaboration and partnerships of parents and community that prepares students to be college and career ready for lifelong success in a global society.

Revised: 2016

  About The School  

About School of Discovery Gensis Center

Soaring Beyond Expectations
Soaring Beyond Expectations



The School of Discovery Genesis Center (SOD) was established in 1994 as a stand-alone sixth-grade public school in historical downtown Selma, Alabama. Twenty years later, the school has preserved its founding principles of providing an outstanding education and first-rate fine arts---all while adapting to the millennial generation and the 21st Century classroom.

SOD created an essential modification to the sixth through eighth grade middle school model that gives preteens an exclusive sixth grade campus in which to transition, learn, and mature mentally and physically. The demographics of the City of Selma dictate that the education system plays a vital role in ensuring the increased matriculation of its citizens. Selma has 43.5 percent of its population living below the poverty level and only 17.2 percent of its population 25 years of age and older with a bachelor's degree or higher.* The SOD philosophy is to catch, teach and guide student early in the way in which you want them to go.

SOD is a full-fledged middle school, with a seven-period school day, daily physical education and health, student lockers and significant emphasis on structure, discipline, self-reliance, self-motivation, and responsibility. Without overindulging or coddling, the SOD principal, assistant principals, counselor, and staff of 100 percent highly qualified teachers prepare students academically for in-class achievement as well as real-world experiences, setting high expectations for each student.

SOD offers a course designed specifically to assist students in middle school called Bridges to Success. It covers topics such as character building traits, bullying, peer pressure, note taking, research papers, public speaking, and debate. To guarantee student exposure to career and college exploration, SOD is pleased to offer, as of 2014, a Career Technical course titled Intro to Career Cluster Technologies. The course provides the basics of using computer applications, but it also allows students to learn through online course curricula, post assignments through social network-like platforms, engage students using email, and stream video with computer hardware including desktop computers, iPads and SmartBoards. Additionally, students set-up Kuder Navigator accounts, which is the Alabama Career Planning System that is utilized throughout middle and high schools.

In addition to offering the Alabama Common Core curriculum, SOD offers semester electives in core subjects. The Reading and Language Arts department offers a course in Multicultural Literature and Writing. The Mathematics Department has offered courses in Banking and Sports Statistics in recent years. The Science Department offers courses in Aerospace and Robotics and the Social Studies Departments offers a course in Law and Order.

Fine Arts courses have been offered in Visual Arts, Music Appreciation, and Electronic Keyboarding. Full year classes are offered in Dance and Choir. Dance features boys' tap and tumbling and girls' tap, ballet and jazz. Choral features separate boys' and girls' choir classes that combined to form the school's Choral Ensemble, which competes on the regional state circuit.

Besides the unique altered middle school model and curriculum of SOD, the actual faculty and invested technology adds to the school's mystique and appeal. Built in the early 1900's, the SOD building is the only public school located in downtown Selma. It is poised to play a pivotal role in the revitalization of the city's Waterfront and its downtown civic, business, entertainment and educational vitality. The school is nestled a half-block away from City Hall and three blocks from the newly named National Historic Landmark, the Edmunds Pettus Bridge. The school is home to the city's Butterfly Garden, so named during Selma's designation as the Butterfly Capital of Alabama. SOD also houses the premier performance venue in town, the Pickard Auditorium. It has a capacity of 900, a built-in ticket-booth in the lobby, balcony seating, an orchestra pit, and state-of-the art lighting and adjacent dressing rooms. The auditorium is rented to the public by the school district, generating revenue.

Another hot spot of education, entertainment, and revenue is the Kenneth R. Hardaway Gymnasium. Renovated in 2009, the gym touts a built-in concession lobby, offices, storage, two locker rooms, a dance studio and a weight/exercise room. When the gym is not being used for physical education and health, it is routinely used for weekend basketball with the Selma Police Department's PAL organization, the city's summer Youth Recreational Program and the occasional wedding reception.