Dear Parents, Students, and Community,
I am excited to share with you that our work over the last four years to transform public education in Rockdale County is now a deeply rooted reality and no longer a mere vision for the future. While our work is on-going, we have built a solid foundation from which to grow and thrive.
The timing is perfect as we will begin closing out our current strategic plan and preparing for the next three to five years. I encourage you to participate in the strategic planning process either through our community survey or by serving on a planning committee at the district or school level.
This year, we will implement our final deployment of student laptop devices which will include students in grades 3 – 8, along with grades 9 – 12. Teachers and students are using technology as a tool for teaching and learning and changing the landscape of public education. We must continue to provide our students with access to various kinds of technology and the digital skills and knowledge necessary to be competitive in our global society.
We now have specialty and choice programs at each high school, middle school, and many elementary schools throughout the district. In addition, we have several non-traditional programs which provide all students with more options and opportunities than ever before. In the near future, we will begin construction on the RCPS School of Medicine and Healthcare Sciences on the Career Academy campus which will provide students with education, training, and work experiences in highly sought-after areas of the medical/healthcare field. The list of opportunities continues to grow each year as we strive to give all students the ability to graduate with an advantage. These advantages include specific skills, work experience, and industry certifications for those who choose to enter the workforce, and college credits through Advanced Placement or Move On When Ready for those choosing to continue their education.
School safety and security remains our top priority, and we will continue with intentional strategies for safe learning environments. Our Office of Safe Schools and Student Affairs will focus on campus security, emergency preparedness, prevention and intervention of distractions or disruptions to the classroom. We believe strongly that our teachers deserve the right to teach and all students the right to learn in safe, secure, and supportive classrooms.
As always, we encourage parents and community members to become engaged in our schools. Research clearly shows that children do better in school when parents are involved and take an active role in their child’s education. We have several new tools to make it easier for parents to become more involved and more informed. The My Stop app is now available for parents to view live GPS of their child’s bus on its route as well as receive notifications of any delays. New district and school websites and mobile apps put information and notifications at your fingertips and on your mobile devices. Infinite Campus and It’s Learning parent portals also provide parents the ability to obtain detailed information and notifications on their child’s assignments, assessments, academic progress, and attendance. Another way to connect to the classroom is through RCPSpartner.com which provides unique opportunities to become engaged through giving your time, talent or treasure to support students and teachers.
As superintendent, I continue my pledge to work cooperatively with you as we continue to build an education system in which ALL children have the opportunity to learn, be successful, and graduate high school with an advantage in higher learning and in the work force. It is amazing to consider that RCPS graduated 1,166 seniors in May 2016. These students were offered over $18.5 million in scholarships. I am proud to be superintendent of a school district in a community that values the impact of education to change lives and generations. It’s going to be another great year at RCPS!
Superintendent, Rockdale County Public Schools