A Message from the Superintendent
RCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry OattsDear Parents, Students, and Community Stakeholders,

As we embark upon the 2019-20 school year, we remain committed to our pursuit of world-class status as a district. At its core, this pursuit is about facilitating optimal student learning, achievement, and growth.

As I began my tenure last spring, I articulated 5 Strategic Priorities that are aligned to our district’s Strategic Plan. These include: 1) ensure a common understanding of the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) and formative instructional practices; 2) ensure the consistent delivery of effective standards-based and standards-aligned instruction / instructional strategies; 3) maintain a balanced system of assessment; 4) ensure the integration of appropriate digital resources that extend / enhance students’ learning experiences and 5) ensure the implementation of a viable, multi-tiered system of student support that is responsive to students’ learning needs.

We have made significant strides toward achieving these priorities which will remain in place. Professional learning will continue to support our schools with implementing a framework that encompasses best curricular, instructional, and assessment practices.  Our redesigned emphasis on formative assessments informs instructional decision-making while students are still learning the material and have time to receive additional support before taking high-stakes summative assessments. Additionally, we are focused on digital integration efforts with a balanced approach. Effective instruction and instructional strategies must be the foundation for intentional and purposeful digital integration, not the other way around.

Ensuring our students’ and staff’s safety remains our highest priority. Thanks to our citizens for their vote on E-SPLOST V which passed with a record high of nearly 70% support. We prioritized safety within E-SPLOST V and have begun to make improvements by reasonably balancing access and security. We have great partnerships with our local law enforcement agencies that now have immediate access to our surveillance systems in the event of an emergency. Upon returning this school year, all schools will have safety vestibules to restrict full access to our buildings upon entering. While we made tremendous progress, we will not relent in our ongoing efforts to maximize student and staff safety.

Fostering greater community engagement and involvement is paramount.  As such, I personally committed to an unprecedented level of engagement by raising both my accessibility and visibility throughout our school communities. This included participation in various co-curricular and extracurricular performance and competitive events; joining community forums that enabled citizens to directly engage with me; visiting churches for community outreach; and expanding our advisory structure to inform our decision-making. All these efforts are made to enlist constructive partnerships to support our continuous improvement.

Last spring, I committed to working tirelessly in pursuit of world-class status for our district. I believe that my team and I have made good on this commitment, but it’s only the beginning. We are proud that the class of 2019, with over 1,200 graduates (our largest graduating class to date) received over $20 million in scholarship offers. This affirms our work and pursuit of world-class status.  

I remain excited and proud to serve as Superintendent for the staff, students, and families of Rockdale County Public Schools!

Dr. Terry O. Oatts
Superintendent, Rockdale County Public Schools