Summer school ended on June 30th marking the conclusion of another successful school year. As your school superintendent, I would like to thank everyone for making 2015-2016 such a positive and memorable school year. Wilcox County School System is blessed to have teachers, support staff, students, parents, and community members who are devoted to our children and our school system. I want to highlight some of our 1st time accomplishments from this past year.
- Graduation Rate Improves: Wilcox County High School graduated ALL 12th grade students. Each student that began 12th grade in August 2015 earned a diploma and graduated May 2016. In commemoration of this 1st time occurrence, a hand-held fan listing the names of all graduates was provided to family members at graduation. Way to go Class of 2016!
- Dental Taxi: The school system patterned with Rochelle Family Dentistry and Dr. Kris Frazier to provide a “Dental Taxi” to and from school. With parent permission, students could board the “Dental Taxi” for a trip downtown to get their teeth cleaned and examined. This service allowed parents to remain at work during their child’s routine dental exams.
- Student Schedule: High school student schedules were provided to students in late July rather than on the first day of school. Students made class changes prior to school beginning which allowed for a smooth start to school.
- Open House: At the suggestion of several parents, Open House was held in the evening this past year. Over 950 parents and students attended, representing 80% of our total student enrollment.
- One Call Now: The One Call Now notification system was upgraded so text messages as well as phone calls about upcoming events could be distributed. Numerous parents and students praised the addition of the text message feature.
- Absentee Notifications: PowerSchool, our student information system, is now linked to One Call Now so daily messages can be sent to parents when their children are absent from school. Daily phone alerts were sent during the last month of school and plans are in place to continue this notification beginning in August.
- Community Wide Block Party: The first school sponsored community wide block party was held in April. Even with inclement weather, over 600 community members attended the event. Local businesses, individuals, and each school set up information and fun booths.
- Parent Involvement Skyrockets: A system-wide schedule was developed for parent involvement events. With the assistance of Parent Involvement Coordinator, Matthew Hall, each school hosted on average one event per month. Seventy opportunities were provided for parents to get involved in their child’s education throughout the year resulting in a tremendous increase in both parent and community involvement.
- Mental Health Services: The school system partnered with the Community Service Board of Middle Georgia to obtain a Communities of Care grant to offer mental health counseling services at school. Mental Health counselors began seeing students in need of services in January 2016.
- Grab and Go Breakfast: Wilcox Middle School began serving a grab and go breakfast in the art room at Wilcox Middle School. An average of 70 students ate each morning which increased the number of students eating breakfast before school. Items that were east to grab and go like cereal, pop tarts, fruit, and milk were served.
- The Patriot Post: Beginning in January 2016, local pastors were asked to distribute a newsletter, “The Patriot Post,” to keep community members better informed of school news and events. Four newsletters were published during the last semester. If your church would like to receive this newsletter, please email me your church address.
- PASS Meets All 12 Objectives: For the first time, the Patriot Academy for School Success (PASS) has met all twelve goals set for the program. Our PASS program serves about 130 students after school and during summer. Students attending are provided academic remediation and homework help. During the school year, students eat dinner before boarding buses to head home at 6:10 p.m.
These are just a few of the great things happening within our schools! Look for more articles during the month of July that highlight our progress on our strategic plan and on the design of the new school. The annual Back to School Edition is scheduled for publication in the Marketer on July 26th. Look for four to six pages full of school system information in this edition.
Please know that I am available to speak with individuals and local clubs, organizations, and/or church groups regarding school system goals and initiatives. I welcome your input and can be reached by phone at 229-467-2141 ext. 25 (office), 229-457-2387 (cell), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to stop by my office in Abbeville but please call in advance to set up an appointment because I am often at the schools.