From the Superintendent's Desk - August 24, 2012
Greetings everyone. What a great first week of school!
On Wednesday, I visited six schools, and was truly amazed by what I saw. At every school, I witnessed proud parents dropping off their children, impassioned teachers fully engaged in teaching and excited students jumping right into the learning process. Ms. Littleton’s 5th grade class at AC Corcoran captured this perfectly. When I walked into her classroom, I could instantly see that every student in the room was participating and was actively learning. Across our district, it was evident that teachers and principals were ready and excelling on day one.
Ensuring that our schools are clean and safe, our parents are informed, our buses are ready to roll and our cafeterias are prepared for our students – is no easy task. It takes a great deal of logistics and dedication. I want to thank all the volunteers that pitched in on the back-to-school help line. You answered close to 400 telephone calls. Although we don’t have a complete picture of enrollment until the tenth day, we had more students – 41,321 (not including Child Development and Head Start programs which start on September 4th) – in class on the first day than we have had in 13 years! I am convinced that our strong turnout on the first day is a result of our strong communications plan and community partners.
The Office of Operations, Planning and Systems Improvement worked on weekends and nights to get our campuses in tip top shape. The Office of Transportation, in partnership with Durham Bus Services, did an excellent job scheduling and transporting thousands of students across the district. Last but not least, every student needs a healthy meal, and our Office of Nutrition and Food Services was out in force preparing the food that powers our students’ minds. I saw this first hand at Buist Academy on Wednesday morning as I briefly spoke with their Cafeteria Manager, Tanya Schaffer. Speaking with her, reminded me of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. To all our employees in these divisions, I send my sincere personal appreciation for a job well done!
My main message today is simple: “thank you.” Thank you to the parents for choosing our district. Thank you to all staff members for working tirelessly to ensure our students and parents would enter a world class learning environment. Thank you to all our business, faith-based and community partners for once again, rolling up your sleeves, and giving of your time, talent and resources. Hootie’s Homegrown Roundup, the Hands of Christ – uniform distribution program, the First Day Festival, and the North Charleston supply drive provided hundreds of area students with much needed supplies and resources.
Please watch the video below with some highlights from the First Day Festival and Hootie's Homegrown Roundup.
One final thank you – specifically – to our dedicated teachers. You worked hard getting your classrooms ready for success. It shows vividly how much you care. I am confident we are off to a great start!
-Dr. Nancy J. McGinley