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Grissom column: 2007-08 was a rewarding school year

What a year! The 2007-2008 school year has come to a close. We are proud of the high school students who have walked across the stage, received a diploma, and are headed to universities, community colleges, the workforce or the military. We wish for each of them a successful future.
The Rowan-Salisbury School System has had a very productive and busy year. As I reflect on the year, I would like to share some of the accomplishments and events that have taken place.
– Opening a new school, Shive Elementary
– Expansion of literacy coaches to all middle and high schools
– Adoption of recommendations from an active Middle Schools Task Force
– Adoption of recommendations from an active Exceptional Children/English As A Second Language Task Force
– Sponsoring six parent focus groups ó one in each school zone
– Completion of our first parent survey, with 5,390 responses
– Completion of our first Customer Service audit with follow-up training for 215 staff members
– Creation of district accreditation study and accumulation of artifacts for site visit ó unanimously approved for district accreditation
– Annual report to the community breakfast and written report
– Publication of 1st Year Accomplishments on the District Plan
– Co-sponsoring the Education Summit with Rowan Partners for Education ó more than 1,000 attendees hear Dr. Willard Daggett
– Development of a plan for the first Rowan Early College Program on the campus of RCCC to open in the fall of 2008
– Revamping of the alternative school to include an Alternative to Suspension Program, community service program, new placement process, differentiated diploma and applied control theory training for the staff
– Development of a credit recovery program for high school students
– Training of assistant principals on classroom walkthroughs
– Selection and training of model 21st Century Classroom teachers
– Winning three state blue ribbon awards for our Annual Report, news article on “Understanding AYP” and the RSS Web site
– Increasing the writing scores at all three grade spans
– Recognition of 14 cafeterias with “Awards of Excellence” from the Department of Public Instruction
– Hanford Dole and North Elementary received federal grant funds for promoting fresh fruit and vegetable consumption
– Representing the school system at 17 job fairs
– Completion of projects at North Rowan High School n completion of paved service road, rebuilding of running track and tennis courts, and completion of renovations to convert a classroom to a Family and Consumer Science Learning Lab
– Replacement of sections of roofs at Landis, South Rowan High, Knox Middle, Erwin Middle and West Rowan High
– Completion of a hardware and software upgrade to the telephone systems at six middle schools, five high schools, five elementary schools, the transportation department, Long Street and Ellis Street administrative offices
– Implementation of the IMPACT technology model at nine elementary schools
– Development of vertical teams in middle and high schools
– Implementation of 21st Century After School program through a federal grant
– Selection and funding for 31 matching projects
I have mentioned only a few of the many activities that have taken place this year. As we wait on the results of all of the End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests, I know that these assessments cannot begin to show the amount of hard work, dedication, and effort that has been displayed throughout the school year.
I want to say thank you everyone for working hard throughout the school year. It takes a combined effort of dedicated and committed staff members to implement the needed changes in our schools.
Thank you to our board of education for implementing polices, making the tough decisions, and pushing our system forward to achieve higher standards.
Thank you to the business leaders, our faith community, and our officials for standing behind our schools, offering the visible and financial support require to move forward in increasing student achievement as we prepare for a brighter future for our children and community.
It has been a rewarding year for me to be part of a school system and member of a community that is willing to do the necessary work and make the necessary decisions to move our schools into the 21st century.
– – –
Dr. Judy Grissom is superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools System.

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