By John Strycker
Many students drop by my office over the summer to say hi. I always ask them, “Are you ready for school to begin?” I am very pleased that the majority of our students are ready to return to school.
In most cases they are excited to see a favorite teacher or coach or to get involved in a school activity. Hearing these responses makes me very proud of our school staff who make our children feel loved and missed.
An environment where children want to be at school builds a strong foundation for their future.
My message for our school community heading into the 2019-20 school year is that we must stick to our plan. Like the Chinese bamboo tree that I referenced last year in a newsletter, true sustainable positive change requires a strong foundation, which takes time to construct.
The Chinese bamboo tree can take up to five years to sprout growth; but with proper water, soil, sunshine and patience, it can grow up to 80 feet in just six weeks!
We will continue to focus on the “Whole Child” because we understand that children need nurturing to grow physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. We will also continue to focus on student growth and proficiency levels. With such a focus, it will be vital that we ensure our students are at grade-level from as early an age as possible.
For example, the ACT test is an assessment used to measure many years of education. If our students fall behind grade-level at an early age, this compounds as they proceed through school. Therefore, we will continue to focus extra attention at the early elementary grades so that our students not only show academic growth, but remain proficient for each grade-level.
With our current plan, like the Chinese bamboo tree, once we begin to demonstrate growth on tests like the ACT, our growth will be steady and sustainable for years to come.
I look forward to seeing the students on the first day of school, Monday, August 5th. I also look forward to seeing our staff for Opening Day, Friday, August 2nd at 7:30 a.m. at Greenville High School. I am excited to see our parents and school community members at the Open Houses and other school events over the next couple weeks and into the school year.