It is difficult to believe that another school year has come to a close. It seems only yesterday we were preparing schools for our students’ return. While this school year has brought many challenges and successes to our school system, we have met those challenges because of a team effort on the part of all involved in our school system.
We, again, take this opportunity to thank our entire community for the support given to our schools and the acknowledgement that the education of our children is very important to the future of Avery County. From our businesses, we have also garnered tremendous support, not only financially, but also by allowing their personnel to come into our schools to mentor students, to proctor tests, and to provide contacts with positive adult role models.
In addition, we acknowledge the tremendous support on the part of parents, and we appreciate the concern for their children and their willingness to work with us to provide the best educational opportunities possible. We continue to believe that one of the most important relationships that can be established is between the home and the school. If we work together and support each other, the potential for success of every student is greatly enhanced.
However, we would be remiss if we did not thank our students for the great job they have done this year. We are proud of them, their accomplishments, and the way they represent our school system. We read the horror stories around our country about violence in schools, and while we know that could happen here, we are thankful for our outstanding Avery County Schools’ students. We can still have school-wide assemblies, feel comfortable inviting guests into our schools, and allow our students to represent us in extra-curricular activities without fear of problems and embarrassment. Students, thank you for being the people you are; and, parents, thank you for the lessons you have taught your children! You represent all of us very well.
Additionally, much of the success we have experienced this year must be attributed to the faculty and staff at each local school. Because of the hard work of our faculties and staffs, we provided clean, well-maintained buildings, an excellent transportation system, nutritious meals, as well as an educational program complimented by many across our state. Without these quality individuals, our school system would not be making the positive difference it is.
On another note, one of our school system’s goals is to provide students the opportunity to be successful in their pursuits. One area that measures their success is the testing program implemented by the state of North Carolina. Based on preliminary results, we did well again in the state accountability programs. Even though we are proud of the accomplishments we have made, we continue to set higher goals for the students of our school system. While we do understand that testing is important, we also understand it is not as important as the students we serve. Therefore, our desire continues to be to provide a well-rounded, balanced education for all our children so they are able to meet the demands of an ever-changing world. We cannot allow testing to dictate what we do for our children, but we must allow the needs of the children to dictate what we do for them. We are also proud of our seniors who are now ready to enter the next phase of their lives and are proud of the fact that the class of 2016 was awarded over $958,500 in scholarships.
As we talk about schools around the country, one major area of concern continues to be the issue of safe schools. We are proud of the many initiatives our Safe Schools Task Force, which consists of members representing all aspects of the schools and community, have helped put in place over the last several years. This hard working group of individuals tries to be on top of all school safety issues. One of the issues this Task Force has worked on is the new SPKUP app that can be used by our students and staff to report a safety concern or possible criminal act.
We believe in community schools and in empowering the communities to help their schools be successful. We also believe in empowering school faculties and staffs to establish rules and procedures that work best in their school, for we must do the best for the students we serve. Moreover, sometimes we must establish rules and procedures that will not be popular with every student but are necessary in maintaining order and discipline in the school environment. Therefore, our goal is for our Student Code of Conduct to mirror the expectations you, as the Avery County community, expect in our schools.
We believe in working with the community to make our schools the center of their communities. Likewise, we appreciate all our community does for our schools. As we work to make the Avery County Schools the best school system it can possibly be, we look forward to your continued support.
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