- Baldwin County Public Schools
- Superintendent Notices
04.01022 Superintendent Update
I hope this email finds you well and enjoying this fantastic spring weather!
We have been without controversy for so long that I feel like we've lost touch with each other!
When we return from Spring Break, we will have about six weeks left in the school year. For some that is exciting and for others, it is a reminder that they need to plan for some summer activities before the kids come home. This week has also been a reminder of where we were just two years ago as we left for Spring Break not knowing if we would return to school and not knowing just exactly what COVID was or meant to us.
These last two years, since this time in 2020, have been life-changing. They have been terminal for many and hard for everyone. We have learned a lot and I think we are better today than we were before. I know I've grown and learned in many areas I have never otherwise experienced in my 40 plus years as an educator, but I am also glad we are done with this phase.
I am very grateful to you for your patience as we have rebuilt our academic momentum coming out of COVID. I am very grateful for our kids who have put up with so much. Their loss of time and memories has pained me and I am grateful that with this school year we are 100% back to our pre-COVID activities as I committed to you in the fall.
I am very grateful to our teachers and our 4,000 employees who worked with us to make sure your children stayed in the classrooms! There are so many places across the country where the politicians and unions kept schools closed and kids at home. We could not have come through this without the support and hard work from these amazing people!
Over this next month, we will perform academic assessments throughout our system. We have already seen evidence that our test scores are coming back strong. I am told to expect more improvements from our upcoming ACT testing and I am told that our elementary academic progress is back on track with our pre-COVID projections.
Our graduations are just around the corner and we are looking forward to what I am told could be the largest graduating scholarship class in the history of Baldwin County! The class of 2022 is on track to set a record in college acceptance and scholarships. With graduations the third week of May, there isn't much time left to prepare but these seniors don't need it. They appear ready to take the next step, so senior parents - keep up the good work!
Folks, you would be living in a cave if you haven't noticed the influx of new residents into Baldwin County. We are doing our best to keep up! We are building new capacity at a rate never before seen anywhere in Alabama. We are working on four school expansions and four new elementary schools. These expansion schools are being built with cash money - no long-term debt and much of this funding is being paid for by the fine tourists coming to our area to visit which reduces the burden on our local taxpayers.
This summer we expect to announce a brand new high-school concept for career tech students in partnership with Coastal Alabama. At this new high school, our students will have the opportunity to join an immersive education school for technology and workforce development modeled after schools in Texas and across the country. We have created partnerships never before seen with regional industry, economic development leaders, our state leadership in Montgomery and the county commission. I am so excited about this project scheduled to open in 2024. I am in awe at the impact it will have on our communities and the opportunity it will provide for our students - I cannot wait to share more details with you this summer!
We've shared a lot of good news here but I also want to discuss a serious issue. Many years back I lost my son to an accident when he was only 18. I wouldn't wish that pain and suffering upon anyone. Over the last few years, I have been stung by the news of a student or students who suffer tragedy as we come upon the end of school and I relive my own personal pain in each of these moments.
Spring Break brings upon a wild side for so many students who want to let off steam and have fun. Far too often that fun goes too far. Reckless driving, accidents, alcohol and drugs have cost us too many students. Parents, please take a moment to talk with your kids about responsibility and safety. It's easy to say but important to do. You will never realize the impact of those moments until tragedy falls upon you. I pray that never happens. Do your part to make sure they are prepared.
While you encourage your older students to be safe, go forth and enjoy this break but please have your kids prepared to do well with our assessments and finish this 2022 school year with amazing results. Thank you so very much for your patience and support over these last two years. On behalf of our 4,000 employees, thank you for trusting us with your children.