CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Opinion

August 4, 2010

Back to School

Cullman — The start of the school year is just around the corner and you can feel the excitement in the air! While most students have enjoyed a break from their academic studies, school personnel have been extremely busy preparing for the new school year. Teachers have spent their summer break attending various professional development training sessions and workshops to insure they meet the instructional needs of their students and increase student achievement. They have spent countless hours developing lesson plans, organizing their classrooms, putting up bulletin boards and creating an atmosphere conducive to learning. School principals have been busy developing class schedules, reviewing student data, and planning for the new school year. They, along with maintenance personnel, have worked tirelessly completing summer projects, making minor repairs to buildings and waxing floors to insure our facilities are the best they can be.

Child Nutrition workers have attended training on safe food preparation and are preparing paperwork to be ready for the students’ arrival back to school. The Transportation Department has inspected our fleet of buses and provided training for bus drivers to assure the safety of students as they are transported to and from school. Our school nurses have also attended health seminars and workshops which validates their commitment to meet the health needs of all students each and every day. It is evident that all Cullman County School employees are dedicated to providing the best for our students.

We are proud of our district for obtaining accreditation from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS). This is a prestigious honor that was achieved by all schools and the Central Office working together to insure that we provide a quality education for our students. All school personnel are to be commended for their hard work and efforts to accomplish this goal. Working together, we will fulfill our ongoing mission to provide a quality education for every student, every day! 

Student safety continues to be a top priority. We have increased the number of surveillance cameras on our school campuses. School safety plans are updated yearly and administrators and other school personnel participate in training to assure our schools are safe. Safety drills are practiced routinely so that we are prepared to handle emergency situations as they arise. School Resource Officers (SRO’s) are located on every high school campus and are provided through a partnership with the Sheriff’s Office. These officers also administer the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program to students in several elementary and middle school grades. We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for student learning. 

We strive to make Cullman County Schools the best and a great place to learn. The Cullman County School system, as well as other school systems in our state and nation, is faced with balancing our needs with our resources. A decline in state appropriations and local revenues presents a funding challenge for our school system. We are attempting to overcome this challenge by continuing to do more with less. Our students are competitive. In spite of reduced funding, we will strive to have our students continue to compete at high academic and athletic levels. As a system, our 2010 graduates obtained over seven million dollars in scholarship money. Our students are our greatest asset and will continue to be the priority of every decision we make.

Despite reduced funding, there is a ray of hope. We are fortunate to have the support of many individuals and businesses. Our Adopt-a-School sponsors provide so much support for the schools locally. We are also pleased to have the establishment of the Student Investment Fund (SIF). This foundation was established to specifically address the arts, music, science, math and character education programs as well as provide extra money to the classroom. The Student Investment Foundation has a separate governing board and welcomes individual and business donations. We are anxious to see this program grow and are encouraged by the help it will offer our teachers and students. 

We are proud of what we have accomplished in Cullman County Schools. We encourage parents to continue to be involved in their child’s education by staying informed and participating in school functions. We know our students are among the best in the state. Working together we can improve test scores, increase the graduation rate and fulfill our academic dreams. Today’s Cullman County students are tomorrow’s leaders. We look forward to the upcoming school year and ask parents and community members to join us in our quest for excellence. This is an opportunity for us to make 2010-2011 the best year ever! I look forward to seeing you soon. 

 

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