HAMLET – As the 2017-2018 school year began in Richmond County on Monday, August 28, 2017, Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman called the first week back a “total success.”
With approximately 7,700 students filling the classrooms of the district’s 15 fully accredited schools, RCS is excited for a new year with endless learning opportunities.
“We had an outstanding opening of school this week.,” Goodman said. “The teachers and staff have welcomed the students back as if they haven’t missed a beat. And the (district’s) staff’s planning, scheduling, and attention to every detail paid off.”
Everyone had a hand in the success of the first week, not just teachers and administrators, but also the “unsung heroes” including bus drivers, child nutritionists, custodians and security.
Goodman mentioned that she has visited each school across the county, and everywhere she has been, she’s been pleased with what she’s seen. Every principal spoke highly of his or her staff and students, which promises this year to be an academic success. Classrooms at all levels across the district are equipped with various technologies, with instruction gearing students for success at the post-secondary level.
Along with academic instruction, RCS prides itself on giving students the opportunity to excel in athletic and extracurricular activities. Goodman noted that, “coaches at the middle and high school levels are hard at work preparing students for the fall season, and the community is encouraged to come out and support our teams.”
School buses began their regular routes as well, and according to Corey Davis, Director of Transportation, by Thursday the buses were smoothly running their routes in a timely manner.
Students who returned to RSHS found recently-name Principal of the Year Jim Butler ready to take on this year’s challenges.
“We had a very good opening week,” Butler said. “The students have been very positive, our teachers are prepared, and I am very excited about what we can accomplish this year.
“We have made some changes,” Butler continued. “We’ll continue to look for ways to improve RSHS. I appreciate the patience and support of the staff and our great student body.”
One of the district’s primary concerns this school year is the transition of Cordova School students to the Ninth Grade Academy and Richmond Senior High School. RCS also closed Rohanen Middle School in East Rockingham, and have since sent those students to the former Cordova School building, renaming it Cordova Middle School.
Acknowledging the community’s concern regarding the move these students, several members of RCS’ central office staff are keeping a close eye on it, including Dr. Amber Watkins, Director of Exceptional Children. Even after just five days back in the classroom, it’s been reported by Goodman that, “the move has been incredibly smooth and rewarding. All (students and staff) seem to be adjusting very well.”
This school year will be geared towards building on the successes of last year. During the 2016-2017 school year, the county’s the test scores increased, student and staff attendance increased, and suspensions decreased, while continuing to keep the schools safe and orderly.
“This school year, (RCS’) central office will be scheduling a few additional district-wide planning days at the request of the teachers,” Goodman said. “Teachers value the time spent with other teachers, and the children benefit from this as well. We believe our students’ successes are a direct result of quality planning and instruction. We are looking forward to another great school year!”
RCS is looking forward to see what this year has to offer, as the community is encouraged to work together to support the development of students and district faculty.