Greensboro, NC -- Guilford County Schools Superintendent Mo Green laid out the framework for the 2016 Strategic Plan, Thursday night.
The plan is called "Achieving Educational Excellence: Personalizing Learning," and focuses on four areas: Personalized Learning (Area I); Character, Service and Safety (Area II); Parent, Family and Community (Area III) and Educator and Organizational Excellence (Area IV).
Highlights of the plan include:
-Greater emphasis on virtual learning
-Increased arts integration
-A strengthened focus on cultural relevance and unbiased learning
-Accelerated school reform and a focus on equity throughout the plan
-Increased character development opportunities and recognition programs
-More emphasis on the social and emotional well-being of students
-Strengthened school safety and security
-Additional digital and broadcast content for parents through Guilford Parent Academy
-A greater focus on communications, service and responsiveness
-A new Parent Academy on the Go program that will reach more businesses and -community groups
-Adopting a national model for excellence as an organization
-Increasing operational efficiency by applying proven business strategies
Superintendent Green also updated the public on the status of the 2012 Strategic Plan. As of September 2012, 82 of 98 strategies set out in that plan, or 84 percent, were launched or completed. Fifteen strategies were placed on hold, mainly because of budget issues.
Several things contributed to the district's success. In the past few years, the district has gone from having 11 low performing schools to just one. A $30 million federal grant will buy tablets for all middle school students beginning next year. The district hopes to buy tablets for all students as funds become available. There are now 19 Honor Schools of Excellence where just 4 years ago, there was only 1.
"I think the schools are definitely growing and I'm finding real encouragement, especially with the newest superintendent. He's done a wonderful job," said Dawne Hodge, GCS parent.
"I want my child to excel and this is the best place for her to excel," said Jacqueline Payne, GCS parent.
In the last year, Guilford County Schools has seen an improvement in mathematics but Superintendent Green says there is room for improvement in reading - testing scores have gone down almost one point in the past year.
One tool that he says has helped is the million-book challenge and this year, with the support of WFMY's "Read to Succeed Program." Guilford County students read more than 3.2 million books!
"It's really sort of giving them something to shoot for and it's amazing how many young people say well I've read 'x' numbers of books, or I've read 'y' number of books and I think the program like WFMY then brings that more to life," explained Green. "[To] have the television personalities come out to the school and excite children in that way and talk about reading, I think only influences and helps our kids want to do better."
"I think it's about community and its about family and it's about kids and its probably about the most important educational element at the elementary school level and that is literacy, that is what we focused in on and that is what read to succeed is really aiming at- getting kids to understand that reading is fun, reading is great, it's cool - that reading is necessary to succeed in life," explained Larry Audas, WFMY President and General Manager.
To read the entire 2016 Strategic Plan, visit here
WFMY News 2, Guilford County Schools