|School Board Superintendent's Message Return to District Home Page|
December 12, 2016
With the holiday season already upon us and the New Year approaching, I’m reminded of how quickly the school year has passed. I’m encouraged by the progress of our students, as well as the advances we’ve already made this year on their behalf. Elementary students have enjoyed a new online mathematics resource, DreamBox; our new Health Sciences Specialty Center is underway at Hanover High School; and two new Advance College Academies welcomed their first classes of students at Lee-Davis and Patrick Henry High Schools. In addition, the school board approved a new strategic plan this fall that will guide our work over the next several years and help ensure our students continue to receive an exceptional education.
The major themes, both in our first months of school and woven throughout our strategic plan, are “equity” and “relevance.” Simply stated, equity is the recognition that each student is an individual learner and each needs appropriate, rigorous educational opportunities. We have worked diligently to put supports in place at each school that will assist in meeting the needs of all learners. Relevance is making connections from the lessons in the classroom to the world in which students live and will someday work. We know that when students can understand the connection between a classroom lesson and “real life,” engagement increases significantly. This lends itself to higher student achievement, and our teachers have been doing a great job of bringing the classroom to life this year.
The strategic plan process also accentuated the importance of our community. Many teams comprised of various stakeholders worked tirelessly to produce a plan that will assist us in continuing our tradition of excellence. This input was critical as I firmly believe that a school division is a direct reflection of the community it serves.
Recognizing the importance of partnerships, we have pursued new opportunities, as well expanded those already in existence. A Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council was formed to cultivate stronger partnerships with our local businesses and ensure our students are career-ready upon graduation. A new Faith Leaders’ Breakfast series began last month in an effort to explore how we can better partner with our faith-based community and serve the needs of our respective communities. The Superintendent’s Student Advisory groups will now meet multiple times throughout the year to allow for greater input, and a Budget Advisory Committee has been assisting with prioritizing needs throughout the budget development process.
Hanover County Public Schools has so much to be thankful for, and we celebrate this special time of year along with you. However you choose to spend it, we hope you’re able to take a respite from the demands of life and enjoy time with family and friends. Thank you for your continued support of our school division, and we look forward to a wonderful 2017!