By Stephen H. Baldwin
New Greenbrier County Schools Website
During the summers, I used to work with my grandfather – mowing grass, working around the house, and (mostly) shaking our head at tractors that sat in the garage more often than they ran. I treasure those days. He liked to start conversations about grand topics like the relationship between science and religion. I didn’t say much, because I didn’t know much. He soon began sending me home with books to read. When I returned the next day, I faced an oral quiz.
Albert Einstein was one of his favorites. I tried my best to read the first assignment, “The Special Theory of Relativity.” I did read it, but I confessed to him that I understood little. “That’s fine,” he said. “I’ll explain it to you.”
In that way, he began to teach me the difference between “information” and “communication.” Information is handed down from one person to another – reading a book or listening to a lecture. Conversation is entered into by multiple persons – question and answer or dialogue, for example.
Information is the first step, and I am thrilled that Greenbrier County Schools has taken a major step in making information about our school system available to the public. As citizens, you should be able to access GCS policies, finances, meeting minutes, contact information, and important dates. You now have that opportunity, merely by visiting their new website: http://www.GreenbrierCountySchools.org.
The site includes a wealth of information for students, parents, and community members. You can watch a video message from the Superintendent (filmed each month at Greenbrier West), sign up for text alerts about school closings, view the calendar, and find the agenda of our next meeting. If you’re looking for information about a particular school, you can access a web page for each school as well.
My grandfather preferred books to the computer, as perhaps some of you still do, but he recognized the remarkable opportunity it provides people in gaining access to information. What would have taken a large library to contain can now be found on one website.
Einstein once said, “Information is not knowledge.” I can attest to that, for simply reading his book did not mean I understood it! Information is only the first step in communicating, and I hope this website provides a platform for the county to communicate in an open and transparent way about the educational system we provide our children.
Please visit the site, send your feedback (because the site must be practical and user-friendly), and join the conversation as summer ends and a new school year begins!
The Rev. Stephen Baldwin is the Minister of Ronceverte Presbyterian Church and member of the Board of Education. He can be reached at Stephen.H.Baldwin@gmail.com.