By David Esteppe
Greenbrier County Schools (GCS) Superintendent Sallie E. Dalton has some powerful welcoming words for the community as the school year begins.
“Our identity and our mission as a county school system are strong. Our dedication to being your community school system is unwavering, even as we adhere to the multitude of regulations, state and federal laws, and state policies that guide our work. With five elected board members representing districts throughout the county; schools that are firmly rooted in their communities; and a dedicated team of staff members with ties to every school community in the county; we want you to know how humbled we are to have the opportunity to work for you and your children,” Dalton says.
Dalton went on to explain that a quality education begins at home, is strengthened by the time honored traditions of our communities, and is solidified by strong instructional focus with clear and consistent learning goals for the students.
GCS, grades 1-12, started school on Aug. 6 for five days of orientation and settling in to the new term. After the break for the State Fair of WV, grades 1-12 will resume the school year.
Aug. 25 will be the first day of kindergarten and pre-K/Head Start will begin on Aug. 27.
The 2015-16 calendar includes scheduled two-hour early dismissals and delays to allow for Professional Learning Communities (PLC). In PLCs, teachers collaborate to learn new teaching strategies; improve activities and units of study to ensure student mastery; and create common assessments that focus on the results of instruction. According to a GCS press release, students benefit from this process by being provided opportunities to increase achievement before they fail. The time spent in PLCs is not lost instructional time. Every school in Greenbrier County has more instructional time than the state requires. The extra minutes are “banked” and used to provide time for PLCs and typical weather delays. The early dismissal dates are listed on the GCS website www.greenbriercountyschools.org.
GCS also encourages all eligible students to apply for free or reduced meals. The Child Nutrition Department has made it easy for families to submit a “Schools Meal Application” quickly and confidentially through the online process. Go to www.wvschoolmeals.net to save time and apply.
“We thank each and every parent and community member for the many ways you help us as we provide our children the very best education,” Dalton concluded.