New school year brings fresh opportunities

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 7, 2011

On the eve of a new school year, the Vicksburg Warren School District is showing improvement, but still has much work to do. It will take a team effort. School doors open Monday as the district awaits word from the Mississippi Department of Education to see if it has moved from “At Risk of Failing” to either “Low Performing” or “Academic Watch.”

Advancing past At Risk of Failing will provide the district a bit of good news. On a seven-step scale, the VWSD found itself second to last. We can do better.

Each May, students statewide take the MCT2 proficiency tests. Those scores are computed and districts are placed in one of the seven categories. The state’s 2010-11 Accountability Ratings report is scheduled to be released in the coming weeks. We are hopeful for positive news that shows the district here can excel. It will take a team effort to get our schools to the point where they can compete statewide in academics.

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First, the students. The summer is over. Enter the school building on Monday, having left the summer behind. Learn, read and study. Knowledge is power. Hit the ground running by getting ahead of the curve. Work like you never worked before. Pay attention in class. Don’t let your actions reflect negatively on your classmates, teachers or family. Discipline yourself to chart your future course. Enjoy learning. A busy brain is a full brain.

Second, teachers, don’t get frustrated. Teach this year with passion. Teachers and students must work in tandem to get this district to excel. This county is blessed with a wealth of fine teachers. Be the teacher whom students 20 years from now will still remember as being‚ “the best.”

Third, parents, get involved. Students spend about seven hours a day in the classroom. Learning should not end with the school bell, however. Engage your children with questions deeper than “How was your day?” Explore with them. Learn with them. No one is ever too old to learn. Stay involved. Participate in school activities. Let your child know you care as much as he or she does. Be an example.

The slate is clean. The dawn of the new school year brings with it possibilities of greatness. The VWSD still has many hills to climb to reach levels of the state’s elite schools. Nothing says our children, our teachers and our parents cannot lead that charge.

The future of this county is in the hands of those 9,000 students.

Be a part of the solution.

And have a great school year.