Dear Parents, Students, and Citizens of Gates County:
On August 20, 2018, our new teachers returned back to school with a motivational and educational convocation. Our focus targeted Rigor, Relevance and Relationships! “At the heart of every school community is one very important word: Relationships. Relationships are what guide students to fulfill goals, they are what raise children to build empathy, and they are what tie communities together. The backbone of the home to school connection consists of relationships and the communication that makes them thrive” (Clara Galan).
There are many new and exciting things going on at our schools and throughout our school system:
- All schools have activated buzz-in systems with superfluous buzz-in entries at interior doors on the high school campus.
- We have secured School Resource Officers at the high school and middle school for the upcoming year. The request for School Resource Officers at every school has been submitted as well.
- Gates County students attended a robotics camp this summer at the Math and Science School in Durham. The Gates County 1st Ever Robotics Team will compete in a robotics competition in November in Hampton, Virginia. This is so exciting! According to the college professors in Durham, our kids left the camp with the knowledge to operate a camp with other students. This equates to future summer camps in Gates County inviting students in surrounding counties the opportunity to engage in robotics.
- We have purchased Lego robotics, Spheros and Oculus Rift technology for our students to engage in critical thinking, problem solving, curiosity and imagination in the classroom – Rigor & Relevance!
STEM EDUCATION THROUGH MOREHEAD UNIVERSITY
The Saunders Science Scholars Program will provide STEM related educational services to at least 10 students annually for a period of five years. This program is being funded privately at a total cost of $200,000 which is equal to $40,000 per year for five years. The Program is named in honor of Mr. Benjamin Saunders, retired Principal of TS Cooper Elementary School.
- All students will be provided the opportunity to apply and will be selected after a review of all applications as well as an interview session with each applicant.
- Science teachers at both Central Middle School and Gates County High School will be provided ongoing professional development that will aid them in developing lessons that are challenging, interesting and hands on for students in the area of Science.
- Students will attend regular Science and STEM related sessions on Saturdays that will be lead by Gates County teachers.
- Students will be able to engage in project-based learning activities.
- Students will be involved in a variety of cultural activities and events that will provide them with enriching experiences.
- All activities will involve STEM related curricula for students who are interested in the area of Science.
- The program is named in honor of Mr. Benjamin Saunders, retired Principal of TS Cooper Elementary School.
CENTRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
Tentative Schedule through December 2019
- Asbestos Abatement - currently in progress
- Mobilization Period
- Building Demolition- First week of September 2018 (4 weeks including haul off)
- New Construction/Renovation continues
- Project complete – Pending on work orders, weather, etc. according to AR Chesson, the Completion Date will be January 1, 2020.
- We will keep you updated on the progress!!
TEACHER SUPPLEMENT INCREASE
Gates County has not increased the local teacher salary supplement in several years. The current level of teacher salary supplements places Gates County at the bottom, when compared to area school districts. The county commissioners blessed the school system with our request to increase the local teacher salary supplements. We value our teachers’ dedication and commitment to teaching and learning. By doubling the teacher supplement, this will also assist in recruitment and retention with school districts in the region.
I would like to welcome back all of our returning students, and I would like to welcome our new students. Gates County Public Schools is an “Excel”lent school district with a major focus on safety and student achievement. We are proud to be “the best in the Northeast Region” because …
- The quality of instruction is excellent;
- Student academic proficiency increases;
- A culture of feedback improves performance and the effectiveness of initiatives;
- Principals are strong instructional leaders;
- Teachers have actively engaged classrooms;
- Teachers manufacture student leaders;
- Teachers grow individually and strengthen their craft through professional learning communities;
- Students value and take responsibility for their own education;
- Parents are engaged partners in the education of their children.
I want to encourage parents, grandparents, and community members to become involved in our schools and in our children and young adults education. It is my hope that everyone had a restful and blessed summer, and I am so excited and looking forward to an outstanding 2018-2019 school year. Please visit each school website to keep updated on upcoming school events.
Dr. Barry Williams, Superintendent of Schools