Last item for navigation
Message from the Superintendent: Committed to world-class in an unprecedented year
Superintendent Dr. Terry OattsMay 22, 2020

As we are wrapping up the 2019-20 school year, I wanted to pause to reiterate my profound gratitude to you for your tremendous patience, perseverance, and professionalism as we’ve navigated a public health crisis unprecedented in our lifetime.

To our students and families, I salute and commend your resiliency as you were forced to adapt to a global pandemic that proved to be as disruptive as it is historic. While our students are most definitely digital natives, I personally understand the challenging nature of immediately transitioning from direct instruction provided by engaging and personable teachers within classrooms to our digital learning management system and videoconferencing tools that understandably did not always resonate in the same way as direct and personal instruction.

To our teachers, thank you for your commitment and dedication to affording students some remarkable learning experiences all school year but particularly within the last two months during our school closure. Your resolve during our digital independent learning has enabled our district to analyze and assess our digital infrastructure so that we can continue to improve and enhance our overall digital capacity.

To our principals and other administrative personnel, I commend your amazing work ethic during this public health crisis as you’ve demonstrated sound digital leadership under some extenuating circumstances. Your quality assurance and support of our schools’ professional learning communities have been exemplary in many respects.

With regard to our school-level and district-based classified and certified support personnel, I am indeed grateful to you for your substantial specialized and technical support of our instructional and administrative personnel. Your support services - such as driving thousands of miles facilitating the delivery of over a quarter million meals to our families, providing countless hours of tech support to staff and students, ensuring the continuity of payroll processing, and maintaining our facilities - are essential to the success of our efforts.

Notwithstanding these challenges, what inevitably carried the day was our world-class people!

I’d also like to bring you up to speed on our ongoing efforts and planning to ensure a safe reopening of our district’s schools for the 2020-21 school year. I have impaneled three distinct committees to work on critical aspects of ensuring a safe reopening of schools. These committees are the Alternative Calendars Committee, Alternative Schedules Committee, and the Reopening Schools Committee. These committees are chaired or facilitated by key members of my Executive and Senior Cabinets, and they have specific functions which are developing multiple alternative 2020-21 school calendars that feature a later start date for staff and students; designing alternative schedules for our elementary/middle/high schools that are conducive to adherence to prevailing public health guidance on social distancing and other mitigation measures; and establishing comprehensive procedural guidelines for safely reopening our schools. I will receive the recommendations of the aforementioned committees and carefully deliberate and make a final decision on our 2020-21 School Calendar, Schedules, and Reopening Guidelines. This pertinent information will be promptly communicated to our Board, our district’s employees and our school communities and families.

Despite these challenges, we remain committed to achieving world-class results for our students. Please know that I will continue to keep you informed throughout the summer on final decisions on all these key issues, and we will of course share such decisions via our website and social media. Stay safe and find creative ways to enjoy the summer break with your family. Thanks for all you do!

Dr. Terry O. Oatts
Rockdale County Public Schools