SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va (WRIC) — 8News reached out to every school system in Central Virginia to see how superintendents are preparing for the coming school year. Here is what Superintendent Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon of Southampton County had to say.
What do you believe your school system’s biggest strength is?
Our school division’s biggest strength is our people. Our staff members, students, parents, and community members, work collaboratively to provide a world-class education for our students academically, socially, and emotionally. I believe that Southampton County Public Schools has the best staff in the world and we are committed to inspiring students to be their best and to do their best. Evidence of our greatness can be found at any school. From kindergartners coding, to middle schoolers flying drones, to high schoolers participating in nursing, culinary arts, or agriculture; all of our students have an opportunity to engage in an area that speaks to their curiosities.
What are you most looking forward to this school year?
I am looking forward to seeing the bright eyes of our students as they continue to explore and discover learning in our school system. I am also looking forward to our teachers continuing to share their expertise with our students and our community. Knowing that we are changing lives, we are increasing the probability that each of our children will be equipped to meet the demands of the future workforce. Building the skills they need to “find and claim themselves and their place in this world.” We know that what we do today determines their tomorrows.
What changes can parents expect to see in your school system this year?
We pride ourselves on only making small incremental necessary changes while maintaining the fidelity of our school division’s mission. Southampton has become a major force in education because of the way in which we consider all stakeholders prior to investing in and implementing new programs or initiatives. A few key changes that our parents will see this year are:
● Adding One to One (1:1) iPad Initiative at Southampton High School
● Increasing cybersecurity course offerings and continuing to work with computer coding
● Strengthening pre-k programs by adding more training and a robust curriculum
● Teaching students to build 3-D printers
● Expanding our certified nurse’s assistant program
● Updating bus routing and parent notification software
● Adding a school safety officer at an elementary school
● Implementing a school safety preparedness tool
● Updating infrastructure
● Replacing existing roofs on all schools (new roofs)
4. Is there anything else you want parents to know ahead of this school year?
I want the parents to know that we are extremely excited about the opportunities that Southampton Public Schools will provide. Our goal is to assist students, teachers, and all employees in moving from inspired to inspiring, and from ordinary to extraordinary. We will continue to strive to provide their child(ren) with the highest quality educational experience possible.