WESTMORELAND 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 Dr. Michael Perry of Westmoreland County has to say.
What do you believe your school system’s biggest strength is?
As a rural division, our biggest strength is our community and its “small town atmosphere”. Our teachers and staff are a diverse group of educators who quickly describe themselves as family. Many of our teachers have taught two and three generations of one family. Many teachers themselves come from several generations of Westmoreland County educators. One of our strongest civic groups is our retired educators. As a result, if a student is in need of assistance, the community addresses the needs quickly.
What are you most looking forward to this school year?
Last year all our schools were fully accredited. We hope to once again attain that status. We look forward to an acceleration in the implementation of project based learning (PBL). But we also look with anticipation the beginning of construction for a new high school. We don’t build new schools here often. The last one was built over fifty years ago. Our current high school was built when Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star Spangled Banner”. The process has been long, stressful, and strenuous. But this school year, we hope to break ground and begin construction of the new school.
What changes can parents expect to see in your school system this year?
This year our continued focus is on Project Based Learning and Bullying Prevention. Parents can expect to see more occasions to see demonstrated student competencies through authentic projects. Parents will also be familiarized with Olweus, a bullying prevention program this year. Counselors from the schools, attended extensive training on the program and have begun to train the rest of the staff.
Is there anything else you want parents to know ahead of this school year?
We are very excited about our upcoming school year. The breaking of ground for the new high school will symbolize the tone for the change that is a part of Westmoreland County Public Schools. Westmoreland Schools has incredible students who are achieving outstanding academic, athletic, and community service accomplishments. We are choosing to let them tell “their stories” as opposed to them being defined by others. Lastly, we have been holding focus groups to gain input as we develop our new Strategic Plan and develop the Profile of a Westmoreland County Graduate
Westmoreland County Public Schools is an incredible district filled with kind and generous instructors, caring staff, and wonderful students and families. We have raised the bar for excellence and invite families to become a part of this educational journey. Visit us to observe “Eagles Launch” in 2020!!