Greetings I-SS Families, Friends and Supporters!
The 2019-20 school year is filled with hope and great expectations for each of our nearly 21,000 children. We greatly appreciate the faith that our parents place in us to ensure our students’ safety, well-being and academic success. We are committed to helping every child have a great day, every day of this new school year.
Each of our 36 schools are devoted to our mission of ensuring that every student receives a high quality, relevant education in a safe and caring environment. Our purpose is simply this - to produce confident, responsible and globally competitive citizens.
To inspire our 2,500 staff members as they perform their daily duties, we are guided by our five core values which we express as belief statements. Those values include:
- WE BELIEVE, that strong relationships and partnerships built on trust between all members of our organization and our community are essential to meeting our goals. THEREFORE, we will commit to working together to ensure open communication in a safe, trusting, respectful environment.
- WE BELIEVE, our primary focus is students and learning. THEREFORE, we will commit to providing personalized, challenging, and engaging learning opportunities for both students and staff, to take ownership of their learning and; to challenge ourselves and others to continue to improve through analysis and reflection on data and practices.
- WE BELIEVE, that individuals working together in teams with a united focus are more efficient, more effective and achieve greater results. THEREFORE, we will commit to working together to achieve our goals; to empower and engage others in our work and learning; to be respectful in our interactions; to hold ourselves accountable for the team’s success and to recognize that everyone can make a positive contribution.
- WE BELIEVE, in holding all students and staff to high expectations to ensure that all students graduate prepared for successful and productive futures. We are committed to embracing challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth and innovation. THEREFORE, we will commit to using accurate and relevant data to make decisions; to continuously improve our instruction, operations, and interactions; to keep our focus on successful results.
- WE BELIEVE, that all actions and decisions are rooted in fairness, respect, honesty and openness. THEREFORE, we will commit to conducting ourselves in a civil and forthright manner in all our interactions; to making all decisions in an equitable, honorable and transparent manner.
I-SS is committed to innovation and being responsive to the needs of our parents, students and the community. With this commitment in mind, this year we are celebrating the deployment of our new innovative year-round school calendar. This new calendar will align I-SS with Mooresville Graded School District and Mitchell Community College. Our calendar will allow seniors to finish exams before the Christmas holidays and allow early graduates to begin their college experience in January rather than waiting a semester. This calendar also allows the families of Iredell County to better plan vacations and family activities without the complexities of navigating three separate school calendars. Students in I-SS will also have a plethora of courses for enrichment and remediation, including courses for partial and full credits, due to the flexibility that this innovative calendar offers.
This year, I-SS will maintain its partnership with Iredell County Economic Development, the Statesville and Mooresville Chambers of Commerce and employers in the community to continue our BLUEPRINT Initiative and the use of the EdgeFactor to help our students and parents become fully aware of the many outstanding career opportunities here in Iredell County. We will be working closely with the Board of Education to refine course offerings in career and technical education this year and provide new career pathways aligned to job opportunities in the local economy.
I-SS takes a great deal of pride in our academic choice offerings for parents and students. We will continue to strengthen these options and work to expand opportunities to our students and parents. This year you will see increased efforts to expand our International Baccalaureate schools, our Spanish Dual Immersion programs, and our highly successful early college programs. We will also expand the iACADEMY, which was North Carolina’s first public school-home school partnership, to the Mooresville area. We plan to explore the feasibility of opening a Montessori program in Statesville and Mooresville for the 2020-21 school year. We are hopeful that in the near future Mandarin Chinese, both face-to-face and digitally, will be offered to our students. Of course, our commitment to digital learning remains strong. I-SS will continue to expand choice offerings for online classes to include elementary, middle and high school students.
Of all of our duties and responsibilities, there is none more important than assuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff. In 2019, thanks to the hard work and partnership between the Board of Education and County Commissioners, I-SS will greatly enhance our commitment to safety with additional School Resource Officers in all middle and high schools and a part-time SRO in all elementary schools. You will also see improved security in the way of fencing, enhanced access security, improved camera systems, monitoring of social media, reporting/communication apps, upgraded mass notification system, upgraded classroom door locks and safety and security training for our staff. Please know that addressing the safety and well-being of our students is a never-ending endeavor. We remain committed to continually monitoring this challenge and making ongoing improvements.
The 2019-20 school year will also see the completion of our two new middle schools; Third Creek Middle School and Woodland Heights Middle School. These schools will open for students in August of 2020. The Board of Education is committed to addressing the growth in our community and ensuring that our students have adequate and safe facilities. This year you will see projects begin including classroom additions at Lakeshore Elementary, a new Career & Technical Education/multipurpose building at SHS and renovations and the addition of Career & Technical Education shops/classrooms at WIHS. We are committed to working with the Facilities Task Force to continue to monitor long-term facility needs.
Finally, I think it is important for parents and community members to know that in our district, our work is guided by our strategic plan. This plan is developed with input from all stakeholders. Our plan is our roadmap which is aligned to the State Board of Education’s goals and comprised of measurable objectives that are widely shared in our organization. In 2019, I-SS is fully committed to ensuring that our efforts are focused on these five objectives:
- Every student graduates from high school prepared for work and/or further education and citizenship
- Every student has a personalized education
- Every student, every day, has an excellent educator
- Every student is healthy, safe and responsible
- I-SS has up-to-date financial, business and technology systems to serve our students and assure a good return on the investment made by our parents and taxpayers
I-SS is a nationally recognized school district driven by our commitment to the concept of continuous self-improvement. We strive to have this growth mindset modeled in each classroom and every department throughout our school system. We will partner with you to help each student have a personalized education plan and an advocate for each child under our care. I personally believe that public schools are every communities future and every child’s chance. If I can be of service to you this school year, please feel free to contact me.
In the best interest of children,