A new year brings optimism for Guilford County SchoolsWhitney Oakley, Ed.D. / February 2, 2024
The onset of a new year always sparks reflection and a renewed dedication to progression and growth. It serves as a reminder of the great distances covered, and the journey still ahead.
The reflection of the significant journey taken by Guilford County Schools (GCS) over this past year is a testament to the dedication of its students, staff, and community. Along with shedding the low-performing district designation, GCS also has the top-ranking elementary, middle, and high schools in North Carolina, as recognized by the US News & World Report. Additionally, two GCS high schools stand out as the only ones in the state ranked among the top 50 in the nation this year, with one being the number one high school in the entire nation. These are just a fraction of the accomplishments Guilford County Schools has achieved this past year.
As the second half of the 2023-2024 school year commences, the district continues to make strides in its commitment to being the best place to learn, work, and grow. Here are some exciting updates and developments that bring me optimism for 2024.
Six additional telehealth clinics will open this year, giving students at Fairview, Wiley, Peck, Falkener, Oak Hill and Vandalia Elementary Schools access to acclaimed in-house care thanks to the district’s ongoing partnerships with Cone Health, Guilford Education Alliance and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.
Guilford County Schools secured $3.7 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to collaborate with the Kellin Foundation and North Carolina for Community and Justice to implement a mental health program across multiple district high schools. This is in addition to the nearly $18 million investment GCS was already making to support mental health.
While CNBC has named North Carolina America’s Top State for Business for the second consecutive year, the state still lags behind in terms of public education funding and teacher pay. Partnerships like the ones GCS has with the business and non-profit community emphasize the importance of tackling this matter and striving to improve public education in the state.
Exciting construction news and updates are also expected in 2024. Claxton Elementary is expected to open in August of this year, and Foust Elementary, Peck K-8, Kiser Middle and Brooks Global Studies will follow closely behind with projected openings in January 2025. We are also deploying $500 million in deferred maintenance, safety and technology upgrades across the district.
GCS has been and will continue to be the best option for families by providing innovative, world-class choices for its students. Even more educational pathways are launching this year.
Also in 2024, families will have additional time to enroll their children in Kindergarten. The application window was moved from April to open on January 31.
The journey continues, and with each step, Guilford County Schools is shaping a future where every student can learn and grow, because public education isn’t mine or yours. Public education belongs to all of us, and it will take all of us working together to ensure it is strong today and tomorrow. The possibilities are boundless, and optimism is high for a great 2024.