CLAYTON – Arnie the Apostrophe was one of the main characters discussed during Ms. Jennifer Medlin’s classroom visit this morning by Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy, Area Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Patty Whittington, Riverwood Elementary principal Leigh White, and Chief Academic Officer Anna Kuykendal.
Walk-in classroom visits of this sort have become a norm in the district. Dr. Bracy and senior leadership has placed a lot of emphasis on having administration in the classrooms and providing in-person support. “Students, particularly at the elementary level, love seeing and interacting with their principals. It shows them that they care,” noted Dr. Bracy.
Johnston County Public Schools is embarking on the final semester of a multi-year initiative to improve overall academic performance for each of its 48 schools. The district has a goal of having all schools obtain a school letter grade of an A, B, or C by the end of the 2023-2024 school year. The district has only eight schools remaining to meet that goal.
The district is fully aware that classroom engagement is going to be critical in helping achieve that goal, thus the push to being more present in the classrooms and supporting students and teachers with their needs.
Johnston County has committed to providing the additional support needed to help each and every school achieve academic success and reach district goals. During the visit to Riverwood Elementary, central office employees were able to actively engage with a few of the students and help with proofing some of their work. Andrew Richardson is a 4th grade student in Ms. Jennifer Medlin’s classroom and he had the opportunity to have his work reviewed by Dr. Bracy. While doing so Mr. Richardson spoke very highly of the impact Ms. Medlin has had on his educational experience. “I like Ms. Medlin because she is unique in the different ways she helps us learn the lessons,” said Richardson.
Mr. Richardson is one of many students throughout the district who have been visited by JCPS central office staff recently. He was very appreciative of the classroom visit and the support provided during the visit. When asked what he thought of having the Superintendent assist him with his work, he simply said with a smile, “I’m glad they came. It was really cool!”
The group visited a few other classrooms and provided supporting and encouraging words to students and staff while visiting. “As the district continues to strive for excellence, it is critical that we are in the classrooms, especially our school administrators, learning what the students and teachers need and providing the feedback and assistance necessary to take our students to the next level,” stated Dr. Bracy. The visits are beneficial to both students and staff. For the students they are able to see things come full circle and build meaningful relationships with educators at all levels. For staff, it helps with fostering understanding and trust, which are key components in the education process.
The district understands that it takes everyone to be involved in order for JCPS to continue to excel academically. JCPS is fortunate to have students, teachers, school administrators, and senior leadership that work together to improve the level of education provided in our schools.