Letter to the Editor: PC schools progressive

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Dear Editor,

The March 28 article in this paper recognizing the progress of Phenix City Schools was a welcomed report of some very positive news. Earning an AdvancEd system-wide accreditation review of 340 of a possible 400 points is truly exceptional and worthy of community-wide celebration. I particularly appreciate the efforts of this paper to interview Superintendent Wilkes in understanding this report. The general public may not recognize that AdvancED is an international leader in school improvement, dedicated to helping stakeholders make decisions and take actions to improve the quality of learning experiences for every learner. The non-partisan, nonprofit organization conducts rigorous, school external engagement reviews of pre-K through 12 schools and school systems to help educators and their communities ensure that all learners realize their full potential.Our participating community stakeholders represented a broad cross-section of our entire city. Every aspect of our community should appreciate the added value that this positive news brings to our students, their future and our pursuits for economic development. Phenix City is an economic place to live with a progressive, achieving school system in which to educate our children.

Our AdvancEd score of 340 included outstanding scores in 30 of 32 categories. This evaluation is almost 60 points above the global average, 70 points above our previous mark and a strong affirmation of academic progress in our community. These scores identified progress across our Phenix City school system throughout the K-12.  The most positive evaluation was for our regional leadership in technology education.  Our STEM initiative with 1:1 technology device placement from the middle grades through high school has elevated the academic reputation of our school system, teachers and leadership across our state and the region.  A globally recognized, objective, academic, professional evaluation has rendered this important, helpful perspective.

Continued success in art grant funding for two of our schools has provided the platform for further investment in the arts. The Central High School 7A State Football Championship has recently provided very positive statewide and national attention.  Our Superintendent, the current Alabama Superintendent of the Year, and his leadership team have raised that platform to further elevate and better compare our students with others across the region. Congratulations to Mr. Wilkes, every student, employee and community stakeholder who has invested in any aspect of our many recent successes. We have many reasons to celebrate. Ongoing achievements in Academics, Athletics and the Arts (Triple A’s) provide an outstanding foundation for future progress. All of our students, their families and our entire city are well served by this momentum. May we all take pause to celebrate our community, our children and our leaders. We earned it. We cannot go wrong supporting our children. Then, we march on to next year!

Positively,        Steve Pace       Phenix City