169Welcome to our first edition of The Ledger, a quarterly newsletter published by the Athens City School System. Our motto, “A community connected by education”, is not something we take lightly. This newsletter is one action we are taking to keep you, a valued member of our community, informed about the many events occurring in our schools.

This is an exciting time in Athens. We have a new high school being built that stands as outward evidence of the commitment this community has toward education. Construction is moving as scheduled with our completion date still targeted for Fall 2018. This school will provide our students with access to state-of-the-art labs for science, engineering, and health sciences. It will also provide our music and arts programs with the long-overdue practice and performance areas. A new gymnasium and auditorium will provide both the school and community opportunities to host sporting and cultural events. This school will serve the community for years to come and will demonstrate our commitment to quality. Plans are currently being developed that will address the physical move of high school students to the new facility and middle school students to the current high school. Although the move will be dictated by the completion date, our instructional leaders are considering numerous scenarios to help ensure a smooth transition.

Due to changes made by the Alabama Legislature, educational choice for students and families is more accessible than ever before. I believe these changes allow public education to meet the educational needs of students in ways that have not previously been possible. Athens Renaissance School is one example of our attempt to provide choices for students. To understand more about Athens Renaissance School , I hope you will read the feature story included in this newsletter and read the student spotlights.

While Athens Renaissance serves the needs of many, there is another option for Athens City school students that is both innovative and progressive. For those parents that want their K-4 grade child to attend public schools, but want the child engrossed in a STEM curriculum, SPARK Academy may be the answer. After only one year of operation, we are receiving excellent reviews from students, parents and teachers

No matter the choice, Athens City Schools is committed to providing options for parents and students. We are committed to meeting students where they are and giving them all the tools, resources and options to succeed without sacrificing quality or integrity.

Innovation and choice are the currently the reverberating themes in public education. I am proud to say that the staff of Athens City Schools is meeting these changes with a primary goal of always working toward student success.

Sincerely,

W. L. ‘Trey’ Holladay, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Athens City Schools

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