"Our Most Valued Citizens Must Be Informed"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Marshall County, like many other small communities in the United States, is facing many changes in our public schools over the next few years. We want the best for our children. Marshall County needs to attract new businesses to replace lost jobs, and nothing is more enticing than a great school system. We have a new President with new ideas for public education. Creating schools that prepare your children to live in the 21st Century and are following state and federal regulations is already creating differences in the way we educate our young people. Marshall County Schools wants to make you aware of these changes, show you how they will impact your child and your community, and provide suggestions on how you can become involved with our schools. YOU are our most valued stakeholders. Without strong support from everyone in the community, we will struggle to succeed. Providing you with information and the opportunities to work with us will create a world-class school system. This is the vision of Dr. Curtis, the Marshall County School Board, and all Marshall County citizens.

The Marshall County Tribune has partnered with our schools to provide a column to share information about the changes in schools from the district, state, and national level. To that end, look forward to a number of articles on current educational topics: No Child Left Behind, The American Diploma Project, Tennessee Standards of Learning, Public School Funding, and Accountability. The Marshall County School's Chalkboard will highlight the issues driving our decision-making about curriculum, staffing, school schedules, and more.

We would like to begin this week by sharing our Mission and Belief Statements:

"Our mission is to provide a secure learning environment that equips all students with the social and academic skills needed to achieve post-secondary success and reach their highest potential as citizens and employees."


Our top priority is to ensure that all students receive a high quality education in a safe, positive learning environment, as they transition into post-secondary life, fully prepared to function in a culturally diverse and technology-rich world.


Teachers must implement a clear, valid curriculum and use research-based practices and differentiated instruction to maximize results for all students, as they address the learning styles and ability levels of individual students. Teachers must incorporate higher order thinking skills and challenge students to move beyond proficiency and reach their maximum potential. A Professional Learning Community must exist at each school site for the benefit of our students. The new standards in Math, Science, and Language Arts will be embedded in K-12 curriculum and instruction.


All teachers will use formative and summative assessments to maintain clear purpose, measure student achievement, and provide appropriate feedback as well as requiring that all staff members use disaggregated data and research-based information to target instruction to students' individual needs.


Healthy collaboration among all stakeholders is essential to improving a school system. Decision-making must be data-driven, must reflect stakeholder input, and must ensure equity and adequacy for all students. All stakeholders must engage in adequate and appropriate internal and external communication. Use of all funding must be priority-driven and targeted to research-based learning while addressing individual students' needs.


The Board of Education must ensure that policies and procedures provide equity and adequacy for students; are aligned to system goals for student learning; enable students to move beyond AYP targets and; create and maintain a high performing system, while retaining highly qualified personnel at all schools.

These beliefs and mission statement guide our decision-making process on a daily basis. We are committed to providing you with information and encourage your participation in the process of making the Marshall County School District a premier school district in the state of Tennessee. The next column will be: "Where Did All Those Standards of Learning Come From?"