- Gardendale Elementary School
Note From Dr. G - August 8, 2022
Can you believe that it’s time for school to begin? Even after being in education for over 30 years, I still get a rush of excitement during this time. There is nothing like seeing empty hallways fill up with students eager and ready to learn!
This past Friday, we had our district-wide professional learning day at the BJCC. It was a great site to see over 2,000 of our teachers in one room!
One area I want them and all of us to focus on is moving beyond limits this school year. Beyond limits means getting results and not making excuses. It means setting high expectations for student achievement and holding ourselves accountable. It means not just recruiting new teachers but also retaining quality educators. It means continuing to improve our facilities, strengthening community partnerships, and launching new educational opportunities for students. I hope you will join me as we work to move the needle in all of these areas.
I also hope a sense of normalcy will return to our classrooms this school year. While we tried to shield our children from the real world, COVID proved to have no borders. We will begin this year just as we ended last. Masks continue to be optional, and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated. You can read our current covid exclusion from school guidelines on JEFCOED.com.
A word about school safety. Like all of you, I have watched as more heartbreaking details have emerged about the shooting in Uvalde. I know events like this rattle us all, so let me share what I can about our safety procedures. First, there will be a school resource officer in every JEFCOED school. Our SROs have spent countless hours this summer in active shooter training. This training included not just our SROs, which are Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies, but also many of our city police departments. In a crisis, we want all of our agencies to work together and respond quickly and efficiently. In recent years, we have also taken steps to make our buildings more secure and to ensure our staff is trained to respond to various situations.
Finally, this past spring, our board approved a new strategic plan which has five areas: governance and leadership, teaching and learning, facilities and support systems, communication and collaboration, and continuous improvement. These five pillars will be the guiding force in JEFCOED’s mission: educating students. I hope you will all join me in moving beyond limits and moving the needle to make 2022-2023 the best school year yet!
Students qualify for the program based on their household income level. If you are unsure of your family’s eligibility, we encourage you to apply! If you are unable to apply online, please contact your school for a paper application.