Floyd County Schools
A Journey that keeps getting better
With an unwavering commitment to academic excellence and its vision for a brighter future, Floyd County Schools provide an inclusive future for all students.
In the heart of Rome, Georgia, lies an exemplar of educational excellence: the Floyd County School District. As a proud Georgia Charter System, Floyd County Schools is dedicated to nurturing an environment where Pre-K to 12th grade students can focus, connect, and succeed. With an impressive enrollment of approximately 9,000 students, the district is a hub of learning and a community where young minds are nurtured and prepared for the future.
Recent achievements, such as the historic 2022-23 Georgia Milestones results, underscore the district’s commitment to academic excellence. Beyond the classroom, the district is abuzz with activities, from celebrating early learning during the Georgia Pre-K Week to recognizing outstanding educators like the recently named FCS Teacher of the Year. Furthermore, initiatives like The FAME Project amplify students’ voices and creativity, showcasing the district’s holistic approach to education.
Building on a Strong Foundation
Dr. Glenn White, Floyd County School District Superintendent, emphasizes the significance of classroom instruction as a foundational pillar of the school district. “The most crucial aspect of our school system is the value we place on instruction in the classroom. What transpires between our teachers and students in that space is the bedrock of our educational approach. Our primary focus is on academics and academic achievement,” he states.
While academic excellence remains at the forefront, Dr. White also acknowledges the role of extracurricular activities in enhancing the overall student experience. “Athletics and fine arts are integral to our programs, but they serve to bolster our academic foundation. I firmly believe that students engaged in these activities perform better academically. They develop a deeper connection and bond with the school.”
The district underscores its dedication to core values by judiciously allocating additional funds like Covid, Arpa, and Esser. Dr. White explains that these resources have been directed towards enhancing classroom instruction, recruiting interventionists and coaches, and acquiring curriculum for key subjects. The fruitful returns of these investments are clear, with recent outcomes suggesting that their instructional approach is yielding significant advancements.
In education, the formative years of a child’s life are often considered the most crucial. During these years, the foundation for future learning is laid, and ensuring that students are adequately prepared for their primary education becomes paramount. Floyd County School District recognizes this significance and has taken proactive measures to ensure that its youngest learners are given the best start.
Dr. White shares, “We are deeply committed to early learning, with a particular emphasis on ensuring our students achieve grade-level proficiency by grade three.” He underscores the importance of this milestone, noting, “If students lag at this juncture, catching up becomes a formidable challenge. Our interventionists, curriculum, and assessments are meticulously designed to keep these young learners on track, especially in reading.”
Georgia, too, has recognized the importance of early literacy. “Recently, the legislature passed a literacy law mandating teachers to undergo training in the science of reading,” Dr. White mentions. This law also prescribes specific materials and curricula to enhance reading skills among students. “But,” Dr. White adds with a hint of pride, “we were already implementing these measures even before the law came into effect. Our primary goal remains to ensure that by grade three, students are not only on track but remain so as they progress through our system.”
Floyd County’s College and Career Academy
As the global economy evolves, the demand for specialized skills and adaptability is at an all-time high. Educational institutions are faced with the challenge of preparing students for careers that might not even exist yet. Floyd County School District, with its forward-thinking approach, has been at the forefront of addressing this challenge.
John Rhodarmer – CEO and principal, proudly states, “We were the first in Georgia, back in 2007, to adopt the college and career academy model.” This innovative step set Floyd County apart and paved the way for similar entities to emerge throughout the state. The visionaries behind this initiative foresaw the impending economic and workforce development shifts, positioning Floyd County as a trendsetter.
The unique structure of the district, comprising four smaller high schools, allows for a more personalized approach to education. Rhodarmer explains, “Our commitment to smaller institutions ensures that more students get opportunities they might miss in larger settings.” The College and Career Academy (CCA) acts as a unifying force, pooling resources from all schools to offer specialized courses typically available only in larger metropolitan areas.
Bridging Education and Community
The synergy between educational institutions and the community plays a pivotal role in the modern educational landscape. This collaboration ensures that students are equipped with relevant skills and seamlessly integrated into the workforce, meeting the evolving demands of the local economy.
Rhodarmer highlights the importance of these partnerships, “The Rome Chamber of Commerce, with Pam Power Smith at its helm, is integral to our operations. Our collaboration is so close-knit that not a week goes by without us coordinating with them.” This mutual relationship extends to board memberships, with Rhodarmer serving on the Chamber’s board and its representatives reciprocating at the College and Career Academy.
The district actively collaborates beyond the commercial realm, particularly with the healthcare sector, which is Rome’s leading workforce consumer. Rhodarmer highlights partnerships with key players like Atrium and Floyd Health, offering students invaluable hands-on medical experience. Additionally, their alliance with Georgia Power sheds light on upcoming regional career prospects.
Technology and Infrastructure in Education
Today, integrating technology into the classroom is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Floyd County School District recognizes this imperative, making significant strides in ensuring that students are equipped with the tools and skills they need for the future.
Dr. White elaborates on the district’s tech-forward approach, “Every day, technology plays a pivotal role in our classrooms. To illustrate, we’ve invested in 8,700 new Chromebooks for students and staff, 900 new desktop computers, and many other technological enhancements.” He chuckles, admitting, “While I might not be the most tech-savvy individual, I recognize the importance of these investments in shaping our students’ educational experiences.”
The district is actively investing in infrastructural improvements. Dr. White mentions the acquisition of LED signs, enhanced lighting for sports fields, and the introduction of turf fields and synthetic tracks in high schools, all made possible through federal funds and the strategic guidance of Dr. Timberlake. The community’s backing is evident, with Floyd County voters recently sanctioning a $75 million lease for further infrastructure enhancements. Rhodarmer acknowledges the state’s role, highlighting Georgia’s legislative efforts that empower local taxpayers to fund capital projects.
The Power of Fine Arts in Education
The arts often hold a unique and transformative space in education. They enrich the learning experience and foster creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. Floyd County School District art programs exemplify the transformative power of the arts.
With evident passion, Childs shares, “Research from the Brookings Institute underscores the profound impact of a robust fine arts program on students’ academic, social, and emotional outcomes.” She continues, “In Floyd County, we’ve been fortunate to have a board that has long recognized the value of music and art. Over the past several years, we’ve significantly expanded our arts offerings, and I’m grateful to Dr. White and our board for championing this cause.”
The district places significant emphasis on its theater program, starting with a system-wide musical that invites students from all high schools to participate. Over time, this initiative has expanded, with schools now producing their own musicals, ranging from classics like ‘Phantom of the Opera’ to modern adaptations like ‘Chicago’. This growth in theater has not only engaged dozens of students but has also attracted community attention.
Furthermore, the district’s arts programs benefit from extensive community partnerships. Collaborations range from art exhibitions at the Coosa Valley Fair and Atrium Health Care to initiatives with the Optimist Club, Kiwanis Club, Downtown Development Authority, and the Rome Area Council for the Arts, underscoring the vital role of community engagement in enhancing the arts.
The safety of students and staff remains paramount in the current education landscape. Floyd County School District, recognizing the gravity of this responsibility, has implemented a comprehensive array of safety measures to ensure a secure learning environment.
Dr. White emphasizes the district’s commitment, stating, “Safety is paramount in the current situation for all schools in the United States.” He elaborates on the district’s multi-faceted approach, which includes a dedicated security officer employed by the Floyd County Board of Education who conducts daily security checks in schools. “We’ve also partnered with the Floyd County Police Department, who have supported our safety initiatives,” he adds.
The district prioritizes safety through a blend of technology, infrastructure, and human interaction. Controlled access mandates vetting for all visitors, with the Raptor system offering an additional layer of security by checking for criminal backgrounds. Beyond these measures, school resource officers are pivotal. They not only maintain safety but also foster trust with students. This bond has proven beneficial, with students often sharing crucial information about potential risks, underscoring the importance of human relationships in ensuring security.
Charting a Path to Excellence
Setting clear priorities and maintaining a steadfast vision for the school district is paramount for the future. As 2023 draws to a close, Floyd County School District is poised to take on new challenges and continue its journey toward academic excellence.
Dr. White reflects on the district’s core mission: “We are fundamentally about academics, the learning environment, and ensuring our students achieve at the highest levels.” He proudly notes the significant academic strides the district has made in the past year. “We’ve witnessed substantial academic gains,” he says. “While we’re already a commendable school system, we aim to elevate to greatness.”
This commitment to excellence isn’t just aspirational; it’s grounded in tangible results. “When I say we’re on the path to greatness, I can substantiate that claim with concrete data,” he asserts. “We’re not merely talking the talk; we’re walking the walk, showcasing our progress.”
As the district looks ahead, its focus remains unwavering: to bolster its instructional framework and support systems, ensuring every student thrives. White emphasizes the district’s inclusive approach, “From our special needs students to those gaining acceptance into prestigious institutions like Harvard and Yale, we are here to serve and uplift every single student. That’s the essence of our mission.”
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AT A GLANCE
Floyd County School District
What: A progressive educational institution focused on comprehensive academic programs, technological integration, and community partnerships.
Where: Floyd County, Georgia