First Day of School Report
Some school stories that did not get reported . . . What went right the first day?
Yesterday was the first day of school for more than 31,000 Gaston County Public Schools students in 55 schools. And the age old question – how was your first day?
As one might know with that many students, a few things did not go as planned. A few buses ran behind, at some schools the flow of traffic was a little slow (because on the first day everyone takes their child to school) and no doubt some students, parents and teachers had something that did not go quite right.
But, what about the other side of the story?
What went right?
- The district’s more than 14,000 bus students had a safe school bus ride to and from school. Our 209 buses cover an average of 11,000 miles each day. (GCS is a large school district – 364 square miles).
- More than 32,000 meals were served by our school cafeterias yesterday. Our students ate 22,000 lunches and 8,000 breakfasts (or both). There were many healthy choices available on the menu. For some students, these were the best meals of their day. For some students, these were the only meals of the day. Our cafeteria staffs are excellent and they are great cooks.
- Our 1,900 teachers, principals and other professional staff greeted students, helped them find their classes, began the teaching process and did an exceptional job getting the new school year underway. This did not happen by accident. Most teachers spend much of their summer preparing for the next school year so that things start off right.
- Schools were clean, grass mowed and grounds taken care of. Our maintenance department members and custodians spent the summer painting, cleaning, making repairs and ensuring windows were fixed, roofs repaired, floors waxed and, in general, getting school ready for the students.
- Secretaries and other office staff greeted students, and we all know that as the year goes along, these people will handle thousands of jobs and virtually every one of those jobs will in some way impact students.
- District administrators, principals and Board of Education members spend much of their time making sure the district is focused on doing what is right for students. The coordination of 31,000 students, 3,800 employees, and 55 schools does not happen by accident, and it won’t happen at all if someone is not minding the store.
We live in a wonderful community and we have excellent schools. Are their problems? Of course, just like anywhere else. Are they insurmountable? No, some may be a little more difficult than others, but working together, we can ensure our children have a great and successful year.
The main thing we need to do is to remember to keep our eyes on what is important, and for the Gaston County Schools that means always doing what is in the best interest of the student.
Please feel free to share “what went right” with us from time to time.
When teachers do a great job -- tell them (this goes for all of us: parents, colleagues, students, etc.). When your child experiences success -- celebrate!
When you see something that needs to be improved – tell those involved, and be a part of the solution. Hope you had a great first day.
We Are Gaston County Schools!