Dr. Keith Shaffer, guest commentary

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 25, 2008

Although many of us can remember with fondness from yesteryear the glory days of our school experience, the high stakes accountability systems of today drive us to a constant state of school improvement.

The mission of the South Panola School District is to provide opportunities for educational excellence for all students. In essence we must strive to provide vehicles for student success in all areas. Most important is the academic progress of our students.

Yes, we play football. Yes, we play softball. More importantly, we teach school. Celebration of academic achievements of students is key.  We strive each day to prepare all students for academic success.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Our students come from a variety of  backgrounds with differing levels of preparedness for the world of formal education. Each staff member must be equipped and willing to meet each student where they are and guide them through academic growth.

We choose to celebrate our success stories in the area of community involvement and community service. All of our clubs and organizations stress the importance of becoming a good citizen in our community.  

Our state is moving through a change in the accreditation system that has been familiar to most by the levels 1 through 5. These levels are based on process standards and performance standards. More emphasis is placed on the performance standards through students’ levels of proficiency on the MCT and now the MCT2.

As we await the new model with new cut scores and the revamping of the tests, we are diligently striving to cover the curriculum in every way possible to allow each student to master the content in order to become proficient. This effort can best be enhanced by parents, churches, community organizations, and concerned adults taking a personal interest in a child or children within their circles. Showing students that someone else is concerned about their academic progress will go a long way in encouraging excellence for all.