Russell County schools prepare for 2021 school year

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RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WRBL) – The Russell County School District is holding its annual Institute Day and Professional Development workshop at Russell County High School. 

Teachers, administrators, and the Russell County School board came together for the institute day and professional development workshop. The socially distanced event was held in the auditorium of the Russell County High School. This event was also held virtually for those who were unable to attend in person.

To start the ceremony off the school’s color guard led the pledge of allegiance and the RCHS dance team performed several dances for those in the audience. The event’s hosts, Jacob Johnson and Paula Thompson, praised all of the teachers and faculty members for working so hard during a difficult year. From keeping COVID-19 cases down within the school, deeply cleaning classrooms, and teaching students virtually.

Tammy Barnes, Director of Administration with Russell County School District Services, said.

“Well, it feels really good that we were able to create a COVID dashboard because we wanted to have full transparency with our parents. We’ve trained our custodians and all of our teachers our principles, we’ve held ourselves to a higher standard as far as cleanliness and safety for our students. Making sure we’re social distancing, wearing our masks and I can say that all of our kids have embraced it,” Barnes said.

This was a new way of learning and teaching, but the Russell County school district was able to survive the 2020 school year. 

As Superintendent Dr. Brenda Coley sat in the audience, staff members made sure to thank her and the Russell County School district for the $800 incentive that they all received and for being such a great Superintendent. 

“It’s very encouraging and motivating, she is a great superintendent. She truly does have the vision of the kids first and foremost, she teaches us from the top down that our kids are most important and every decision that we make needs to be made with the best interest of our kids. It might not be what feels comfortable for us as adults all the time, but we have to keep in mind what’s best for our children,” Barnes said.

Afterward, Dr. Coley took the stage to encourage her team and remind them that they are Warriors and to remember that as much as given, much is required. She wants the Russell County school district to rise up and continue to inspire and empower its students. 

“Today, from what she said, it made me feel like I’m apart of something that’s bigger than who I am and bigger than what she is and bigger than what any individual person can be. But what we can all do together as a warrior team,” Barnes continued.

To start the school year off right, Russell County schools have four New Year goals: keeping students safe, having a great workforce, making sure to have a great positive school culture, and for students and faculty to have high achievement. This isn’t just a plan that teachers and staff have on paper, it’s something they look at every month so they can achieve their goals.

Students will return to school on Jan. 5, teachers and staff are looking forward to seeing their students and having a great 2021 school year.

‘We’re so excited to hear their footsteps going down the hallway, that’s why we’re here, that’s why we exist, It’s our passion,” Barnes said.

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