August 23, 2022
Dear Wilkes County Schools Family and Community Member,
As we prepare for the beginning of school, my hope is that you have had a peaceful summer and that you and your child are already beginning to feel excitement about their return to school or your return to work. The beginning of school is and should be a very exciting time for many. I trust that we never forget how exciting the beginning of the school year is for students, parents, school staff and our entire community!
In order to maintain this excitement for 2022-2023, our first priority has to be making sure our students and staff are safe when they are on our campuses, and that this safety is maintained at all times. Events around our country in May reminded us all how important attention to detail is in maintaining school safety and you will see improved safety protocols on our campuses this year. Along with this, we need the help of parents, students, staff, and community in being more diligent about safety. All of us need to not only be more observant when things appear out of the ordinary on our school campuses, but to also make sure that we report these to someone who can check them for us to make sure all is okay. We would rather give attention to a "false alarm" than to ever look back and wish that something was reported. A strength of our county has been the relationships between our parents, our businesses, our communities, and our schools in working together to keep one another informed. Let's continue to utilize that strength to make schools a safe environment for our students and staff in 2022-2023.
Second only to school safety, our focus needs to be on the culture of our schools beyond the COVID pandemic. We need to continue to work together to make sure that the environment of our schools is one where students know they are cared for by adults who hold high expectations for each of them when they walk through our doors every day. I have shared on multiple occasions that I believe Wilkes County Schools handled the educating of students during the pandemic as well as anyone in our state, but we have to continue to move forward. It should be our priority to ensure that our students come out of this pandemic stronger than ever before, and I know that we all agree that they deserve our best efforts. I look forward to working with you to ensure that this takes place!
In closing, I am excited about what 2022-2023 holds for our students and staff and hope that you are as well. We are blessed with a strong and supportive school community, and we should all work together to ensure our schools are the best that they can possibly be. As I start my seventh year as Superintendent of Wilkes County Schools, I challenge each of us to do all that we can to make it our best ever. I have no doubt that our students and staff will accomplish great things in 2022-2023, and I look forward to us celebrating their accomplishments with them.
D. Mark Byrd
Wilkes County Schools