Dear Mighty Luther J. Price staff, students, families, alumni, and community,
It is with immense honor and humility that I am serving as the principal of Luther J. Price Middle School for the 2016-2017 school year. I want to first recognize the hard work of my predecessor, Mr. Duane Hale who has set the table for us to have a successful year. I intend to continue our positive momentum by supporting the many things happening in our school and community that are already going well, while focusing our attention and energy on those things most connected with improving student achievement.
Our theme for the year is “Back to the baSICS: seeking excellence by focusing on the details.” It highlights our four focuses, which are safety, instruction, culture and support. I will take a moment to explain how each of these focuses contribute to our vision to become an exemplary school where high levels of learning and academic excellence are taking place for all students in every classroom.
Safety is paramount in our school as it is in any other. Our students must feel that the school and each classroom inside of it is welcoming, warm, and free from any type of harm. Not only do we have to protect students from physical harm but we must also protect the mental and emotional well being of our students. To achieve this, we will maintain clean and fully functioning facilities, provide nourishing meals, greet students and stakeholders with smiles and positive attitudes, and protect our students from anything that would cause them to fear. All of these safety measures are necessary to ensure that our students feel comfortable taking the intellectual risks needed for academic growth.
Instruction is our biggest focus this year, and we are thrilled to champion the instructional practices that our district has rolled out through the Office of Schools and our Chief of Schools, Dr. Donyall Dickey. Our entire staff will operate as a professional learning community to improve instruction by increasing rigor, scaffolding the work as needed to get students to high levels of learning, and modeling best instructional practices in everything we do. We accept the challenge and will work tirelessly to improve what we do. We will become a learning organization where teachers and administrators innovate, take risks, measure success, give feedback, and grow from our mistakes.
Culture is the lifeblood of our school and must be intentionally created and maintained. A strong culture centered on high expectations, teamwork, self-efficacy, and celebrating the achievements of teachers and students alike will permeate our school and encourage everyone to continue working hard to improve. Maintaining this culture is dependent on our ability to communicate, be consistent, be clear, be collaborative, and congratulate those who do well.
Support is our last focus, and I have been taken aback by how supportive all of our partners in the school, community, and district have been to this point. Our school board member Leslie Grant is helping to champion our district’s focus on strong clusters, and our Associate Superintendent, Dr. Greg Middleton is always available to support all of the wonderful schools in this Carver Cluster. The Mighty Price alumni have continued to amaze me with the Wildcat Pride that they show, offering support in any way possible. I was fortunate to witness the “Big Red” celebration on our campus in July, with over one thousand alum from the class of the mid-fifties to the late eighties showing their colors and love for Price. I am excited to continue such a strong legacy and I hope that fifty years from now our students will join the alumni ranks and continue to give back like so many are today.
To summarize, we have big plans for our school and community this year, and I hope that you will join us on this ride that will culminate in celebrating huge academic growth at the end of the year. We hope that stakeholders will find a way to give back and inspire a student, thank a teacher, and change a young wildcat for years to come. Please come visit our school “up on the hill” and I am confident that you will be impressed by what you will see.