Dear Randolph County School System students, staff members and parents:


I want to welcome everyone back to the Randolph County School System for the 2018-2019 school year.


In a few days, our 31 schools will open their doors to 16,100 students.


During previous school years, a lot of work has focused on efforts by our school system to increase access to instruction for students at school as well as away from campus through the acquisition of digital resources. This same approach, with a consistent focus on learning and teaching, will be used during the 2018-2019 school year. In addition, efforts to address the individual instructional needs of our students at all levels of academic performance will remain a priority.


The 2018-2019 school year will be highlighted by several exciting developments in multiple zones of the school system. Examples of these initiatives include:


* The 2018-2019 school year will be the second year of the conversion of Uwharrie Middle School from a school with grades 6-8 to Uwharrie Ridge Six-Twelve. As a result, a 10th-grade class will be added to the school for the upcoming school year. By the 2020-2021 school year, the school will have students in grades 6-12 due to adding one high school grade level per year starting with the 2017-2018 school year. This project, the school system’s first one-to-one technology school, represents another “school choice” option for our students. Another important note is the fact that the project’s total cost of $410,000 was funded by the county commissioners.


* During the 2018-2019 school year, a new facility for the new Metals Manufacturing Program at Eastern Randolph High School will open on the school’s campus. This program opened during the 2017-2018 school year as a result of the school system’s receipt of $720,000 in “Golden LEAF” funding in April 2017. Our application for this funding, submitted as a partnership with Asheboro City Schools and Randolph Community College, was made possible by the county commissioners’ efforts to contribute $240,000 in matching funds.


* Plans to build a new middle school in the Archdale-Trinity zone continue to be developed. It is the school system’s intent to start construction on this school in August 2019. Furthermore, at this time, the school is projected to open for the 2021-2022 school year.


* The 2018-2019 school year will be the second year of the Apprenticeship Randolph Program, a work-based learning opportunity for a student in his/her junior and/or senior year of high school. A total of 16 companies are engaged in the program. Students who complete this program will earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Manufacturing Technology and a Journeyman’s Certificate. Furthermore, they will exit the program with a job at the company involved in their apprenticeship experience.


* During the 2018-2019 school year, another work-based learning opportunity, Randolph Works, will start in our school system. This program will give a student an opportunity to engage in a paid internship with a local company while also completing his/her high school diploma. Through this program, a student will gain job skills at his/her work site. Furthermore, the intern will be added to a preferred hire list for his/her company upon graduation from high school. However, to be eligible to participate in this program, a student must be at least 16 years old. He/she also must continue to make academic progress towards his/her high school diploma to remain eligible to participate in this program. Currently, seven local companies are engaged in this program.


Our staff is working hard to help students graduate with options for the future. Furthermore, our Board of Education and county commissioners continue to work together to provide a high level of support for our school system. In fact, as a result of this work by our Board of Education and the county commissioners, the school system’s level of annual recurring “current expense” funding has increased by $1,852,442 when comparing the 2018-2019 school year to the 2013-2014 school year. During the same time period, the school system’s level of annual recurring “capital outlay” funding has increased by $715,264.


It is an exciting time to be a part of the Randolph County School System. Our primary goal as a school system is to continually improve throughout the future while maintaining a high level of focus on the needs of our students. As a result, efforts are being made every day to increase the learning opportunities for our students.


I look forward to the 2018-2019 school year and the opportunity to work with you in an effort to help our school system continue to improve during our move to the future.


* Dr. Stephen Gainey is superintendent of the Randolph County School System.