‘We’re seeing this hope:’ Henry County Schools superintendent looking ahead to new school year

HENRY COUNTY, Ga — Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis of Henry County Schools is getting ready to kick off another school year in just over another week.

She says she wants to set the tone for success this year by asking leadership to take a moment to reflect and recharge before welcoming students.

“We do have to just acknowledge that leadership across our country, across our world, faced unprecedented strains and challenges,” Davis said.

Davis wants to continue and build relationships with community leaders, businesses and parents that were strengthened during the pandemic.

“We navigated everything together, and as we start to see this hope on the horizon, we are seeing this hope as a stronger unified leadership for our community that depend on all of these organizations in their daily life,” Davis said.

According to Davis, Henry County Schools are giving options to its 43,000 students this year, which includes optional masks and a newly restructured virtual academy with teachers dedicated to online learners.

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“That’s what our school principals are working on right now, an individualized plan for every child that hasn’t been on campus. To make sure we are returning in a really healthy a really safe and a really academically focused way,” Davis said.

Making sure seniors can recover credits and graduate on time, responding swiftly to COVID-19, addressing and assessing learning gaps, and using funding to meet students where they are, is a list of priorities for Davis and her team from day one.

“One of our models is going to be putting a temporary teacher aid in our first grade classrooms because we know that there will be young learners who are walking onto school campuses for the very first time - first grade environment,” Davis said.

Henry County students’ first day is Aug. 4 and Davis and staff know so much more today than they did a year ago.

“Kids will be learning more and happier in a Henry County classroom than they could anywhere else and we can’t wait to get this school year started with you,” Davis said.