PHOTO: Superintendent Jason Golden (left) and Assistant Superintendent Leigh Webb (center) of Secondary Education stand with some of the principals representing the district’s 28 Reward Schools. / Photo by John McBryde
By JOHN McBRYDE
On a night of routine vote tallying and light discussion, the Williamson County Schools Board of Education’s first full meeting in two months was highlighted by three numbers touted by Superintendent Jason Golden.
In his first time at the helm since he was voted superintendent on June 17, Golden shared with the board and those gathered in the auditorium of the Williamson County Government Complex Monday night these three key numbers: $10.1 million, 41,355 and 28.
“We have a lot to celebrate,” he said, adding that this year’s launch of a new school year “has been one of the smoothest starts we’ve ever had.”
And the figures brought smiles as well.
“Leslie Holman (the district’s CFO) finished her work on last year’s PTO and booster club support numbers and just sent those to us,” Golden explained. “We received $10.1 million. That’s a 7.2% increase over last year.
“To give perspective on that, we had a 2.9% increase in our student population over last year, so our PTO’s and boosters have stepped up even more. We could not do what we do without the support of all our parents.”
Golden also announced that, though the official number won’t come until later, attendance for the district’s 2019-20 school year is currently 41,355. “That’s 119 below what we were projecting four weeks from the start of school,” he said.
Perhaps the night’s most impressive number was 28. That’s how many WCS schools were recognized as Reward Schools in the Tennessee Department of Education’s annual accountability report released Aug. 15. To earn this honor, the district must score high enough on TNReady tests in grades 3-8 and on high school end-of-course exams.
Principals from all 28 schools were recognized with a certificate during Monday’s meeting.
“That’s the highest [number of Reward Schools] we’ve ever had and that’s incredibly exciting,” Golden said.
Golden is still meeting with parents, either in person or online. He has a Facebook Live scheduled Tuesday morning at 11:30 and another one Sept. 12 at 11:30. He’ll have an in-person parent meeting Sept. 5 at Centennial High School.