This welcome back letter was written by Dr. Cathy Beck
On behalf of the Cheatham County School District, we are excited to welcome our new and returning students and families to the start of the 2023-2024 school year! We have been working diligently throughout the summer in preparation for students returning to school and we look forward to making this a wonderful year.
Starting a new school year has always been one of my favorite times of the year. It is an opportunity for all of us to become (re)acquainted with each other, understand expectations, and create a community where students thrive.
Our theme this year is #bettertogether. It is only by working together that we can build the kind of momentum that will launch our district into a new era of possibilities for students, parents, and the Cheatham County community.
One of our priorities this year is to make sure our students and staff are safe when they are on our campuses, and that this safety is maintained at all times.
Thanks to the support of the Cheatham County School Board and Cheatham County Commission, you will see improved safety protocols on our campuses this year. Specifically, we are adding two additional School Resource Officers to ensure that all of our schools are covered every day, replacing interior locks in all of our schools, and upgrading our camera systems.
In South Cheatham County, we are proud to welcome Andrea Bledsoe as the new Kingston Springs Elementary School principal. Andrea has worked a number of years in our district in various roles, and we look forward to her building upon the academic success at KSES.
Academically, we are proud to announce that we have purchased a new math curriculum for students in grades K-12 and we will be able to provide additional online science and social studies resources for students in grades K-8.
We are also excited to announce that new pre-CTE (Career and Technical Education) courses will be offered this year at all three middle schools. These courses are broad introduction exploratory courses which will help student identify future high school plans for enrollment in CTE courses. Courses include pre-health science, pre-engineering/STEAM, pre-agriculture, pre-digital production, and pre-culinary. Each school will receive new and upgraded equipment, curriculum, and training in each area as well as supports for career counseling.
We are implementing the Jobs for American Graduates (JAG) program in our three high schools. Formerly known as Jobs for Tennessee Graduates, JAG will focus on career preparation and work-based learning opportunities for all our students. Each class will focus on work essentials, crafting resumes, practice interviews, work readiness, personal finance, and much more. April Williams will be leading the program at Harpeth High School.
Additionally, we are beginning the second year of our Kindness Grows Here program. We started this program in 2022 and it was a huge success. Each school partners with a Cheatham County organization to assist in a number of service projects. Through this program, we are teaching our students about making a difference in the community that they call home.
In South Cheatham County, Pegram Elementary Fine Arts Magnet School’s partner is Cheatham County Animal Control; Kingston Springs Elementary School’s partner is the South Cheatham Public Library; Harpeth Middle School’s partner is The Ark Community Resource Center; and Harpeth High School’s partner is Meals on Wheels.
In closing, we are excited about what the new school year holds for our students and staff. 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 director of schools, I have no doubt that our students and staff will accomplish great things this year, and I look forward to celebrating their accomplishments with them.
Dr. Cathy Beck
Director of Schools