By BRAD KELLAR
After racking up some notable achievements during the summer, students in the Greenville Independent School District head back to class Monday .
Greenville ISD Superintendent Don Jefferies said the new school year begins with all campuses and the district as a whole having met all of the new Texas Education Agency (TEA) accountability standards during the previous school year, and with the district having earned six academic distinction designations.
“The district is very pleased with most of the recent legislative changes,” Jefferies said. “These changes increase the educational choices for students. They also allow districts more freedom to reform the traditional learning experience into one that prepares students living and working in a world that is fast paced, technology-driven and requiring a profound mastery of digital tools.”
Jefferies said in recent years, the Greenville ISD has initiated Product Oriented Education (POE), a project-based learning approach to curriculum.
“The education model has resulted in the vertically-aligned robotics program, STEM academy, Solar Car team, Destination Imagination, Elementary Academic UIL successes and more,” Jefferies explained.
The start of the new school year follows a summer of accolades for the district.
Among other achievements, the Greenville High School Solar Team placed second in the annual Solar Car Challenge, a cross country race that began in Fort Worth and ended in Los Angeles.
The GHS Robowranglers were invited by professional race car driver Charlie Kimball to demonstrate their robot for him at the Texas Motor Speedway.
And three Greenville ISD Destination Imagination teams were among 1,200 squads from 13 different countries competing in the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn.
Two GHS teams placed in the top 10 in the world of their selected challenge. Meanwhile, the Greenville ISD Afterschool Centers of Education (ACE) Program won three Golden ACE Awards at a ceremony held in Austin, Texas this month.
The group walked away with the “PRIME” Award, “Most Innovative Activity” award for Academic Assistance and “Most Innovative Activity” award for College and Workforce Readiness.
Jefferies added that the district partners with Paris Junior College to offer 18 dual-credit courses. Electromechanical Technology, Computer Networking and Enhanced Nurse Aide Programs will be newly available this year.
“Through these cooperative learning opportunities, Greenville ISD has set the stage for accountability success for years to come,” Jefferies said. “The district looks forward to the 2013-2014 year and all the opportunities that await our students.”