Rome City Schools Superintendent, Louis Byars, was a guest speaker at the Noon Optimist Club meeting in August.
Byars spoke of current victories, priorities, growth and progress, and future expansion of the RCS system, all in efforts to nurture transparency and open dialogue between RCS and the community it serves.
He also summarized the growth and transition that RCS has experienced in the recent past with the building of Anna K. Davie and Main Elementary Schools. He looked toward the future and communicated plans for a new middle school.
The new middle school would be another transition in response to the growth that RCS has been experiencing within the student population. To put the increase in student body into perspective he offered numbers; for several years, Rome Middle School maintained a population of around 950 students, however, last year there were 1,082 students in the school. He further explained that while RCS made some conversions to accommodate the increase, the school was built for 750 students.
He expressed that keeping lines of communication open between RCS and the community are gravely important. Byars cited, as an example of community input, the syncing up of Rome City and Floyd County School system breaks for the ease of extracurricular community involvement for their students.
Byars expressed that the success of RCS as a system is a result of the hard work and support from the entire Wolf Pack, “It’s not just our students, teachers, and administrators,” he said, “but it includes our parents, partners, and the people of the community; we’re all part of the Pack. It’s important to understand that we’re in this together. We all work together to make RCS better because it is our children that matter most.”
Byars highlighted the RCS mission that “All students will graduate prepared for college or work,” stressing the importance of the two words, “all” and “prepared.”
Some of the successes and positive points he covered included the impressive RCS Cognia score (381.6 out of 400), the diverse population of the school system, and quality academics, athletics, and arts.
He mentioned the CTAE (Career, Technical, Agricultural and Education) pathways open to middle and high school students, the opportunities found within the new Rome High School College and Career Academy, and the 89 RCS AP Scholars that reached immense goals despite the adversities of a pandemic.
Byars opened the room up for questions once he finished; answering several inquiries about the safety guidelines and potential uses of the old middle school building once the transition is complete.
During his closing, he expressed that he was grateful to be in attendance and to have the opportunity to speak with the Noon Optimist Club.