4 Corners A Publication of Lauderdale County Schools Volume V Issue 4 November 2017 LCSD-Focus on the Whole Child In the course of my career I have watched movements come and go in the 5ield of education. It seems at times we barely get started with one thing before another comes along to takes its place. However, what we see happening now in our own commu- nity is most alarming, and even more so that there seems to be no end in sight. You can’t even turn on the television or pick up a newspaper without hearing or reading about senseless, violent acts being committed by today’s youth. The only way for our com- munity to see change happen is through education. First, we all have to admit there is indeed a problem. Violence and crime are uncomfortable topics and ones that we often see as someone else’s problem. However, until we all acknowledge the problem and commit to being part of the solution, meaningful change will Randy Hodges, Superintendent not occur. What can we do as educators? First, we have to recognize that intervention begins at an early age. When kindergarten students enter our building, the journey begins and we as educa- tors must ensure safety nets are in place to assist students along the way. Next, we need to en- sure we have the right programs and the right resources to meet the needs of ALL students re- gardless of whether college bound or career bound. Our students need our support in helping to 5igure out what all is available to them outside the walls of the school. They need to see the path outlined before them for future success. Finally, as I have said many times, we can’t underesti- mate the power of relationships. Research has shown that through positive daily interactions with a caring adult not only are we promoting positive mental health for our students, but im- proved educational outcomes as well, such as increased attendance and higher grades. As we know, educators today face many challenges and often fail to receive the recognition so greatly deserved. I recently read a newspaper article that described how so many teachers are forced to work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. Then, add to it the enormous re- sponsibility of not just providing academic instruction, but also social and emotional supports for a wide-range of students. When I think of all these issues, it makes me even more proud of this school district. Our teachers, administrators, and support staff recognize the fact that a qual- ity education is so much more than just academics. We are truly responsible for educating the whole child. So, as we tackle the negative social issues we face today, I challenge you to not lose sight of the fact that you are the hope for a brighter future for our community. You do make a dif- ference in the lives of students.