Welcome to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Ready Schools Initiative Webpage!
In June 2000, the NC Ready for School Goal Team issued a report entitled School Readiness in North Carolina. In that report "school readiness" was defined as a puzzle with two pieces:
1) The condition of children when they enter school.
2) The capacity of schools to educate all children, whatever each child's condition may be.
Additionally , the report outlined a series of recommendations for what was needed in our state to assure that all children were arriving at school "ready" and that schools were, in turn, "ready" for all children. Since that report was released, there was and has continued to be growing national attention and research around issues related to Ready Schools.
In 2006, through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the NC Ready Schools Taskforce was convened by June Atkinson, North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction; Karen Ponder, then President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children; and Carolyn Cobb, then Director of the NC Office of School Readiness. The purpose of the taskforce was to review the initial recommendations that were made in regard to the Ready Schools component of the original report and to determine what steps must be taken to assist our state in moving forward. This taskforce worked for over a year to develop a Ready Schools Definition and Pathways in our state and an action plan with a statewide goal of assuring that every elementary school in NC was working toward this ready school vision.
In June 2007, the North Carolina State Board of Education took the following actions in support of the NC Ready Schools Initiative:
- Adopted the Ready Schools Definition and Pathways of a Ready School;
- Endorsed the NC Power of K Position Paper as a Ready School foundational support: and
- Supported the recommendation that elementary schools develop a "ready school plan" to be integrated into the School Improvement Planning process, using a "ready school" assessment instrument to support development of the plan.
The NC Ready Schools Initiative supported efforts by local school systems to begin the ready school planning process with each of their elementary schools. To that end, every school was and continues to be encouraged to begin this effort through the development of a local Ready School Planning Team. These teams were to include, but not be limited to the following participants:
Public school leaders (superintendent, teachers, principals, etc)
Local Smart Start Partnership representatives
Higher Education representatives
Community early care and education representatives
Faith and business community leaders
At that time, Forsyth County was one of the leaders in developing a Community Ready Schools Team with several elementary schools willingly participating in the work of becoming a "ready school". The Forsyth County Ready Schools Team exists today, with many of the founding members still on board! In an attempt to re-vitalize the Ready Schools ideals, just recently, the team recommended the creation of a new coordinating position for this work to serve as a liaison between the local school system, the Forsyth County Smart Start and the local early care and education community. With the generous support of the Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust, through their Great Expectations Initiative, a Ready Schools Coordinator position was developed and filled on April 1, 2014. Dr. Eva C. Phillips now serves in this role.
As the county moves into its next phase of the Ready Schools work, you are encouraged to check back to this webpage often as it continues to be developed. You will be able to find numerous resources to guide your work with young children, their families and the community. You will also be able to keep up with important developments related to the readiness of the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Schools and community, as well as to any upcoming events that may be of interest to you.
Thank you for visiting this site and please drop back by soon!