Your System. Our Community. One Florence.
Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! There is a quote from Virginia Woolf that says, “Happiness is in the quiet, ordinary things. A table, a chair, a book with a paper-knife stuck between the pages. And the petal falling from the rose, and the light flickering as we sit silent.” Our world has changed since March 2020, and yet the human desire for normalcy for ordinary things still drives us. There are many great things that Florence City Schools offers our students. The faculty and staff members of Florence City Schools (FCS) work hard to provide students the opportunity to attain the success and experience needed for their tomorrow, today. Whether in academic achievement, athletics, fine arts, workforce development, or any extracurricular activities, we strive to empower our students to explore, create, challenge, innovate, and lead. Students are provided with a plethora of options and opportunities to reach their full potential. Through our 19 AP courses, 70 career tech offerings, 15 competitive sports with 63 teams, and education literally from the cradle to career, FCS is striving to provide the students, parents, and this community with what is essential to be a bastion of economic and educational excellence for many years to come. While our goals to provide for this community will not change this year, our focus is on striving to give our students, teachers, faculties, and staff ordinary things, school, every day, at a high level. As safely and practicably as we can, we will conduct school this year. “School” may be a brick and mortar building for you this year. “School” may be a computer screen and a Google Meet this year. “School” may be some hybrid in between this year. In whatever manner the circumstances allow, we will provide our community with the best education possible under the circumstances.
We will still create an environment in which our students no longer have to wonder if they can be successful when they leave our distrct. They will know because of the dedication, hard work, and forward-thinking of our faculty, staff, and parents. None of this is possible without the great support that you, the community of Florence, provide.
To provide all of this in the midst of COVID-19, we, more than ever, will need the support of our community. The community’s overwhelming support is clearly evident through the City of Florence’s commitment to providing 45% of the district’s funding. Florence City Schools’ partnership with over 60 business and community entities. The unique partnerships among FCS, University of North Alabama, Northwest-Shoals Community College, and the University of Alabama demonstrate how teamwork yields success. The enthusiasm from our community for the success of our student-athletes will lead to unmatched athletic competitiveness across the state. Our athletic programs continue their journey to new levels of success, which is evident in each team’s success and our commitment to state-of-the-art facilities for our student-athletes. Our community believes in, expects, and supports excellence on and off the field.
With 70% of all FCS faculty holding a master’s degree or higher, FCS prides itself on recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining the best and brightest in the education profession. NICHE rankings currently rate our school system as the 11th best in the state. Our high school is currently ranked 10th best in the state. Likewise, our K-8 schools have attained prestigious awards, including recognitions such as National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, Intel School of Distinction finalist for national mathematics excellence, Alabama Torchbearer models, NASSP’s continued designation as a Breakthrough School and a model for excellence for child nutrition in national publications. In technology, we are the pacesetter when it comes to our 1-to-1 initiative in pre-K through grade 12. Florence Virtual High School provides online courses for students to take charge of their learning. This year, our Virtual School has expanded to kindergarten. Our dual enrollment opportunities are second to none in the state.
As the year unfolds, and we face many of the challenges that come with everything that 2020 has brought us, please remember, Florence City Schools is your school system. Florence is our community. Even in the face of pandemics and unrest, we are united to support our children and community. In all times, we must always be One Florence.
Have a great year. Go Falcons!
Dr. Jimmy D. Shaw, Jr.
Florence City Schools