The Walton County School District was recently awarded a 2022 Georgia School Boards Association’s Leading Edge Award in the area of Culture, Climate & Organizational Efficacy.
The nomination for the award highlighted the district’s commitment to providing welcoming environments where students and staff feel safe, supported, valued and respected by implementing an aggressive school safety initiative, introducing a variety of social and emotional supports and fostering strong internal and external relationships to support local schools.
The statewide Leading Edge Award program highlights school districts that are leading the way in ensuring students are competitive in an ever-changing global market and recognizes the innovative design and implementation of programs that have a positive impact on student achievement and engagement.
“It is an honor to be recognized by GSBA with a Leading Edge Award for our work in the area of school safety because we strongly believe that safe and disciplined schools play a vital role in student success,” said Superintendent Nathan Franklin. “We understand the significant impact that culture and climate have on our schools and strive to lead the way in providing safe, supportive and respectful learning environments for all.”
Over the past few years, district leaders have continued to place a high priority on updating school safety measures. The new upgrades include the addition of safety vestibules in all 15 schools, an ongoing focus and training on staff vigilance and an expansion of the school resource officer program to include all 15 schools. WCSD also offers an award-winning Safe Campus Rewards program that allows individuals to confidentially report any information pertaining to unsafe items, threats or suspicious behaviors that might compromise campus safety.
In addition to improving building safety, members of the Board and WCSD leaders believe in helping students develop self-awareness, self-control and interpersonal skills that are vital for success in school, work and life. To support students in these areas, WCSD has implemented several Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs and services to support positive school cultures.
This is the fourth year in a row WCSD has been honored with a Leading Edge Award. Previously, the school district was recognized in the areas of Teaching and Learning, Communication and Early Learning.