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Mid-Semester Report

Dr. Randy Watts
As our students prepare to review their progress at the nine-week interval, I’d like to give you a sense of the growth and development that the school has seen thus far this year.
To the Brookwood Community:

We have had a smooth and productive start to the 2017-2018 academic year! As our students prepare to review their progress at the nine-week interval, I’d like to give you a sense of the growth and development that the school has seen thus far this year.

I have organized this report based on our mission to educate the whole child, including academic, physical, social, and spiritual components.

Academic

On a daily basis, we are proud of our students for their growth, engagement, and accomplishments. Our youngest students in Junior Kindergarten are building a foundation of cooperation, independence, and an innate love of learning with outstanding teachers and challenging and authentic curriculum. Recently, our fifth grade teachers were featured in a newspaper article about their teamwork to prepare their students for the transition to Middle School.

Our Middle School students are experiencing new learning opportunities with computer coding as a part of their instruction at each grade level, as well as a course on design thinking in the eighth grade. In Upper School, we have added an additional AP class, Human Geography, which is available to students in the 10th grade. Brookwood also celebrated 21 AP Scholars this fall.

We have continued to grow our STEAM and instructional technology programs. There are currently three STEAM labs on campus, with a fourth — an outdoor learning classroom — to be added this year. In instructional technology, 100% of our teaching faculty and administrators are now Apple Certified, and we have our sights set on soon becoming an Apple Distinguished School. Finally, we have added MyBrookwood, our online community, which has helped to extend the classroom, facilitate communication with our parents and community, and share the Brookwood story.

This past May, we bid farewell to the 40 members of the Class of 2017. We will miss these fine young men and women and are excited for them as they take their first steps into their adult lives. There are many ways to measure the success of a school, with college outcomes being the one of the strongest measures of perceived success.

This fall, they are now attending — among other impressive schools — The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn University, University of Alabama, Berry College, Mercer University, the University of Virginia, Wake Forest University, Washington & Lee University, Samford University, Tulane University, and the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom.
 
Just as notable is the figure that this class has been offered in merit scholarships. Not including funds from Georgia HOPE, grants offered total more than $5.3 million. In fact, half of the members of this graduating class were offered $100,000 or more, each. Many students received in excess of $250,000 in offered scholarship offers. Six members from this class will participate in interscholastic athletics.

Physical

Our student athletes returned to school with the hope of a fully renovated Warrior Field. While there were some delays that extended into the beginning of the school year, the Warriors are now playing on a field that is ready for action and is beautiful. A new sound system and livestream equipment add to the experience of watching games both in Warrior Stadium and while at home. We have also expanded one of our practice fields, yielding a much greater selection of space to practice and play games. I hope to see you October 20thfor the last Varsity Football home game of the regular season.

There have been many highlights this season; our Warriors should be proud! Let me draw special attention to the Varsity Softball Team, which just secured the number-two seed in the GISA Class 3A playoffs. They are having a phenomenal season and look forward to hosting the Region Playoffs next Tuesday (Oct 10).

We have developed our physical education program and are now providing a wider range of options for students in PE during the school day. Additionally, nutrition and strength and conditioning are integrated into the curriculum. We welcome Brookwood alumnus Coach Rodger Walker ‘09, along with Coach Drew Giudice, and Coach Jeff Stanley to our Athletics staff.

In the Lower School, the Mileage Club — a running and walking club that occurs before school starts in the morning — has attracted a record number of students, with 20 students having completed more than 15 miles to date. In addition, our Girls Running Strong group recently had seven members compete in the Archbold Pink Run, with one student winning her age group!

We continue to thank the Booster Club members who have helped to make possible many of the athletic projects that are on our campus. Their enthusiasm for Warrior Athletics has helped to create a positive environment for our student athletes.

Social

Our students’ social experience is multifaceted. The new advisory program in the Middle School has allowed students to meaningfully connect in small groups with a teacher. The Tribes program in Middle School continues to grow, emphasizing healthy competition and leadership.

Service, too, is leadership; for this reason we no longer use the term “community service,” but rather “service leadership.” This is exemplified in our Warrior Wednesday program, where Brookwood students partner with a variety of organizations around Thomasville to share support, companionship, tutoring, and other forms of service.

We continue to appreciate the support of our counseling staff, Mrs. Allison Harrell, Mr. Eddie Foy, and Mavis the therapy dog. They have provided a range of support from basic companionship — Mavis’s specialty — to bullying prevention, teamwork, and leadership skills.

Spiritual

The experience and celebration of faith and spirituality remains central at Brookwood. Students in each grade level participate in weekly devotions. Increasingly, devotions are led by a wide array of faculty and students under the leadership of Mr. Jonathan Groover ‘02. Additionally, our Fellowship of Christian Athletic programs in the Middle and Upper School remain strong.

In all, it has been a productive fall for our students, faculty, and administrators. We are continuing to work to share our story and provide the best possible programs. Keep your eyes open in the next few weeks for our first alumni e-newsletter, which will highlight alumni stories as well as share the dates and locations of alumni reunions. Also, look forward to the third annual Brookwood Magazine, which will come out Spring 2018.

We continue to be guided by the bold vision of our strategic plan and have made substantial progress in these goals since developing the strategic plan two years ago. You can read more about our accomplishments, as well as future plans in the strategic planning section of our website.

This year, Brookwood will go through re-accreditation for SAIS and AdvancED/SACS. We are eager to share our progress with the visiting team and welcome their feedback. You will receive a survey next week that is designed to help us in our accreditation process and overall plan for continuous improvement.

I will conclude by recognizing and thanking the Board of Directors for their leadership. The Board of Directors is led by Brookwood alumna Charnie Beverly ‘90. Also, let me publicly welcome Mary Saussy and Terry Howell to our Board.
 
Warm regards,
Dr. Randy Watts
Headmaster
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Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.