The start of a new year brings about an eagerness for the possibilities of what’s to come! While many of us make personal resolutions that we vow to keep, we inevitably fall short because we don’t always have the tools available to us to succeed. It can be the same in education if we aren’t careful. We often make grand plans that fall short of time, resources, or intentionality.
Autauga County Schools is working on major projects, in alignment with our strategic plan, that directly impact and benefit our families. In addition to the district’s new online enrollment program, we are launching a GPS-enabled software system that allows buses to easily navigate transportation challenges and formalizing the district’s hardship program with an in-district transfer policy, streamlining the process for our families. The double-edged nature of taking on major projects is that we typically find additional issues that can be corrected if we’re willing to do a little more work.
Transfinder, the new bus software, allows our Transportation Department to provide drivers with turn-by-turn directions mapped for optimum efficiency and creates real-time alternate routes for road closures or construction delays. Beyond the initial launch, additional features, such as the number of students and their photos, can be uploaded for each stop along the route. In coordination with the online enrollment process, Transfinder allows us to work months ahead of a new school year so that we are fully prepared on the first day of school.
We are also moving forward with our In-District Transfer program for the new school year to allow families within the district to choose where they would like to attend school. Our schools have distinct personalities and offer varied academic and extracurricular options, so giving our families the option to choose what’s best for their child just makes sense. The application process, slated to open in April, includes factors such as attendance, behavior, and academics. If an application is approved, it moves to a lottery system based on the number of available slots at the requested school.
In short, we can’t let the fear of failure force us into complacency. We’ve got to be willing to try new things that stretch and scare us for the benefit of our students – our future community, political, and business leaders. Here’s to keeping our New Year’s resolutions!
Lyman Woodfin is a 17-year veteran of the school system having served as a classroom teacher, coach, and school administrator. Most recently, Lyman Woodfin was the Marbury High School principal, serving the 560-student school since 2018. During his tenure, he was credited with overhauling the curriculum offerings to meet all students’ educational needs, including adding new vocational classes in broadcasting, business, agriculture, and construction. He is married to Staci and they have five children who attend school in the district.