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Superintendent's Message, September 2022

Originally published in the September 2022 edition of Vestavia Hills Community News

September 1, 2022 -- Embarking on a new school year is filled with excitement and adventure. Our more than 7,000 students will be busy making connections to new knowledge and friends while problem-solving, exploring, and creating. I am truly amazed at how many opportunities our students will have because of the unparalleled support of the Vestavia Hills community. Whether you are an employee, parent, grandparent, or community member, there is much to be celebrated in our school system. And one of our priorities is to communicate all of the wonderful things that happen when our students come to school.

Each August, we publish an Annual Report that summarizes the accomplishments of our students from the past year. You can read that report by visiting our website at The website is a helpful resource for information about our school system strategic plan, calendars, policies, employment opportunities, and budgets. You can also learn about content standards for the courses we teach and the many resources available to students and families. Each school has its own website with school-specific information about academics, extracurricular activities, and a staff directory. These pages are viewed more than 1.5 million times per year, making the VHCS website one of our most important resources for community engagement.

There are many other ways to keep up with what is happening in our school system in real-time. Each of our schools use social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as e-newsletters to share events, announcements, and good news about student achievements and accolades. We provide our families and students with mobile apps to keep track of calendar updates, lunch menus, and scores from athletic events. We also use a mass notification system that can alert parents instantly through phone calls, text messages, and emails to changes in school schedules and other important messages.

The school system provides a number of other opportunities to stay connected. All of our Board of Education meetings are live-streamed on YouTube, and meeting agendas and minutes are posted on our website. Our VHCS podcast gives the community an opportunity to hear from school staff and students about the great work taking place in the schools. And, we have enjoyed a longstanding partnership with the City and Chamber of Commerce on the production of this community newsletter to help share our story with every Vestavia Hills resident.

Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” We believe our work as a school system to communicate, inform, and engage is never finished because we know that the education of our children is a partnership with families and the community. These communication efforts help us greatly to inform everyone about the events, accomplishments, and operations of our school system. But the best way to truly experience what is happening here is to make connections with teachers and administrators, visit the school, or come to an event.

Todd Freeman, Ed.D.
Vestavia Hills City Schools