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Principal’s Message

Ryan Stein
rtstein@henrico.k12.va.us
804-261-2970

Click here for more information about Mr. Ryan Stein

 

We have so much to celebrate as the school year begins.  The Virginia Board of Education recognized Greenwood Elementary as a 2020 Board of Education Highest Achievement Award recipient. We were one of six schools from Henrico County Public Schools to earn this prestigious award, and one of the most diverse schools across the state of Virginia. This academic success speaks volumes about our thriving students, “all in” educators, and supportive parents and community. 

As a pioneer for innovation and collaboration, Greenwood was selected as one of four elementary schools in Henrico County recognized as a “Deeper Learning Impact School.” This distinguished recognition highlights our school’s relentless dedication to student engagement, instructional leadership, and establishing a positive and inclusive school culture. We continued to see an increase in our attendance (98%) and a decrease in our discipline referrals (49%) with the implementation of our House System. Greenwood is one of the highest achieving schools in the state of Virginia. We are committed to growing our students into educated citizens who care deeply, think creatively, problem solver together and seek to change the world. We are so much more than our scores. We seek to create moments and memories that touch our hearts and souls. 

In the fall of 2019, our school continued to enhance and deepen our collaborated relationships with with our feeder pattern middle school, Hungary Creek. We successfully achieved our goal of becoming closer to creating a “K-8 school” as we formed a cohort of teachers that shared resources to actively engage our students in diverse educational, social, and civic learning experiences. Furthermore, we were ecstatic and humbled to host classroom teachers and administrators representing over 50 schools throughout Virginia that left our campus with the hope of bringing some “Greenwood Magic” back to their student’s educational experience. 

Our staff at Greenwood continue to raise the bar. Recently, Mr. Danny Jones, our innovative learning coach, was recognized as a Henrico Top 20 Teacher with the Henrico Citizen and Mrs. Robin Milwit, our kindergarten teacher, won the R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence receiving $11,500 to study emerging technologies that will help develop students’ social and emotional skills by visiting schools and educational technology companies in Finland. Our Associate Principal, Mrs. Lesha Jackson, and recently retired school nurse, Mrs. Debbie Taylor, was recognized as The Heart of Henrico for their passion and commitment to making a difference in the lives of our gators. Ms. Wilson, our innovative 3rd grade teacher, was recognized as a finalist for the R.E.B Award for Teaching Excellence and featured in Edconnective sharing her successful experience with virtual learning. Our the past four years, our resilient teachers have received over $50,000 in grants, which have played a major role in enhancing our educational program. Furthermore, Greenwood has many teachers that continue to present at conferences and faculty meetings throughout the United States sharing their best practices in the classroom and with virtual learning. Our teachers have proven they are willing to do things that unsuccessful schools are not willing to do.

I am also extremely proud and honored that our entire Greenwood community proved to be resilient and dedicated as all schools throughout Virginia moved to virtual learning in March 2020. Our connections remained strong and positive while exemplifying our Gator Values. Our teachers became champions of virtual learning as they also balanced work and home life. The success of our distance learning would not have been possible without your partnership and continued dedication towards academic and citizenship excellence. Our teachers and staff know that many of our families juggled changes in your own work situation while navigating homeschooling your children. By showing each other grace and empathy, will remained Greenwood Strong and will continue to push Greenwood to hopefully become the most diverse National Blue Ribbon School in the state of Virginia in 2021. 

Our PTA also had a tremendous year by becoming the only school in Henrico County Public School to achieve the 2019 The National PTA School of Excellence Award.  This is a major achievement that speaks volumes about our school community. Our PTA membership increased to over 100%, our after school enrichment program had over 100 students participating in 10+ programs in the fall and winter, which made Greenwood the largest after school enrichment program at the elementary level. As a matter of fact, because of our success with our PTA after school enrichment programs and two week summer camp, Greenwood was selected to be the first elementary school in Henrico County to host an after school day care program through the Henrico Education Foundation. Our PTA put a major emphasis on advocacy for student and teacher health and wellness, as well as celebrating cultural differences. Our PTA believes in all children and has a never ending fire for making a long lasting impact in our community. Our success will only continue to grow with the partnership between the school, home and community. We had a phenomenal year, BUT we are determined to top it this year! 

In 2020 – 2021, I will stand tall and side by side with our student, parents, teachers, and community as we tackle many new challenges together. My top priorities will remain safety in the building, student achievement, health and wellness of our students and staff, and continued improvement of instruction that supports the development of deeper learning environments and experiences. Our students will once again be empowered to take risks, held accountable for their own learning, inspired to think critically, and serve outside of the school walls.  We will continue to support the foundation of social and emotional development of our future community leaders as they start the journey to becoming college and career ready. Students will be encouraged to pursue their passion, goals, and future as we create go-getters, decision makers, designers, creators, self starters, and dreamers. They will tap into their questions, their own sense of wonder, and empathy towards an audience. Students will be given choice, student ownership, and allowed time for inquiry in order to foster creativity and navigate their own learning. Our teachers believe it is our responsibility to develop passionate, lifelong learners, ready to tackle the real world and be prepared for anything. We believe that the future president of the United States is in our school, and therefore, we teach every lesson to reach unimaginable heights as we prepare all our students to have the job. 

As your collaborative leader, I promise that I believe in all our students, and I take my job as an educator personally. My actions will prove that I support you and your family during this unprecedented year filled with challenges, uncertainty, and change.   I promise to always advocate for our Greenwood school community as I continue to lead with transparency and my heart. I will not make promises I can not keep, and I will never make one excuse for not reaching our school goals. I will speak the truth, insist upon brilliance, take risks, model what I expect, empower others to enhance instructional practices, and always make decisions with a kid first mentality.  I promise to lead with fire, think outside the box, be real, and always be available for our students, parents, and teachers. I promise to be our community’s equity champion, make all stakeholders feel valued, and hold people accountable for providing the most magical educational experience. 

My main goal in a year with so many uncertainties is to continue to create a nurturing and high quality educational experience that we are proud to call our second home. I want our students, staff, parents, and our community running through our doors excited about our students thriving academically, socially, and emotionally.  I believe that a child’s background does not determine what they will accomplish in education or in life. I take pride on building a culture of inclusion to maximize the strengths and potentials of our diverse learners. Therefore, I promise to continue to build a school foundation based on fun and love and treat our students as if they are my own children. 

This year our school will continue to teach with contagious enthusiasm and positive energy that will ensure we live out our mission statement, “Every Student, Every Family, Every Employee, Every Day! ONEGreenwood!”  Our school theme will remain “Not Just a School, An Experience,” and we wholeheartedly believe it is our job to provide our gators an unforgettable school experience. Our relentless teachers will never become complacent, but instead remain wildly and unabashedly different as they continue the mindset shift from “required” to “desired.” Using the Four Pillars of Deeper Learning:  Learning is Anytime, Anywhere; Learning is Authentic & Connected; Learning is Student-owned; and Learning is Community Supported, our students’ experiences will support growth in their communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. Our school will continue to put a lazar focus on the importance of teaching the “soft skills” and how to connect with other people in order to gain trust and respect.  Our students will leave Greenwood with the skills set to become comfortable in what was an uncomfortable situation. Furthermore, our students will engage in divergent thinking as they find new routes to solve complex problems, take creative risks, and challenge the status quo. It is our hope that their experiences at Greenwood will prepare them for the many adventures awaiting them beyond elementary school. 

Finally, please continue to follow our school website and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for additional highlights throughout the year. Our PTA website is also loaded with useful information on how to get involved. We are a successful school due to the commitment and support from our PTA. No job is too small, and volunteering is a great way to meet new friends. Please consider committing your time this school year to make a difference for your child. This year more than ever, we must turn towards each other, not away from one another. Together, we will be the difference! 

If at any time I can be a service to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  It is my goal to make our building inviting for families throughout the school year. I value your feedback and suggestions. No matter what the future holds, we will be ready to educate and love your children while providing an equitable and safe environment for all our Gators. Greenwood Elementary is a champion among schools, and I have so much gratitude for being given the opportunity to serve our community. 

 

In partnership,

 

Ryan Stein

Greenwood Elementary School

Principal

rtstein@henrico.k12.va.us 

804-261-2979

 

Greenwood Elementary Report Card 

Standards of Learning Results 

Reading 90% 

Math 96% 

Science 97%

VA Studies 95%

Permanent link to this article: https://greenwood.henricoschools.us/principals-message/