It’s almost more noticeable than a change in actual physical seasons. Once the calendar turns to August, you can feel "school" in the air. You can see the school supplies in all the stores. The commercials are on all the television channels and the print ads are in the newspaper. Traffic seems to get a little busier. The signs in front of the schools change from "Have a great Summer" to "Welcome Back Students." Emotions range from excited to nervous to sad that summer is over. But no matter what, school is coming soon!

Our teachers start back this week here in Conway Schools. It will be a busy time as they prepare for the new school year. We are doing exciting new work with our curriculum this year. You will be hearing much more about this moving forward. We want to partner with our parents to give your children the best education possible. This takes all of us working together. Our staff is energized and ready to work hard to achieve this. It’s always interesting that teachers can be so ready for summer, yet once they get back in those classrooms, they can’t wait for school to start! We are so proud of our Conway Schools staff. They truly care about our students and create that culture of caring for each one of them.

Our maintenance and technology crews have worked hard all summer renovating the campus at Marguerite Vann Elementary School. Staff and students there will return to a brand new building! We can’t wait to see everyone’s faces as they see their new home! We are also excited about the start of construction of safe rooms at all of our elementary schools. These are scheduled to be completed by the end of this school year. Our School Board feels strongly that this is a valuable investment in the safety and security of our children and our community.

Just like the changing of seasons, the start of a new school year brings lots of possibilities. Each student has a clean slate. A fresh start. Each teacher has a new class. Untapped potential. So many opportunities to make a difference each day.

As we embrace the new year, we remember that our Core Values do not change:

Students First

Staff Committed to Excellence

Value and Respect Diversity

Provide Innovative Educational Opportunities

Cultivate Community Relationships

Maintain a Safe and Caring Environment

These Core Values "anchor" us and provide our foundation for this and every school year. They are our commitment to you, our pact with each other, and our promise to ourselves as we begin the 2017-18 school year. We will make our decisions with these in mind. Every child, every day, whatever it takes.

Heather Kendrick is the Communication Specialist for Conway Public Schools. Contact her at or by phone at (501) 450-4800. For more on Conway Schools, log onto