Dear Patrick County Citizens,

As we close out the 2019-2020 school year, I want to express my appreciation to you, the citizens of Patrick County.  This current health crisis has forced many changes to our daily lives.  We all recognize the struggles that our families and neighbors have endured.  While much has been taken, perhaps we could take a moment to consider how we have persevered.  We may find that we are becoming more appreciative of the people and opportunities that we once took for granted.  We may discover that we are more creative in our approach to problem-solving.  We may be quicker to lend a helping hand to others in need, and we may show genuine kindness and gratitude for both the big and little things that come our way.

In my role as Superintendent of Patrick County Public Schools, I have witnessed incredible strength during this school closure.  First, I want to commend our students.  They have shown outstanding resilience in abruptly moving from their familiar routines to meeting the requirements for finishing this school year under such unprecedented circumstances.  Our teachers and assistants have demonstrated remarkable flexibility and efficiency as they navigated the switch to distance learning, all while maintaining the professional relationships they worked so hard to establish throughout the year with their students.  Our technology department worked tirelessly to support the instructional staff and students during the implementation of distance learning. Our food service department and cafeteria staff, with unmoving resolve, continued to prepare nutritious meals for our children throughout the county.  Our maintenance department and custodial staff worked diligently to ensure safe and clean buildings while undertaking additional responsibilities to sustain the day to day operations.  Our transportation department and bus drivers meticulously sanitized buses, and our mechanics continued to repair and inspect school division vehicles to ensure that the safe transport of our students can resume.  Our administrators, administrative assistants, therapists, and guidance counselors assessed needs, implemented plans, provided services, connected families to community resources, and kept communication open to support our students, staff, and families.

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the citizens of Patrick County.  You continue to demonstrate unwavering support for our students.  Parents, grandparents, and guardians took on the active role of teacher and converted kitchens to classrooms.  Community members, organizations, churches, and our PC staff continue to find creative ways to make senior activities special and meaningful, and we look forward to the Graduation event for the Class of 2020.

And so, thank you to all!  As we look to the future, we will rely on our faith and our love for each other.  As Virginia continues to reopen in the weeks ahead, we will communicate the details of Graduation and our plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Take care and have a blessed summer.


Dean Gilbert




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