• School Theme
    Strategic Plan
    Walter M. Williams High School

    1307 South Church Street.

    Burlington, NC. 27215-4919

    Phone: (336) 570-6161

    Fax: (336) 570-6214



    Walter M. Williams High School offers students many opportunities to be engaged academically and socially.  There are areas where our students, staff and community are thriving and experiencing great success.  There are also a few areas where we feel we could be even more effective and purposeful in what we do to help our students be successful. In December, 2011, the Leadership Team at Williams High School decided to start a Strategic Planning initiative. The members of the team have put in many hours of work determining the course of action we will take in our school for at least the 2012/2013 school year, with a plan to continue for the next three to five years. 


    Based on feedback, the Leadership Team determined sixteen areas to target for improvement.  In addition to these areas,we added Academic Success as our number one area.  In this booklet, you will find the seventeen areas and information about each.  Please know that work is still being done on some of these areas and more information will be forthcoming as plans progress. If there was a new or updated policy needed for an area, you will find that information as well.  We hope that you will find this information helpful as you partner with us to make our school the best that it can be. 

    Mission Statement:

    Through rigorous academic standards, forward-thinking instruction and positive interpersonal relationships, Williams High School is preparing students to thrive in a rapidly changing society.

    I.           Academics

    The top priority of our school is to increase academic achievement in all areas.  This includes increasing strategies for teaching our English Language Learners (ELL) and our regular education students, increasing the number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered,increasing AP/Honors enrollment, increasing the number of students taking AP exams, increasing the use of technology driven instruction in our classrooms,making content more rigorous, relevant and engaging to students, and all teachers creating pacing guides that align lessons to prioritized Common Core and Essential Standards. We will develop data teams (professional learning communities) for implementing common and formative assessments to examine student needs and improve instructional strategies. We will continue to offer differentiated professional development and will increase our level of teacher input and choice. We will align our walkthroughs with our academic focus to provide feedback for teachers to use to improve instruction and student learning.Quality instruction and student learning are the driving forces behind what we do at Williams High School.

    II.           Electronics Use (policy # 4220.4,rule # 8):

    Students will be allowed to use electronic devices, including mobile phones, inside the building at times other than instructional times and in locations other than classrooms.  Once the bell to dismiss students from one class to another rings and the student steps outside the classroom door, he or she will be allowed to use electronic devices, but must discontinue use before they enter the next classroom door. Due to the fact that students will be allowed to use electronic devices during these times, there will be “zero tolerance” for use in a classroom/during instructional times.  If s student is found to be using any unauthorized electronic device inside a classroom, the student will be asked to put the phone away. If the student does not comply or takes the phone out again, the student will receive a discipline referral.


    Dress Code (4220.4, Rule # 2)

    1. Shorts, skirts and dresses must not be higher than the fingertips when a student is extending his or her arms at their side with shoulders relaxed. When wearing pants, skin (including through holes) or undergarments must not be exposed above the fingertips when the student is extending his or her arms at their side with shoulders relaxed. Shorts, skirts, and dresses should not be excessively tight fitting. If a skirt or dress has a slit, the slit must meet the same guidelines (must not be higher than the fingertips when a student is extending his or her arms at their side with shoulders relaxed). Shorts, skirts and pants must be worn at the waist (no sagging).

    2. Shirts/tops must cover the midriff, waist, back and cleavage, and must not be excessively tight fitting or see through. Hoodies and jackets are allowed, but cannot be worn on the head while inside the school building.

    3. Shoes must be worn at all times.  Bedroom slippers/shoes are not allowed.  

    4. Inappropriate apparel such as pajamas or clothing representing drugs, tobacco, alcohol, sex, gangs, violence or are crude, suggestive or divisive in words or pictures may not be worn.

    5. Class shirts or any clothing designed to represent Williams High School or an organization at Williams High School must be approved by Dr. Ferrell before it is sold or worn on school grounds.

    6. Athletic uniforms may not be worn during the instructional day unless approved by administration.

    7. Items not allowed on campus: blankets used as outerwear and other attire that is distracting to the learning environment, items that could be used as a weapon, such as studded bracelets, studded belts, handcuffs, chains (including chains on wallets and hanging chains) and items considered to be gang related (including bandanas).

    8. Items not to be worn inside the building prior to 3:25pm: caps, tams, headgear (other than hair bows and headbands) and sunglasses.


    Note:  Administration reserves the right to make the final decision in regard to appropriate and inappropriate dress as well as what is considered distracting to the learning environment.




    We will take a “zero tolerance” approach with students who are out of compliance.

    • 1st violation – Allow the student the opportunity to correct the dress code, including sending the student home to change and contact  parent

    • 2nd violation – Referral to administration with full day of ISS

    • 3rd violation – Referral to administration with 2 days of ISS minimum

    • After 4 or more violations – Referral to administration with 1 full day of OSS minimum






    IV.           Tardy (policy # 4220.4, rule # 5): Students are expected to be on time for all classes. 

    1st Tardy = Teacher Consequence w/Parent Contact Required
    2nd Tardy = Referral to Administration w/ one full day of ISS
    3rd  Tardy = Referral to Administration w/ 2 Full Days of In School Suspension Minimum
    4th Tardy (and beyond) = Referral to Administration w/Parent Conference Minimum Up to and Including Out of School Suspension (OSS)



    V.           Skipping (policy # 4220.4, rule # 5): Students are expected to attend all classes.


    1st Skipping Offense:

    On-Campus Occurrence – Referral to Administration w/Consequences of up to (2) two days of ISS and Parent Contact.

    Off-Campus Occurrence – Referral to Administration w/Consequences of up to (2) two days of OSS and Parent Contact.

    2nd Skipping Offense:

    Referral to Administration w/ Consequences given:

    On Campus:

    2nd Offense- 1 Day OSS

    3rd Offense- 2 Days OSS

    4th Offense- Admin. Discretion


    Off Campus:

    2nd Offense- 3 days OSS

    3rd offense- 4 days OSS

    4th Offense- Admin. Discretion


    Note: Seniors caught taking an underclassman off-campus for lunch will lose their off-campus lunch privileges at the discretion of administration, including for the remainder of the academic year.



    VI.           Attendance (policy # 4400.2): Students are expected to attend classes regularly. 


    The Alamance-Burlington School System policy on attendance will be followed at Williams High School.  You may read this policy in its entirety on the ABSS website, in the ABSS Student Code of Conduct or in the Williams High School Student Handbook. Any student who accumulates more than 10 unexcused absences in a class within a semester will receive an “F” for the course.  If extenuating circumstances exists, there will be an appeals process/review available.


    VII.           Non-Compliance (policy #4220.4, rule# 1): Students shall comply with classroom and school rules and directives at all times while under the authority of school personnel.  Referrals shall be written after the teacher has exhausted classroom policy, including parent contact, with proper documentation for non-compliance.  Administrative action will be taken and will generally include a minimum of one day of In School Suspension (ISS).

    VIII.           Safety and Order (policy # 4220.4,rule #’s 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 & 25): There will be “zero tolerance” for violating these selected rules of the Student Code of Conduct and students will be referred to administration immediately for appropriate action.  ***other rules not specifically listed here will be handled on a case by case basis by school personnel (including administration as needed).

    IX.           Celebrating Students:  The staff would like to have all students represented equally.  Students who show a progressive and positive effort should be recognized. Awards may consist of but not be limited to; nomination for drawings,display student on school webpage, shout-outs in the announcements, students name in-front of school, and others as determined by the sub-committee responsible for this part of the Strategic Plan.

    X.           Celebrating Staff:  It is the goal of WHS to welcome all new teachers to an environment that is conducive to their success both inside and outside of the classroom.   New teachers will be provided an orientation to help them learn the “William’s way”.  Based on content areas, new teachers will be provided with a mentor who can formally and informally meet to discuss concerns as well as progress.  Encouraging new teachers and current staff to get involved in school events above and Building normal duties will also be the goal of this sub-committee.  

    XI.           Grounds and Building Appearance:  Student ownership in the beautification and improvement of William’s grounds and appearance has been discussed.  It will be the goal of this sub-committee to continue to look for and implement ways to make the appearance of our school a priority and information will be announced periodically to get the entire school community involved in this effort.

    XII.           Duties &Events: We believe that students like to see faculty and staff in attendance at afterschool events such as performing arts and athletic events.  All faculty and staff will be required to attend a minimum of three events during the academic year and this sub-committee will work to set up a rotating schedule that is fair and equitable to all.  They will also continue to discuss and look for ways to involve all faculty and staff in events outside the regular school day.

    XIII.           Open House: This sub-committee will be responsible for planning Open House, considering factors such as overlap with the middle school Open House,orientation for rising 9th grade students and families and the types of information that will be shared.


    XIV. Face-to-Face: This sub-committee will work to streamline the Face-to-Face conference days and take into account the distribution of Report Cards and/or Progress Reports so that parents can speak with teachers after they have been sent out.


    XV.           Online Learning: This sub-committee will work to make online learning opportunities available to students for the purpose of credit recovery and first time classes through e2020, North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (VPS) and/or other online resources. If a class is offered at WHS, students may not take it online unless it credit recovery.  The decision to use E2020, VPS or some other option will be on a case by case basis.  All classes will have very definite cut-off dates which will be set in conjunction with the Online Facilitator and communicated to the school community. These course options may help reduce dropout rates, by providing students with an alternative option for credit recovery as well as allow students to take classes they might not otherwise have access to. 



    XVI.           Reaching Our Boys:This sub-committee will work to identify male students considered “at risk” of failure in our school due to behavior, attendance and/or academic performance.  The goal will be to also identify staff and community members who can work with and mentor these students in an effort to allow them to experience success and possibly change the path that they are currently on and re-engage them in school. In addition, many of our students will be exposed to classrooms where Capturing Kids’ Hearts will be implemented.

    XVII.           Crisis Team Planning: This sub-committee will work to be sure we have a detailed plan in place for handling any emergency situation that might arise before,during or after the instructional day. 


    ***Any questions or comments in reference to the Strategic Plan should be directed to Alicia Curtis, Leadership Team Chairperson at 336.570.6161 or Alicia_curtis@abss.k12.nc.us


    For a printable version of this document, please click HERE.