Russell County is located in east Alabama on the Alabama/Georgia border. This progressive growing county affords the serene atmosphere and friendly environment of a rural area but also includes the services of Phenix City. Directly across the Chattahoochee River is Columbus, Georgia, which offers the amenities of a larger city. Fort Benning, Georgia, is in close proximity and is creating growth in the bi-city area. Booming agricultural, timber and paper industries are cornerstones of Russell County's predominant workforce. WestRock, Inc. is a paper mill located south of the school system and one of the largest employers in the local community. Chattahoochee Valley Community College and Troy University are two higher educational institutions that provide an array of educational services within the system. The alignment of higher learning through activities and courses for students and teachers in the system has provided access for high school students in dual enrollment and professional activities for instructional staff. Additionally, there are other colleges and universities within a 50-mile radius of Russell County. These include Auburn University, Southern Union Community College, Columbus State University, Columbus Technical College, Tuskegee University, LaGrange College, Troy University (Fort Benning), and Georgia Military College.
According to the most recent census report, the total population of Russell County is 59,585. This includes the corporate limits of Phenix City. This population includes a diverse culture of approximately 54% Caucasian, 42% African-American, five percent Hispanic and one percent other ethnicities. The total land area of Russell County is 641 square miles and the median income is $28,855. Of the adult population, approximately 67% are high school graduates. Grade levels include Kindergarten through 12th Grade with programs and services that are developed to meet the diverse needs of all students based on multiple types of data.
There are 3 elementary schools that serve grades K-5, one primary school that serves grades K-2 and one intermediate school that serves grades 3-5 throughout the massive, rural school district. There is one middle school (grades 6-8) and one high school (grades 9-12) located in the center of the county. We have approximately 69% of students in the district qualifying for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. However, due to USDA and state eligibility programs, all students in the Russell County School District receive universal breakfast for the 2016-2017 school year. The Universal Breakfast Program offers all students the option to eat breakfast at no cost. Moreover, three of our schools are currently participating in the Free Lunch Program. Despite socioeconomic barriers, the Russell County School System seeks opportunities that will afford our students a wide range of benefits and services.
The Russell County School District is the recipient of funding from the Alabama Reading Initiative which provides funding for Instructional Coaches. At the secondary level, the system has implemented honors courses, online courses, and career technical courses to provide opportunities for the diverse needs of the student population. Student performance has improved in many of the academic areas over the years. The Russell County Schools are partnered with local business owners and community leaders in order to supplement the local, state, and federal revenues. These partners provide classroom resources, incentives, and services for students, parents, and teachers.
Russell County School District continues to plan and collaborate to prepare for additional student growth and meet the needs of a diverse population. Currently there are approximately 452 employees employed by the Russell County School District to include certified and classified personnel. The total student enrollment is 3,600. The Russell County Board Of Education, Superintendent, Teachers, Support Staff, Parents, and Community Members provide a strong, positive, and caring culture. Our aim is to encourage, support and strengthen the educational programs at all schools in order to ensure student success. The strong collaboration, communication, and commitment of all stakeholders provide the necessary foundation to ensure that the vision, mission, and goals of the Russell County School District.