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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

K-8 Continues the Pace!

Several K-8 teachers met on October 12 at Graham Elementary School to continue the pace set by Talladega High School's math department.The efforts of these dedicated teachers to help create pacing guides for our Saxon Math series were very appreciated. I remember how hard it is to plan on being out of the classroom. These teachers are to be commended!

So why do we need pacing guides? The guides will help to eliminate some of the cramming right before testing. Many objectives can wait until after testing because they are not covered in the state course of study. Using guides will help when students transfer from one school to another within the district. The district knows teachers cannot all stay on the same exact lesson, but this will serve as a framework to keep grades across the system together.

So what if you don't administer the ARMT and SAT 10? Even though your grade does not give the formal testing, you are setting the stage to help get them ready. Even Alabama High School Graduation Exam objectives can be found in grades below the high school level.

Math pacing guides for all k-8 teachers will help to assure that when test time arrives our students will be ready. As soon as the guides are complete, everyone will receive a copy!

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Principal's Day

The Talladega City School System has many things in which to be proud. One of them is our new Curriculum Supervisor/Special Education Director Dr. Frank Buck. An article by Buck entitled, " Flexibility is the Name of the Game" can be found in the November/December 2006 Issue of Principal, a publication by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Just an excerpt:During my nine years as an elementary school principal, I have found the typical day to be anything but typical. I come to school each morning armed with a well-defined list of tasks to accomplish, fully realizing that one event may totally reshape my focus for the day. Flexibility is the name of the game.

Dr. Buck is to be commended for continuing to serve as an example for principals. Congratulations!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Zora Ellis Jr. High featured in national publication

The October issue of PTO Today features a two-page article on Zora Ellis Jr. High and the work that was done on the school during this past summer. All of us that pass the school on a day-to-day basis could not help but notice the transformation taking place. It seems a national publication heard about the project as well. Spearheaded by George and Andrea Montgomery and Wilby Wallace, the project entailed using minimum-security prisoners from the Childersburg Work Release Center. The result of their work is obvious to anyone who visits the campus.

We are trying to get some additional copies of the magazine so that we can all see the color pictures and read the full story.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Play by the Rules: Alabama Laws for Youth

Play By the Rules is an outstanding book published by the Alabama Center for Law & Civic Education. If you are looking for a source that tells tennagers what they need to know and does so in language that is understandable, this book does the trick. With each explanation, the book references exactly where in the Code of Alabama a person would go to see a copy of the law.

You can obtan the book either of two ways. You can order a hard copy by completing this order form. (At $5 a copy, it's a bargain.) You can also download the entire books from the internet by going here.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Discovering a Career

Ellis Junior High offers a great opportunity for students to develop interests in a career through David Lipscomb's Career Discoveries Class located in the newest building on campus. Not only are there hands-on activites, but students are required to comprehend the manual and take a test to check for mastery. They work in pairs to complete the assignments and most modules allow students to produce a product at the end. For example, in Engineering Structures students create a bridge which is later tested for its strength.

The class even creates signs and other products for the community. Students are exposed to the following computer based activities: computer aided design, computer animation, computer applications, digital audio production, digital manufacturing, digital music, digital photography, electricity, engineering structures, flight simulator, graphic design, health and fitness, meteorology, plant science, research and design, rocketry and space, vinyl sign making, and digital audio production.

It is wonderful that Ellis is able to offer fun with learning and perhaps play a part in helping students decide on a lifelong career.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Parents Read to Students!

During the month of October the faculty at C.L. Salter Elementary has asked parents to get involved by volunteering to read to students. Through this program parents can set up times to visit the classroom and read to students. This is a great way for parents to get involved. If you would like more information please contact the school at 315-5822.

Huge Turnout for Parent Visitation Day at C.L. Salter

Wednesday October 11 was a great day for C.L. Salter Elementary. Parent visitation day was held in conjunction with Alabama's Statewide Parental Visitation Month. Parents and guests packed the school cafeteria to eat lunch with our students. Parents then visited classrooms to see student work, displays, and PowerPoint presentations developed by students. We are very proud and excited about parental involvement at C.L. Salter Elementary!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Public Input on Language Arts and Driver Education Course of Study

Every seven years, the Course of Study for a different subject area is rewritten. Currently the Course of Study for Language Arts and the one for Driver Education are being rewritten. The public has the opportunity to view the current draft and make comments.

Having served on a Course of Study committee, I can tell you that every single comment that is received is read loud to the entire committee, the merits of it considered, and documentation is made of whether the comment resulted in a change in the Course of Study draft along with the reasons why or why not. You may download the drafts of these documents here.

Comments should be set to Cindy Sewell at csewell@alsde.edu, faxed to (334) 242-0482 or mailed to: Cindy Sewell, Classroom Improvement Section, Alabama State Department of Education, P.O. box 302101, Montgomery, AL, 36130-2101. Comments must be received by Monday, October 30 in order to be considered.

Setting the Pace!

Talladega High School's math department is leading the way toward improving scores on the math portion of the graduation exam. Beth Paris, Chuck Miller, Darius Williams, and Lou Ann McCulley worked throughout the day creating pacing guides with the help of Dr. Frank Buck, Curriculum Supervisor and SDE employee, Connie Lightsey. A pacing guide will help to ensure the course of study and graduation exam objectives are taught and remediated. This effort will benefit teachers who will have the information compiled into one handy document.
Thanks for all your hard work!

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much!
Helen Keller

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Congratulations to Jenni Griffin!

Congratulations to Mrs. Jenni Griffin, Media Specialist at C.L. Salter Elementary, for being awarded the prestigious Herman Moore LAMP Award of Exceptional Service. This award was presented to Mrs. Griffin for her significant contributions over an extended period of time to Alabama Libraries. This award is given by the Alabama Library Expo. Great Job Mrs. Griffin!

C.L. Salter Prepares for Parent Visitation Month

Talladega, Ala. October is Statewide Parent Visitation Month in Alabama and C.L. Salter is inviting parents and others to Children Are the Future—Share the Vision by attending a special school event on Oct. 11.

With research that shows students achieve more when parents are involved in their education, C.L. Salter will participate in the Alabama Department of Education’s Statewide Parent Visitation Month on October 11. While the event is referred to as “Parent” Month, anyone responsible for raising school-aged children is welcome to attend. The theme for the event is Children are the Future—Share the Vision.

“Parental involvement is very important to the success of our students. We have had great support from parents this year and want to continue this great relationship between the parents and the school. The event planned for October 11 is our way of saying thanks to parents, invite them for lunch and showcase the great happenings at C.L. Salter”. (Mr. Shelton Cobb, Principal of C.L. Salter)

C.L. Salter has planned special events in October as a way of informing adults of the importance of their involvement in their school-aged children’s education. October has been set aside for special activities aimed at getting parents and others to invest in their children’s education and learn more about what goes on in their children’s lives while they are at school.

C.L. Salter will join with Alabama public schools/systems across the state in hosting Children Are the Future—Share the Vision Statewide Parent Visitation Month events. “The goal is to connect home and school better,” said State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton. “Parent involvement—now more than ever—is a key factor to student success in school year-round. By setting aside a specific month, our public schools can focus on the importance of parent involvement and investment in their children’s education.”

Scheduled sessions include local and state initiatives such as the Alabama Reading Initiative, Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative, school policies and safety issues.

To learn more about Children Are the Future—Share the Vision Statewide Parent Visitation Month and parent involvement opportunities throughout the school year, contact your local school or school system.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ms. Duncan's Retirement Celebration

On Wednesday, September 27, 2006, Hal Henderson celebrated Ms. Duncan's retirement. The celebration was "bitter-sweet." Ms. Duncan has been a special member of the Hal Henderson Faculty, and she will truly be missed by ALL. Ms. Duncan's friends were invited to attend and all of the Henderson faculty and staff pitched in to make it a beautiful event. Ms. Duncan had several gifts to open, and I believe she loved each and every one of them. Hal Henderson faculty and staff gave Ms. Duncan salt and pepper shakers to add to her collection, a chain, and a "J" charm.
Ms. Duncan's smiling face and positive comments were an asset to the school. She always brought charm and enthusiasm on Tuesday and Thursday. Ms. Duncan was described by all as a "special friend" who made such a difference in the lives of both students and adults. Ms. Davis described Ms. Duncan as a "saint." Good luck, Ms. Duncan, we hope you play all the tennis you wish to play in your free time. Please come back for a visit.

Lowe's Donates $50,000 to THS Career Tech Education Center

Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to Talladega Career/Technical Education Center for the renovation of the Family and Consumer Science learning space. The FACS program is one of the most popular programs offered to students at Talladega High School. Students in the program develop the skills necessary to address challenges faced by individuals and families in the home, school, workplace, and community. Students learn the importance of developing the ability to think, communicate, manage, and lead which will prepare them for success in an increasingly technological and diverse society as well as the global economy.

Over the last year the FACS teacher, Kimberly Mitchell, and the director, Dr. Trellys A. Riley, have contacted numerous businesses to ask their assistance in complying with Business and Industry Certification requirements from the Alabama State Department of Education. When Ms. Mitchell and Dr. Riley applied for the grant from Lowe’s, they went to meet with the local Lowe’s Manager, Daniel Miller in Oxford. Mr. Miller took time to meet with the two of them and offered the assistance of his staff. The staff at the Oxford Lowe’s store has been extremely enthusiastic and encouraging throughout the process.

With the grant from Lowe’s, the students in the FACS program will enjoy a new kitchen facility, sewing tables, and new appliances which will allow the program to continue to meet the needs of students at Talladega High School. BIC (Business and Industry Certification) is a requirement for continued operation of all career/tech programs. The FACS program in Talladega was cited for equipment and facilities concerns from the on site review team last spring and faced a desperate situation needing to meet the requirements, but having no money to do so. According to the teacher, she and the students are thrilled and so appreciative of what Lowe’s has been able to do.

As a part of the FACS program students learn the importance of giving back to the community, and Lowe’s has certainly set a fine example for the students to model. “The grant in Talladega represents Lowe’s commitment to education,” said Larry D. Stone, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “By supporting local schools like Talladega Career/Technical Education Center, we believe we are not only contributing to a cause that’s important to our customers and employees, but we’re also helping schools build a stronger foundation for the children who will be tomorrow’s employees, homeowners and community leaders.”

This type of teamwork makes great things happen for Talladega City students! Thanks to Dr. Riley and Ms. Mitchell for their hard work. Congratulations!