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Monday, March 26, 2007

Zora Ellis Band Celebrates "Music in Our Schools Month"

March is "Music in Our Schools Month" across America. The theme of this year's celebration is "Music Touches Lives." The Zora Ellis Band embraced this theme by presenting a concert at each elementary school in the Talladega City School System. Pictures here are several members of the 8th Grade Band's clarinet section as they perform at Northside-Hal Henderson Elementary School. Danielle Todd is the band director at Zora Ellis Jr. High.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Alabama School for the Deaf Summer Camp

Campers, ages 6 –15 who have a hearing loss and currently do not attend ASD, are invited to participate in the ASD Summer Camp 2007. In the mornings campers will have academic activities such as Hands on Science, Technology, Reading, Writing, Deaf Studies, and Art. In the afternoons and evenings campers will be busy with recreational activities such a trip
to the McWane Center, as well as bowling, swimming, skating, movies, and much, much more.

Please let potential campers know that ASD Summer Camp 2007 will be the week of June 17 – 23, 2007. Click here for a camper application that needs to be completed and returned by April 27, 2007.

Again this year there will be a workshop for parents and professionals on Saturday, June 16. Parents and siblings would arrive on Saturday morning with campers for a day and evening of Family Fun and Facts. Immediate family members would spend the night in our dormitories, and leave on Sunday after lunch. Campers would stay for the week. Parents would return on Saturday, June 23, for the closing program at 10:30 a.m. If you are interested in the Family Fun and Facts event on Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, please complete and return the form found here.

For more information, please contact Dr. Pam Shaw, ASD Principal, or Dr. Lynn Hayes. ASD Assistant Principal at (256) 761-3214 or e-mail us shaw.pam@aidb.state.al.us or hayes.lynn@aidb.state.al.us. Thank you

Salter Employees Tip Their Hats to Dr. Seuss and Reading!

As you enter Salter Elementary, you are warmly greeted with a beautiful bulletin board honoring Dr. Seuss and all employees of the school. Jenni Griffin cleverly found a way to promote reading, recognize administration, faculty, and staff, AND make the school a happier place to be.

On the display, all employees had a hat which listed their favorite book. The principal, Mr. Cobb's favorite...Junie B. Jones and the Yucky, Blucky Fruitcake. I wonder how many students will be checking this book out!

As students walk by, they naturally read whatever is in sight. The message on the board is clear, books are important to every adult at the school and should be important to students. I bet the books listed on the board may even stand a better chance of being read because some grownup has given their stamp of approval. It is great to see everyone at Salter working together and taking opportunities, like Dr. Seuss' birthday, to motivate children to read!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hal Henderson Celebrates!

The saying "One for all and all for one" fits Hal Henderson to a T, especially when it comes to celebrating! Throughout the school one could spot teachers, support staff, and even the administrator decked out in honor of Read Across America and Dr. Suess' birthday.

Individual classrooms had activities planned around Dr. Suess books. The librarian, Susan Haney made sure plenty of these famous books were available to teachers. T-shirts were ordered and personalized with the school's name.

The lunchroom staff welcomed students to a breakfast featuring GREEN EGGS AND HAM and some were even brave enough to give it a try.

Read Across America and Dr. Suess' birthday are wonderful things to celebrate, but more importantly, when a school faculty and staff share a common bond and work together to reach goals for student improvement like what is evidenced at Hal Henderson, that's real cause for CELEBRATION!

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is

Child Abuse Prevention Month

teExpress Your Strong Commitment to

Protecting Children in our Community

by purchasing


Wristbands and Pens.

Palmer Place, the Talladega County Child Advocacy Center,

is selling blue PROTECT OUR CHILDREN

wristbands and pens to raise money for the child abuse victims in our community.

Palmer Place is a place where these children are safe and valued.

Proceeds will go directly to providing free services to child abuse victims.

$2.00 each

Palmer Place Staff

will be selling these at your child’s school

during the month of April.

For more information on Palmer Place,

please call 256-315-2662

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Talladega City Schools Benefit from Volunteers

Volunteers make the world a nicer place and Ellis Junior High is blessed with one of many talents. Andrea Montgomery, a parent of two Ellis students and two THS graduates, was caught weeding the recent landscaping project in front of the school this week. This volunteer is not afraid of a little hard work. She and her husband George were instrumental in giving the outside of Ellis a facelift before students returned in the fall. To read about this project, visit http://talladegacityschools.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html

Although her children are no longer students at Graham Elementary School, she continues to share her talents. Just recently she helped students celebrate Dr. Suess' birthday by doing sign language for one of the Suess books. Check out this story by visiting: http://talladegacityschools.blogspot.com/2007/03/graham-elementary-celebrates-with-dr.html

Mrs. Montgomery, like many other parents in Talladega, is interested in all of the city system's schools. She has graciously served on the School Improvement Roundtable Advisory Board since April of 2006. The input of parents, along with teachers, administrators and Central Office staff who serve on this committee is valued and is helping to improve our schools. When folks have a common goal there is no stopping the progress!

Thanks to all who give of their time and talents to schools.

Graham Elementary Celebrates with Dr. Seuss

Graham Elementary celebrated Dr. Seuss' Read Across America by having a Round-Robin-Read-A-Thon. Teachers dressed as the "Cat in the Hat", one of Dr. Seuss' main characters.

Judge Hank Fannin brought his fiddle and engaged the students in a reading sing-a-long.

Mrs. Yvonne Lewis, a parent of one of our kindergarten students, presented a dramatic reading activity with one of Dr. Seuss' books.

Andrea Montgomery had children at Graham for over 20 years. She presented her book to the students in sign language.

Fourth graders enjoy the book Hunches and Bunches by Dr. Seuss, read by Principal Melissa Dyer.

After the read-a-thon, each classroom continued this day with their own special reading activities. Graham PTO also provided refreshments to the whole school which was the "icing on the cake" to Dr. Seuss 2007.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Talladega H.S. Career/Tech Center Is Proud To Announce

Recently the FBLA (Future Business of American) members from the high school completed preliminary competition in order to advance onto the FBLA State Career Development Conference in Birmingham. We are proud to announce that Lucas Thomas, will represent us in Accounting I, Jeremy Dunn in Business Law, and Macon Monroe in the Introduction to Business competitions. The FBLA Advisors include: Alex Hale, Benny Morgan and Shantika Watkins; who will accompany these winners and other members to the conference in April.

The FBLA Mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. The state competitive event will allow the students here in Talladega to further develop their leadership skills and compete against the best and the brightest future business leaders across the state.The high school level in the United States boasts 215,000 members who learn new ideas and work to shape their career future through the organization.

FBLA is officially endorsed by the American Management Association, Association for Career and Technical Education , Career College Association, March of Dimes , National Association of Parliamentarians, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Business Education Association , National Management Association, and the U.S. Department of Education

Monday, March 05, 2007

Faye Gibbons Visits Graham School

Faye Gibbons visited Graham students to share a few of her books about what life was like growing up in the mountains of North Georgia.

Mrs. Gibbons grew up in the Georgia Mountains hearing stories told by family members. They were very poor with no running water, no electricity, and no television. She started to school when she was nine years old. This was when she discovered a world of new stories in books.

Today she makes up her own stories to entertain young readers. Most are based on her real life experiences. She dreamed of getting an education and moving far away from the Georgia Mountains to interesting and exciting places. Her stories reflect her belief in the importance of family and the power of dreams. These are only a few of the books based on the stories she heard during her childhood.

Mrs. Gibbons talked to the students about the effect reading has had on her life and where her dreams have taken her. She also took them through the steps of getting a book published. The students will now begin writing their own books. They will go through all the steps of writing, editing, rewriting, and publishing before our Young Author's Day on May 7th, when we will have a Catfish Dinner and Open House to share our books with parents and grandparents.

THS Strongly Supports Students Taking AHSGE

This week is important for high schools students everywhere because the Alabama High School Graduation Exam spring testing is being administered to seniors for the last time before graduation, a second time to juniors, and all 10th graders will have their first opportunity to take all exams.

Talladega High School has taken great measures to support students who will be testing.
Dr. Trellys Riley, Director of Career Tech and coordinator of the High Hopes Committee, scheduled tutoring in the 5 testing areas during the school day, after school, and on the weekend to accommodate all students. Faculty members at THS even made phone calls to parents to make sure they were aware of the tutoring opportunities.

Earlier this year, Dr. Riley, using the High Hopes Fund, purchased USA TEST PREP, an interactive website which allows students to practice for the graduation exam any place that has access to the internet. This program is free to THS students and only requires a login name and password. Students may see Dr. Riley to learn more about this opportunity.

Mr. Douthitt, principal of Talladega High, suggested the school look for ways to boost and motivate students during this stressful period. To carry this idea forward, Katie Reynolds, ISI Supervisor (In School Suspension) presented to the ARMS (Awards, Recognition, and Motivation) Committee a plan to carry out this vision. Chairman Monte Abner and the committee granted the request for funds and the “Positive Promotion” came to life. The "Positive Promotion" plan includes a AHSGE pledge card and tips for doing your best, a ribbon to remind students to do their best, a sweet treat each day to help make testing sweeter, trial run procedures, and bubbling the demographics.

Ophelia Nash and Donna Honeycutt, teachers at THS, Nicole Callahan (Guidance Counselor), and Katie Reynolds have worked diligently to transform the school into a very motivational scene. The first thing students notice when they drive onto campus is the school sign announcing the dates of the AHSGE and a GOOD LUCK wish. A banner greets students as they walk into the school, along with signs around the upper floor of the gymnasium announcing the testing dates. When students go to the cafeteria, there is no way they will miss the huge sign with the message “Do Your Best on the Test!” The message is clear that this event is very important to the faculty and staff at THS.

To ease the mind of those testing, Mrs. Callahan, counselor for THS, arranged for a trial run for students who plan to test. Because of this trial run, students knew exactly where to go and what to do when they reported for the first testing day. During the trial run students pre-grid the necessary information on the answer sheet documents. The 11th and 12th grade students received their pledge cards. To further ease the worries, each student received a reminder sheet that listed vital information such as the room assignment, administrator for testing, and a check list of all exams they need to take.

It is touching to know that the high school was thinking beyond scores to focus on the students’ needs. A very important daily event for students is the break time they receive to grab a quick drink and snack. This is important due to the fact that many teens miss breakfast. In the past when the Graduation Exam was administered, the testers missed this break opportunity. This time around testers will receive a sweet treat each day with a motivational message. An example of this includes a delicious strawberry flavored red Twizzler and the message DON’T LET TESTS TWIST YOUR MIND.

The efforts of the high school do not go unnoticed by the district. Many people are unaware that the participation and academic results of AHSGE for the 11th grade class determine the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) status along with the graduation rate for the school. So having students successfully pass the Graduation Exam affects the individual students and their families, the school status, and ultimately the Talladega City School District.
Good luck to all students!

THS Tennis and Track Teams Unite

Most folks like to sleep in on Saturday morning, especially teenagers, but this wasn’t the plan for Talladega High School Track and Tennis Team members and sponsors.
THS coaches David Todd, Jason Todd, and Eric Firestone and many students arrived early at Advance Auto Parts to host a car wash. Their mission was to raise money to help cover the cost of travel and other expenses. Both sports have no gate proceeds to help financially manage the programs.
Although students and teachers were busy scrubbing, rinsing, vacuuming, and flagging down customers, they managed to have fun in the process and the community benefited, too.

The teams welcome any donations and checks can be made out to Talladega High School Tennis Team and Talladega High School Track Team.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Blog traffic on March 1 and newspaper articles

The vision for this blog from the very beginning has been to bring you information about the Talladega City Schools, and do so in a timely fashion. Posts throughout the year have celebrated the good things happening in our schools and passed on other information which impacts you.

When we must close school because of hazardous weather, communicating that information quickly and completely to a large number of people is a challenge. This blog serves as a way to meet that challenge.

On March 1, when the decision was made to close school early, complete information regarding dismissal times for each school was posted here. It was encouraging to look back at the traffic for that day and see that there were 108 visits to this site on that one day from 76 different visitors. Almost half were first-time visitors to this blog. To put those figures in perspective, we had as many visitors on that one day as we had the rest of the week combined.

When bad weather is predicted, we all want to get complete information. Large number of phone calls to schools can quickly exceed the capacity of people available on the other end to answer them. Tuning in to radio and TV stations hoping for an announcement can be frustrating. In times such as what we faced Thursday, we hope that you will turn here first as a place where you can trust you will get accurate and complete information.

The March 2 issue of The Birmingham News featured an article entitled "The 411? Find It on the Blog" written by William Thornton. The article featured the use of our blogs here in the Talladega City Schools. The article can be viewed by clicking here. That article comes only three weeks after a lengthy article in The Daily Home by David Mackey on the same subject.

To date, there have been over 4,700 visits to this site since its inception this past August. We hope that will continue to visit this site often, and that when you do, you will find the information you gained to be worth the time you invested.

Friday, March 02, 2007

R.L. Young Classes Enjoy Dr. Seuss Week

Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grades enjoyed a week of Dr. Seuss activities. Included in these activities were:
Monday- The students wore Crazy Hats as we read The Cat and the Hat.
Tuesday- Students wore red and blue for One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
Wednesday-Students wore crazy socks and shoes as we read The Foot Book and Fox in Socks.
Thursday- Students learned about Theodore Geisel.

Friday- Students wore "Our Favorite Place" shirts and read Oh, The Places I Can Go and Green Eggs and Ham. On Friday, the Kindergarten students cooked Green Eggs and Ham and completed a YUM or YUK chart. Kindergarten and First Grade students also graphed their favorite Dr. Seuss book.

Mrs. Lamberth's Class enjoyed Green Eggs and Ham

We had several special guest to read to us. Mr. Gary Heacock as Dr. Seuss and Nancy Willis as The Cat and The Hat along with Thing 1 and Thing 2, read several of their favorite Dr. Seuss books.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Talladega City Schools Early Dismissal Today

Talladega City Schools will dismiss early today due to the threat of severe weather.

Please note the following dismissal schedule:

All elementary schools will dismiss at 12:00 pm.

Talladega High School will dismiss at 12:30 pm.

Ellis Junior High will dismiss at 12:45 pm.

Thanks for checking the blog for this information!