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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Back to School Parent Extravaganza- A Success!

On September 18 parents, educators, administrators, board members, community members, and students came together at Talladega High School for the 2nd Annual Back to School Parent Extravaganza. This event, designed especially with parents in mind, offered an opportunity to showcase our talented employees and share important information with parents throughout the district.

Talladega High School students played important roles to insure the event was a success. The Dega Darlin's Danceline greeted parents and distributed programs, surveys, and music. The Musical Ambassadors entertained and helped the audience commemorate the anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner by playing as people sang along. FCCLA members under the leadership of teacher Kim Mitchell, provided childcare so that parents could participate in the sessions.
Your attendance at the Extravaganza was appreciated and helped to make it a success. This year’s plans were based on comments received on posts to our Talladega City Schools blog. After last year’s Extravaganza, a parent suggested the sessions be more interactive. The Roundtable Advisory Board and presenters worked diligently to make this happen. Your feedback and communication is important in our efforts to move our system forward. The high school cafeteria was filled with community agencies, district participants, and other entities that have an interest in the parents and students in our system. PTO presidents and school employees came together to create impressive displays... their pride and loyalty to their schools was obvious.This kind of devotion is one of the reasons our district continues to improve.
Check out our School Displays!








An important lesson most educators learn early in their career is that when parents and schools work together, students are much more successful. We don’t have to agree on every issue, but when decisions are made in the best interest of children, everyone wins.

Yes, you could have stayed home last Tuesday night, but you decided to hear the THS Musical Ambassadors, meet the new superintendent, Dr. Joanne Horton, choose two parent sessions, and enjoy the efforts of schools and community members. Thank you for sharing your night with us, but more importantly, thank you for sharing your child every day.

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Helen Keller

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A Vision for Talladega City Schools-YOU CAN HELP!

Superintendent Dr. Joanne Horton is encouraging all parents to be involved in the creation of a new vision for Talladega City Schools.

Seven meetings will occur across the district to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate.

The following dates have been set:

Oct 11 Thursday 6:00 p.m. Zora Ellis

Oct 18 Thursday 6:00 p.m. R.L. Young

Oct 22 Monday 6:00 p.m. Henderson

Oct. 23 Tuesday 6:00 p.m. Salter

Oct 25 Thursday 6:00 p.m. Graham

Oct 29 Monday 6:00 p.m. Houston

Nov. 1 Thursday 6:00 p.m. THS

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Parent-teacher conferences

"Studies have shown that children whose parents are involved in their education do better in school," says a "Report to Parents" publishes by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. To read the article, entitled "Parent-Teacher Conference," click here.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

SACS Standards-Give us your ideas

The next 7 posts list the SACS standards and give a brief description of each. Our charge, as a school system, is to provide evidence of how we meet each of the standards.

Each teacher, parent, or community member can contribute. Please take a look at the standards. If you can think of an example of something we are doing that would be evidence that we meet that standard, please leave a comment. Simply click on the "Comments" link at the bottom of any post and give us your thoughts. It will take a little time before the comment you type actually appears. Generally, it would take overnight for this to happen.

Each of us will notice different things about our school system, and that is why input from many people is important. Thanks for your help!

Standard 1-Vision and Purpose

Standard Description
Vision and Purpose
The school establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for improving the performance of students and the effectiveness of the school.

Standard Indicators

1.1 Establishes a vision for the school in collaboration with its stakeholders
1.2 Communicates the vision and purpose to build stakeholder understanding and support
1.3 Identifies goals to advance the vision
1.4 Develops and continuously maintains a profile of the school, its students, and the community
1.5 Ensures that the school’s vision and purpose guide the teaching and learning process
1.6 Reviews its vision and purpose systematically and revises them when appropriate

Standard 2-Governance and Leadership

Standard Description
Governance and Leadership
The school provides governance and leadership that promote student performance and school effectiveness.

Standard Indicators

2.1 Establishes policies and procedures that provide for the effective operation of the school
2.2 Recognizes and preserves the executive, administrative, and leadership prerogatives of the administrative head of the school
2.3 Ensures compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws, standards, and regulations
2.4 Employs a system that provides for analysis and review of student performance and school effectiveness
2.5 Fosters a learning community
2.6 Provides teachers and students opportunities to lead
2.7 Provides stakeholders meaningful roles in the decision-making process that promote a culture of participation, responsibility, and ownership
2.8 Controls curricular and extracurricular activities that are sponsored by the school
2.9 Responds to community expectations and stakeholder satisfaction
2.10 Implements an evaluation system that provides for the professional growth of all personnel

Standard 3-Teaching and Learning

Standard Description
Teaching and Learning
The school provides research-based curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate achievement for all students.

Standard Indicators

3.1 Develops and implements curriculum based on clearly defined expectations for student learning
3.2 Promotes active involvement of students in the learning process, including opportunities for them to explore application of higher-order thinking skills and investigate new approaches to applying their learning
3.3 Gathers, analyzes, and uses data and research in making curricular and instructional choices
3.4 Designs and uses instructional strategies, innovations, and activities that are research-based and reflective of best practice
3.5 Offers a curriculum that challenges each student to excel, reflects a commitment to equity, and demonstrates an appreciation of diversity
3.6 Allocates and protects instructional time to support student learning
3.7 Provides for articulation and alignment between and among all levels of schools
3.8 Implements interventions to help students meet expectations for student learning
3.9 Monitors school climate and takes appropriate steps to ensure that it is conducive to student learning
3.10 Provides comprehensive information and media services that support the curricular and instructional programs
3.11 Ensures that all students and staff members have regular and ready access to instructional technology and a comprehensive materials collection that supports the curricular and instructional program

Standard 4-Documenting and Using Results

Standard Description
Documenting and Using Results
The school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents performance and uses these results to improve student performance and school effectiveness.

Standard Indicators

4.1 Establishes performance measures for student learning that yield information that is reliable, valid, and bias free
4.2 Develops and implements a comprehensive assessment system for assessing progress toward meeting the expectations for student learning
4.3 Uses student assessment data for making decisions for continuous improvement of teaching and learning processes
4.4 Conducts a systematic analysis of instructional and organizational effectiveness and uses the results to improve student performance
4.5 Communicates the results of student performance and school effectiveness to all stakeholders
4.6 Uses comparison and trend data of student performance from comparable schools in evaluating its effectiveness
4.7 Demonstrates verifiable growth in student performance
4.8 Maintains a secure, accurate, and complete student record system in accordance with state and federal regulations

Standard 5-Resources and Support Systems

Standard Description
Resources and Support Systems
The school has the resources and services necessary to support its vision and purpose and to ensure achievement for all students.

Standard Indicators

5.1 Recruits, employs, and mentors qualified professional staff that are capable of fulfilling assigned roles and responsibilities
5.2 Assigns professional staff responsibilities based on their qualifications (i.e., professional preparation, ability, knowledge, and experience)
5.3 Ensures that all staff participate in a continuous program of professional development
5.4 Provides and assigns staff that are sufficient in number to meet the vision and purpose of the school
5.5 Budgets sufficient resources to support its educational programs and to implement its plans for improvement
5.6 Monitors all financial transactions through a recognized, regularly audited accounting system
5.7 Maintains the site, facilities, services, and equipment to provide an environment that is safe and orderly for all occupants
5.8 Possesses a written security and crisis management plan with appropriate training for stakeholders
5.9 Ensures that each student has access to guidance services that include, but are not limited to, counseling, appraisal, mentoring, staff consulting, referral, and educational and career planning
5.10 Provides appropriate support for students with special needs

Standard 6-Stakeholder Communication and Relationships

Standard Description
Stakeholder Communication and Relationships
The school fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its stakeholders.

Standard Indicators

6.1 Fosters collaboration with community stakeholders to support student learning
6.2 Has formal channels to listen to and communicate with stakeholders
6.3 Solicits the knowledge and skills of stakeholders to enhance the work of the school
6.4 Communicates the expectations for student learning and goals for improvement to all stakeholders
6.5 Provides information about students, their performance, and school effectiveness that is meaningful and useful to stakeholders

Standard 7-Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Standard Description
Commitment to Continuous Improvement

The school establishes, implements, and monitors a continuous process of improvement that focuses on student performance.

Standard Indicators

7.1 Engages in a continuous process of improvement that articulates the vision and purpose the school is pursuing (Vision); maintains a rich and current description of students, their performance, school effectiveness, and the school community (Profile); employs goals and interventions to improve student performance (Plan); and documents and uses the results to inform what happens next (Results)
7.2 Engages stakeholders in the processes of continuous improvement
7.3 Ensures that plans for continuous improvement are aligned with the vision and purpose of the school and expectations for student learning
7.4 Provides professional development for school personnel to help them implement improvement interventions to achieve improvement goals
7.5 Monitors and communicates the results of improvement efforts to stakeholders
7.6 Evaluates and documents the effectiveness and impact of its continuous process of improvement

Board meeting notes

The Talladega City Board of Education met this past Thursday. Highlights of the meeting were as follows:
  • Mary A. Powell was approved for employment as 1st grade teachers at Houston Elementary.
  • The budget for fiscal year 2007-2008 was approved.
  • The Capital Plan was approved.
  • Zora Ellis Jr. high was recognized for achieving AYP. The appeal that Mrs. Thomas filed with the Alabama State Department of Education was successful.
  • Leah Stephen's 2nd grade class from Northside-Hal Henderson was recognized. They received the "Watch Dog Award" by Dr. Horton. The students were commended for noticing sparks coming from wires on top of the building and reporting it to their teacher. The message conveyed is that school safety is a shared responsibility. Our students being alert and taking ownership in their school says something very positive about those young people.
  • Three schools were recognized by the Alabama State Department of Education for "Meeting the Challenge." Northside-Hal Henderson, C.L. Salter, and Houston Elementary Schools each received $5,000 for having achieved "Adequate Yearly Progress" for at least two consecutive years.
  • Dr. Frank Buck was recognized for his article "Managing Technology" featured nationally in the current issue of Principal magazine and for the his being awarded the "Chiquita Marbury Technology Innovation Award" for the state.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Constitution Day 2007

On September 17, 1787, the 12 delegations present (all attended except Rhode Island) at the Constitutional Convention approved the document which has been the centerpiece of our government for the past 220 years.

Schools across the nation operate under a mandate to celebrate "Constitution Day" each September 17, the anniversary of its signing. Our contribution, from the central office, is to offer this website for you exploration and enjoyment. As a family, you may read and even print your own copy of the Constitution, read about those who were responsible for its wording, learn more about the event surrounding the historic Constitutional Convention, and take part in a variety of activities offered at this site.

Dr. Horton met with members of the Andrew Jackson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The group presented Dr. Horton with materials for teachers throughout the school system that are designed to help students better understand the story behind their Constitution and its significance to their everyday lives.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Taking a Lesson from THS Tigers

I don’t know much about football with all of its first downs, penalty flags on the play, fumbles, illegal substitutions, and such…but I do know good teamwork when I see it. The Talladega Tigers came away with an impressive win over Sylacauga Friday night, 41 to 34. If you missed it, don’t worry, it will be talked about for a long time.

Coach Granger, his coaching staff, and players have the right idea when it comes to working together. Everyone played a part in achieving this win. Some of the players experienced leg cramps from the endless runs up and down the field, yet they continued to play. The team was becoming tired with little time to rest for either the defense or offense, but you could see their stamina and determination to bring home a win. Even the players on the sideline motioned to the fans to stand to their feet and cheer the team on.

The Tigers were not alone in this challenge. Their fans were impressive, too. Even with the threat of rain, the visitor side was full. Many of the cheers and chants were started by spectators who were quickly joined by those sitting around them. Along with the cheerleaders, we were supporting our team, our high school, and our children.

One of the stars of the night was Tae Keith, a young man featured this week in the Daily Home. He was quoted as saying that Talladega was going to walk away with a win. Believing and having the right attitude can make things happen. He is a natural leader and shows confidence in himself, his coach, and his fellow players. It would have been easy to become discouraged with the back and forth scoring of touchdowns from both teams. But Talladega’s players had perseverance. We can all take a lesson from the Talladega Tigers.

If you believe it, you can achieve it.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
We have added a lnk for the Lunch Menu! Take a look on the right-hand side of the screen.