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Friday, February 29, 2008

Proud to be a Tiger!

Although the Lady Tigers came up on the short end of the scoreboard, it was a great day for Talladega! If you were there today you know what I mean. These girls have done more than they realize for the city of Talladega. Their deep run in the playoffs brought the community together. Today we were all proud to be Tigers. The heart and dedication shown by this team should serve as an inspiration to all of us that we can achieve great things in Talladega. Lady Tigers...YOU are CHAMPIONS!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Accreditation Update

With this week's visit, Talladega City Schools becomes only the 20th school system in Alabama to achieve District Accreditation. During the visit, the team talked with 263 people includeing, parents, teachers, support personnel, students, administrators, board members, and community members.

The committee found the following strengths:
  • Sufficient financial resources to support educational programs

  • Highly skilled and caring employees throughout the district

  • District support in collecting and analyzing data

  • Establishment of a district-level roundtable

  • Stakeholder groups united for students’ success

  • A sense of community within the individual schools

  • Use of the media to send a positive message in regard to the school district

  • Forward-thinking regarding the integration of technology within the district

  • Engaged in a partnership with Talladega College to enhance teaching and learning
The committee commended the school system on the following points:
  • Board members, educators, parents, and community members are committed to providing exemplary education for all students within the Talladega City School System.

  • The district has implemented practices to collect, analyze, and use pertinent data to enhance student achievement.

  • Stakeholder groups appear to be united in their belief that students must be the focus of their collective efforts.

  • The use of technology and the media promotes positive communication and provides all stakeholders with relevant information.

  • The superintendent has implemented strategies to ensure open exchange of information through roundtable discussions, ad hoc meetings, and newsletters.

  • The addition of technology has enhanced the instructional effectiveness of teachers, and it has allowed administrators to access data for the improvement of teaching and learning.
The team noted the following challenges:
  • Maintaining the upkeep of current facilities

  • Developing meaningful strategies to reach all parents within the community

  • Increasing the number of minority faculty and staff members in the district

  • Working together as a team for the betterment of students

  • Increasing the use of and developing common assessments and curriculum guides at all grades

  • Responding to the decline in student enrollment throughout the district

  • Expanding fine arts programs within the K-12 curriculum

  • Contending with the digital divide in the community
The team made the following recommendations to our school system:
  • Expand the use of collaboratively developed common formative assessments and pacing guides and begin professional dialogue across all grade levels among schools to increase student achievement.

  • Seek strategies to enhance workable relationships among district leaders in order to move the district forward and promote learning for every child.

  • Explore opportunities to upgrade facilities or construct new facilities to meet the current demands of the district.

  • Investigate options to implement and/or enhance fine arts and physical education programs on every campus and at all grade levels.

  • Employ additional methods of quality assurance designed to assist the district in meeting its responsibility for ensuring that improvement efforts are effective to increase student achievement.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Early Dismissal on Friday

School will dismiss early on Friday to allow those who wish to support the girl's basketball team as they compete for the 5-A state title.

Each school will dismiss three hours earlier than normal.

Accreditation Luncheon

This afternoon members of the District Accreditation Team, central office administrators and staff, board members, principals, and TCS roundtable members enjoyed a great lunch at C.L. Salter before meeting at 1:30 to hear the results of the visit. A special thanks to Mrs. Griffin, Mrs. Rasco, and Mrs. Varnedore for creating a beautiful environment and to the Talladega City Schools Foundation for catering the event.


The Talladega City School System has been granted "District Accreditation" by AdvancED. The process began almost two years ago and culminated in a three-day visit to our school system.

To view the PowerPoint presentation outlining strengths, commendations, recommendations, and overall findings of the team, click here.

Many people are responsible for making this accreditation possible. Most importantly, accreditation is a process which improves teaching and learning for the boys and girls who walk through our doors each morning.


Go THS! Congratulations Girls!

THS Girls pull out the win! 47-46 over 3-time defending champ Ramsey! Great job Coach Keith and go Lady Tigers. To watch video highlights of the game click here.


District Accreditation Overview

The intent of this post is to share with you the overview of our school system we presented to the visiting committee Monday morning.

A seven-minute Photo Story captured the essence of our system and spotlighted numerous activities in words and pictures. The presentation was built around the five pillars of our vision: academic programs, current technology, facilities, school culture, and community support. You can view that presentation here.
We followed the Photo Story with a PowerPoint presentation outlining some of the key points from our self-study. You can download that presentation here.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

School Opening Delayed

School will be delayed until 10:00 this morning. School bus transportation will be provided.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Accreditation Team Arrives

Our District Accreditation Team arrived this evening and was greeted by a welcoming sign at the door and gifts in their rooms. Following dinner at the Cracker Barrel, the team began their work. Seating clockwise are Dr. Randall Haney, Dr. Andre Harrison, Ginger Wright, John Dedrick, and Ronald Newton.


District Accreditation Visit Begins Tomorrow

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Our District Accreditation visit is now just a day away (February 25-27).
To read our self-study, simply click on this link. As you read the document on screen, you will no tice links embedded throughout. Each time the document speaks of a piece of evidence, you are o nly a click away from vi ewing that evidence. By making viewing this easy, it is our hope that far more people explore what is there and come away with a better understanding of our school system.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Final Four!!!

The Lady Tigers defeat Scottsboro 59-41 and earn a spot in the Final Four! Great job Coach Keith and Lady Tigers. Now lets take State!

Security System Installed for Salter

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February 22, 2008

Dear Parents:

We would like to introduce you to a new system our school has acquired to help protect your children—it’s called V-soft. V-soft helps track visitors, students, faculty, contractors and volunteers at our school, thus providing a safer more monitored environment for the students.

When visitors, volunteers or contractors check-in, or parents come to pick up students, they will be asked to present a valid state issued ID for entering into the system. The system has the ability to provide alerts on people who may jeopardize the safety of the campus.

We feel certain this will help us keep our campus a little safer, and ask for your cooperation in presenting your valid state issued ID when checking in at the school. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.


Shelton S. Cobb IV

Purpose of the Product
To protect the students, faculty and visitors at school campuses.

What Data is Used
Public sex offender database information is used to screen visitors to the campus, as well as private alert data entered by the school on custody issues and restraining orders. This is NOT a background search—no other criminal information is searched or provided such as traffic tickets, warrants, felonies, etc.

Data Security
The data entered or scanned into the system is secured by GeoTrust Quick SSL. Sites secured by QuickSSL are utilizing 128-bit SSL certificates thereby offering the highest level of encryption or security possible.

Privacy Policy
The data collected is exclusively for the use of the school, school district and law enforcement only. The information is NOT sold or shared with any outside sources.

Meet Our AdvancED Accreditation Team

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more Our long-awaited Distict Accreditation visit is almost here! In their own words, here are introductions of the members of our visiting team:

Kathy Sergeant, Chair
I am entering my 6th year as the Associate Director for the Michigan NCA Office. In that role, I have had the opportunity to serve on several district accreditation teams in Michigan, Indiana, Alabama, and Florida. I have chaired 3 of them. My responsibility with the Michigan Office includes the delivery of professional development activities, and frequent technical assistance visits to schools throughout the state. Prior to working at the NCA Office, I was a high school principal, middle school principal, elementary principal and a middle and high school teacher/counselor.

Randall Haney, Vice-Chair
Previous professional experiences include Retired Navy (31 years active duty); Technology Teacher (Middle School); New Aviation School (joint technical high school and community college) designer, project manager, and director; Cooperate Pilot/Fleet Manager; and First Assistant Superintendent of the new Boaz City School System

John Dedrick
My current role is Director of Special Programs, Homewood City Schools Previous professional experiences include: Former Principal at Homewood Middle School, High School Ass't Principal, Middle School Ass't Principal, and a science teacher. Current duties include being Dir. of Transportation, Career Tech Dept. Chair, Chair of District Sick Leave Bank.

Ronnie Newton
My current role is Assistant Superintendent at Alma School District in Alma, Arkansas(duties include District Assessment Coordinator, Professional Development Coordinator, K-8 Curriculum Coordinator.
Previous professional experiences include: Elementary Teacher, Elementary School Principal and Middle School Principal.I have background and expertise in the following areas (indicate all that apply): I have had experience in all of these areas, especially as our District's Contact and Coordinator of our NCA/AdvancED District Accreditation process this year.

Ginger Wright
My current role is Mentoring Specialist for new teachers in the Elmore County School System working with novice and veteran teachers.
Previous professional experiences include: I have been a high school classroom English teacher (15 years), assistant principal (2 years), and principal of a high school (7 years). I also worked as the Secondary Supervisor in our system for grades 9-12 (5 years).


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Introducing the Graham Blog

Graham joins the ranks of Talladega City Schools who are using blogs as simple tools to communicate important messages to our community. You will enjoy the pictorial representation brining together the theme of Valentine's Day with the concept of graphing. Check it out at http://grahamelem.blogspot.com


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

C. L. Salters Awarded Grant

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more Congratulations to Mr. Cobb and the faculty at C. L. Salter. They are the recipients of a $32,500 grant through the Alabama Public School and College Education Incentive Fund. The grant will fund a host of technology needs for the school including the purchase of several digital whiteboards, a number of student response systems, document cameras, and projectors as needed.


Lady Tigers Win!

Congratulations to the THS Girl's Basketball team and Coach Keith for making it to the "Elite Eight". The girls defeated J.O. Johnson of Huntsville this morning 64 - 34. Great Job!

The THS boys will be playing later today at 1:30 against Butler High School. Keep up the great work we are all behind you!

Monday, February 18, 2008

ACT Prep Site

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more Number2.com (as in #2 pencil) is an outstanding site for ACT preparation. The site is totally free. The student establishes an account and will have a login and password. From that point on, the student can return as often as desired.

The site is partly instructional and explains the concepts which are likely to be tested on the ACT. Students are able to take samples tests. Feedback comes immediately after each question. If the student answers incorrectly, there is explanation provided.

The student is even able to designate someone as a "coach." The coach is able to see the student's progress.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

THS Band advances to State

The Talladega High School Concert Band participated in the Alabama Bandmasters Association District IV Concert Band Assessment on Wed., Feb. 13, at Homewood H.S. On the strength of their stage performance, the band was awarded an overall Superior rating advancing them to the State Assessment for the fourth consecutive year. The THS Concert Band will attend State Assessment at Gadsden City High School Auditorium on March 13th or 14th.

Monday, February 11, 2008

African Children's Choir

The 4th and 5th grades from across our school system enjoyed the music and dance of the African Children's Choir this morning compliments of the Ritz Theatre. In addition to the music and dance, our students were learning social studies and geography. They also learned of the struggles many of these children have overcome and their aspirations.

Those who follow American Idol probably remember the African Children's Choir. The group has been featured on Oprah and countless other television spots. We are fortunate to have had them here for our students.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Inside Out Airs This Sunday

Inside Out is a 52-minute documentary that features prison inmates promoting education as the only way for youth to avoid a life behind bars. Dr. Shelley Stewart compassionately interviews the inmates and unveils their genuine hope to give others the chance they no longer have, to avoid the pitfalls of dropping out of school. All of the prisoners interviewed are serving long or life sentences in a maximum-security prison.

We have received information that the documentary is scheduled to air on PBS February 10 (Sunday) at 8:00 PM.

Student dropping out of school is a nationwide problem. The temporary lure of giving up homework and studying for tests for the glamour of free time and a small job leads all too many vulnerable students to choose the tinsel over the gold. The harsh realities of a young person striking out in the 21st century without a high school diploma do not become evident until the decision to leave has long since been made. Inside Out is designed to paint a picture of the future that has become reality for so many high school dropouts.

For more information on this program, go here.


ATRIP to the Classroom

Lee Iacocca had this to say about the teaching profession. In the spirit of statements like his, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education is inviting Alabama's brightest and best to "Take ATRIP to the Classroom." The "ATRIP" is The Alabama Teacher Recruitment Incentive Program with awards exceeding $2 million in scholarships for those who choose teaching as a career. For more information on this program, go here.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

February 18 will Be a School Day

School will be in session on Monday, February 18.

This day was schedule as a "weather day." We missed school on February 6; therefore, school will be in session on Feb. 18.

School Cancelled Due to Weather

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more Talladega City Schools will be closed today due to bad weather. Storms are predicted between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30AM.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blogs in Plain English

Mrs. Pattie Thomas and I enjoyed sharing this blog with the Talladega Kiwanis Club earlier today. For the members of the Kiwanis Club, and for the community as a whole, we hope you enjoy this short video explaining blogs.

Thanks to Lee and Sachi LeFever for producing this video and making it available through the Common Craft Show.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Introducing the R. L. Young Blog

The newest blog in our school system is http://RLYoung.blogspot.com/

New posts highlight the "Top Dog Club" and pictures of a snow-covered R.L. Young.

Check it out!

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