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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Proposed Calendar for 2007-2008

Calendar Option 1 was the winning choice by a vote of 204-53. This calendar has professional development activities beginning on August 6 (Monday) and students reporting on August 9 (Thursday). You may view this calendar by going here.

Alabama Penman Creative Writing Contest

The Alabama Penman Creative Writing Contest is open to students in grades 7-12. For additional information, click here.

A Tour of Talladega High School

Talladega High School is in the touring business, at least for Ellis Junior High 8th graders. The school is taking an early and very personal approach to transitioning incoming freshmen by inviting small groups to receive a firsthand view of a typical day at THS.

Students were welcomed by Career Tech Director, Dr. Trellys Riley and several THS students. Dr. Riley asked students to complete a “Career Clusters Interest Survey” which will serve as a tool for students to better recognize their interests and choose Career Tech courses based on the discoveries. After the completion of the interest survey, she discussed classes that would be interesting to each cluster group.

Principal Darren Douthitt was on hand to welcome students to the high school and answer various questions about dress code, ISI (in-school-suspension), tardies, and other issues. His approach was warm, inviting, and humorous, helping 8th graders to be more at ease. Mr. Douthitt shared that an additional minute had been added so students had more time to go to lockers and change classes. He shared several ways THS students were rewarded such as allowing club t-shirts on Fridays, free dress days, and outside social time after the lunch wave.
Each student received his personal business card and was encouraged to let parents know campus tours would be available during the summer.

Students too shy to ask questions in the large group session had another opportunity to get information from THS students serving as tour guides for the visitors.
These tours put many fears to rest and perhaps increased the excitement for this upcoming freshmen class!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

ARMT date change

There is going to be a change in the date for the administration of the ARMT:

Old dates--April 4th and 5th
New dates--April 3rd and 4th

The reason for the change is the date of the state science fair. Please make this change on your calendar and let parents know.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts

The Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts is holding its annual summer workshop June 25-30. For further information and registration materials, click here.

UAH "STAR" offers scholarships to teachers

The University of Alabama at Huntsville is offering scholarships of up to $3,000 for teachers conducting their own independent research through a program called "Success Through Academic Research. For details, click here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

NBPTS Session for 2007-2008

The University of Montevallo will host training for teachers considering applying for, or who have already received the grant for, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Teachers who have received national certification will be the group leaders and mentors. Please
notify your teachers and administrators of the availability of these sessions. You may also download a flyer here.

During the 2007-2008 academic year, the group will assist and guide teachers in preparing the required products for certification. The group will schedule dates, times, places and content for future sessions. Pattie Thomas will be leading the training, with assistance from other
NBPTS certified teachers. If you are interested in attending, please log on to our website at www.montevallo.edu/ic, click on the “Current Workshops” link, and follow the links for STI-PD registration. The first planning meeting will begin at 4:00 p.m. on February 28 in Wills Hall, Room TBA.

If you would like to receive graduate credit while working on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, please contact Ms. Rebecca Hartley at 205.665.6350, or email her at hartleyrs@montevallo.edu. The Office of Graduate Studies will welcome your questions and work with you on an individual basis concerning this opportunity. If you have questions please do not hesitate to call the University of Montevallo Inservice Center at 205-503-5870

Mid-South Reading and Writing Conference

The 2007 Mid-South Reading and Writing Institute will be held at UAB on June 22-23. For additional information and registration, click here. Choose the document from the list that you will see.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Updated Blogger site

For those who are posting to the TeachTalladega and TalladegaCitySchools blogs, you will see something a little new the next time you go to post.

The blogs have been moved over to what Blogger calls the "New Blogger." You will be asked to establish a Google account. You will fill in your e-mail address and create a password. From then on, when you log in, it will be with the e-mail and password instead of your present username and password.

Curriculum Hotspots

District Administration magazine published this list of "Curriculum Hotspots." you may want to add the site to your Favorites or go through and look at individual sites and add the ones that appeal to you.

Friday, February 09, 2007

For elementary schools-- SpellingTime.com

SpellingTime.com is a free site which helps teach students spelling words. You can run through a demonstration without establishing an account. Students who use the site would sign up for a free account, which would then give them their own unique log-in.

The capability is there for an adult to control the list of spelling words. The words used in the program, for example, could match the spelling list being used in your class. Parents could go into the program and input the list of spelling words for their own child.

The site is certainly worth examining, and each teacher will likely come away with different ideas on how it could be used with his/her students.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Airborne Teacher Trust Fund Grant

This grant fund provides funds for music and art in schools which do not have them. You can go directly to the application by going here, choosing your state, and clicking "submit."

The application is filled out completed online. In 300 words or less, you describe the program you want to implement. In 200 words or less, you describe the need your school has for this program. You outline a fairly basic budget for how the funds would be spent, and that's all there is to it. Since it's an online application, the best idea is to compose the text in Word, edit it, save it, and work on it until you get it the way you want it, and then copy/paste into the online application. All in all, as grant applications go, this one is pretty simple.

From what I was able to discern, the maximum amount is $10,000.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

C.L. Salter's Sixth Grade Visits JSU

Recently sixth grade students at C.L. Salter visited JSU. Students had the opportunity to visit the library and learn about the campus. In the picture shown on the left students learn about JSU's Fish Hatchery from Dr. Kline.

Student’s Achieving Great Things at Salter!

Students at Salter have been doing great things in the classroom and it is showing throughout the county. Cody Crawford took First Place at the System-wide Superintendent’s Art Contest and his work will be on display at the state level competition in Montgomery, AL.

On February 2, Jakorvius Swain placed third in the Talladega County Spelling Bee. This included all elementary and junior high schools in Talladega County.

At the district Science Fair, three students from Salter Elementary placed first and have earned the right to compete at the regional Science Fair. The students representing C.L. Salter at the regional Science Fair include, Julia Baker, Makayla Montgomery, and Jatonica Whitson.
Congratulations to these students! We are proud of you!

Calendar Options for 2007-2008

The Calendar Committee met yesterday afternoon and drafts two calendars options for you to consider. You will find both options very similar. Going from 175 to 180 student days and still trying to end the school year by Memorial Day provides little "wiggle room."

To view the calendars, go here for Option 1 and here for Option 2. You may vire them on the screen, save them to your computer, or print them. Principals are also being sent color copies of both calendars to post in hard-copy form. If you are interested in seeing the two options presented to Talladega County employees or the calendar recommended in Sylacauga, you may go here.

The major difference between the two calendars is in how professional development are grouped. Option 1 starts the year with 3 professional development days, provides one as we come back from Christmas, one in February, one in late April, and then one to end the year. Option 2 starts the year with 5 professional development days, proves one as we come back from Christmas, and one to end the year. Te other difference is that Option 2 provides a holiday and weather day surrounding the spring race. Option 1 provides a professional development day before the race, and a school day just following the race.

These points were considered as we put together the two calendar options:
  1. Dr. Morton asked that school system not have students report prior to August 9 if there is any possibility that a the system would have to offer school choice.
  2. The dates of the fall and spring races were considered.
  3. Due the where Christmas falls, getting out on a Friday posed a real problem. We looked heavily at several possibilities. Getting out on December 14th or December 19th were viewed as simply way too early and too late respectively. Also, extending the holiday past two weeks would make ending the year by Memorial Day extremely difficult.
  4. We did look at the possibility of having spring break after testing. Given the window for the ARMT and the coming science assessment, spring break would have been April 28-May 2. We all felt that way simply too late.
  5. We looked at where Easter falls. The Spring Break on both calendar options has us out of school on Good Friday.
  6. We looked at the calendars fro Talladega County and Sylacauga. Our Option 2 is very close to Talladega County Option 1.

The Calendar Committee will reconvene on February 28. Prior to that meeting, each employee with cast a ballot. At the meeting, we will tally the votes for the school system and announce the winning calendar.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Summer opportunity for teacher--Exploring Space: The Classroom Connection

The University of Alabama at Huntsville is sponsoring "Exploring Space: The Classroom Connection." This summer workshop is open to K-12 teachers and is free. Additional information is located here. You can read their brochure here. If you are interested in participating, print off the nomination form from here and submit it to your principal.

District Winners Surprised!

Two teachers in our district, Kim Mitchell, a Talladega High School Teacher and Joy Bittle, first grade teacher at R.L. Young received a surprise visit today from the Superintendent, Mr. Messer, the Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Campbell, and the Curriculum and Special Education Supervisor, Dr. Frank Buck. Their mission was to recognize and congratulate these two educators for their dedication to the teaching profession.

We are proud of all our teachers and wish the district winners well as they move on to the state competition for Teacher of the Year and Jacksonville Teacher Hall of Fame.

Weather is OK. We are having school.

While there is plenty of rain this morning, the roads are free of ice. We are having school today and opening at the normal time!

Thanks for thinking to check here for the information.