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Thursday, February 28, 2008

District 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

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.



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.


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.


Saturday, February 23, 2008


Accreditation Update

Friday's post introduced you to our team members. Due to a family emergency, our chair had to cancel her plans to be with us. Our new chair is Dr. Andre Harrison. Dr. Harrison is Curriculum & Instruction Coordinator for Elmore County Schools. We welcome him to the team and appreciate his taking on this assignment at the last minute.

When our team members arrive on Sunday evening, they will find in their rooms a nice gift fro our school bag from our school system. Thanks to each of our schools which made contributions. Our team members are receiving a nice canvas bag containing the following:
  • Cookbook produced by the Junior Welfare League
  • Small desk calendar
  • Pocket calendar/memo pad
  • Decorative month-at-a-glance calendar
  • Mouse pad
  • Brochure explaining the work of the Industries for the Blind
  • Keychain
  • Keychain/ball point pen combination
  • Pencils and pens bearing school or organizational names
  • Talladega 500 cap
  • Talladega 500 travel mug
  • Coffee mug with packs of flavored coffee and hot chocolate
  • Mints in a race car-shaped container
  • Cheese straws
  • Crock-pot candy
  • Toasted pecans
  • Rice Krispie treats
  • Umbrella
  • Small stuffed animals (great present for those with small children or grandchildren)
  • Fresh fruit

All-in-all, I think we have put together quite a nice welcome present for our guests. The mementos are practical, useful, and will serve as reminders of their time with us!

Following the district overview on Monday morning, we will post it so that you can view it. It is dynamic presentation which highlights the many good things happening in Talladega City Schools. I think you will enjoy it.


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

Thank YOU, Dr. Patterson!

On Wednesday, February 20, 2008, our second
grade students were treated to stories from the
past by Dr. Dolia M. Patterson, principal, Houston
Elementary School. As she read the stories, the
children sat attentively and saved their questions
and comments until the end. Their favorite story
was about Ruby Bridges, the little girl in Mississippi
who had to have police escort to go to school...just
because she was black. Thank you, Dr. Patterson,
for helping us help our students and being a role
model for our future citizens, leaders and parents.
We hope you enjoy our pictures, Talladega!

Dr. Patterson reads to the students and captivates
her audience.

R. L. Young second graders, along with Mrs. Hobbs,
listen attentively to Dr. patterson as she reads.

The children were totally captivated by the time
she finished reading about Ruby Bridges. After the story,
we were able to read about Ruby Bridges on the
internet and see actual photos of that historic
day in Mississippi.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

1st Graders at Hal get a little taste of Africa...

Grant Awarded to C. L. Salter

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.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Thank YOU, Mr. Douthitt!

There is a book by Patricia Polacco titled
"Mr. Lincoln's Way". It is a story about a
black principal of an elementary school who
looks for the good in others when they can't
find it in themselves. Mr. Douthitt has
graciously agreed to read this book to our
second grade students at R. L. Young Elem.
for two years to help us celebrate African-
American History Month. Thank you,
Mr. Douthitt, for helping us help our students.
The pictures below show Mr. Douthitt as
he reads the book and stops along the way
to answer the many questions and listen to
the comments of the students.

Again, thank you Mr. Douthitt. They are all
already excited about being one of your students
at Talladega High School a few years from now.

Read To Succeed!

These 2nd grade students in Mrs. Armstrong's class
are proud to be posing for their latest picture. They have,
together while working to reach their AR goal, read 492
books during the 4th grading period! Mrs. Armstrong is
so excited that they can experience this feeling of success.
Out of 18 students, 16 reached or surpassed their goal for
the fourth six weeks grading period. As Mrs. P. Thomas
always says,"Alone we can do so little, together we can
do so much." Helen Keller
Sixteen of these students also made the "A" and "A-B" Honor
Roll for the 4th six weeks. Way to go, Mrs. Armstrong's
Class! Keep up the good work.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Check Out Talladega City Schools BLOG

If you are viewing this site as a result of reading the Sunday Daily Home, welcome! TeachTalladega is a blog designed for internal communication with those who work in our school.

If you are a community member, please visit the BLOG that Talladega City Schools has just for you! This blog can be found by visiting: http://talladegacityschools.blogspot.com and is filled with great events, accomplishments, celebrations, and information about our seven campuses.

The talladegacityschools BLOG, created by Curriculum Director and Special Education Coordinator Dr. Frank Buck, is designed for parents, community, and others who want to be in the "know" when it comes to the city school district.

We are proud of our small school system, the small student to teacher ratio, the beautiful historic buildings, and the dedication of our faculty and staff members.

Together we are moving our district FORWARD!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blogs in Plain English

Our school system blogs have inspired a number of others blogs, both inside and outside of our school system. If you had to explain exactly what a "blog" is, how would you do it?

The short video puts it in plain English.

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


Friday, February 15, 2008

National Board Certification

The University of Montevallo will host training for teachers who are 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.

During the 2008-2009 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

Mrs. Pattie Thomas and Ms. Abbie Freeman 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 4:30 p.m. on February 21st at the Talladega County Teacher Center.

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.


"Professional Development"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day at Raymond L. Young: It's A Lovely Day!

Photobucket Album

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"Write To Rock"

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

Technology Request Form

John Locklin has created and posted a Technology Request Form. It has been included as one of our "Downloadable Documents." The direct link is here. Once you open it, you can choose "Save as" from the "File" menu and save it to your computer.

To use this, you would complete put in your name, room number, and the problem. Leave the "Technical Diagnosis" blank. John will complete that.

Once you have completed the form, click on "File," choose "Sent to," enter jlocklin@mail.talladega-cs.net , and click "Send."


Thursday, February 07, 2008

R. L. Youngers: In the News....Again!

Out of 322 students enrolled here at R. L. Young, 155 have made the "A" and "A-B" honor roll for the third six weeks! That's about half our student body; wow! That also means that 155 students have been good examples to the other students because a conduct grade of less than 80 keeps you off the honor roll. That must explain the jolly atmosphere over here...Everybody is happy to be here AND they make good grades. Keep it up, R. L. Youngers; you are doing an awesome job!

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.

Blinded With Science

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more All schools are getting a CD-ROM of the "Alabama Science Assessment Item Specifications." A copy of those specifications is also posted on our Downloadable Documents (Curriculum>ARMT and ASA Specification Items).

You can go directly to that folder by clicking here. You will also see there activities for 5th grade.

And for those of us old enough to remember the song...

Labels: ,

School Closed Due to Bad 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 8:30 AM.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Nutrition Lessons-4th Grade

If you are looking for lessons targeting nutrition, this link is geared to 4th grade.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Tools for Math Teachers

This page gives 24 tools, most of them Excel spreadsheets designed to help teach mathematical concepts. The tools range from those applicable in early elementary school (learning "greater than" and "less than") through simpler Algebra I and Geometry concepts.

To give credit where credit is due, Karen Ferrell is a geometry teacher at Northwest High School in Justin, Texas.

In case you are wondering just how long I spent searching for this stuff, the reality is, all I did was check my e-mail. One of the messages gave me a link to this site. Actually, it's taking me longer to type this post that to find and explore her new additions.

When you go to the link I gave you, notice the orange square that says "RSS." That's the magic. Here is an explanation of what RSS is all about. More on RSS later along with some hints on how to integrate neat stuff like this with your curriculum so that all of the neat stuff you find here and there suddenly comes back right when you need it.


R. L. Young Loves "Grammy"

As you can see from the slideshow below, Maxine Cole, aka "Grammy", loves the Kindergarten classes at R. L. Young. Her grandson is in Mrs. Nabors' class but she bestows kindness on Mrs. Lamberth's and Mrs. Liner's class, too! Each week, she reads to the classes and gives them a memento about the story. She and her daughter work with a small group of students, too. Her latest gift to all three classes is a birdfeeder to hang outside their windows. She also provided the birdseed! All three classes received a reference book about birds native to our area. Now they can look up the names of the birds they see eating the birdseed. How thoughtful! Thanks, Grammy, for loving R. L. Young. We all enjoy watching the birds enjoy your kindness.

Grammy Loves R. L. Young's Kindergarteners!