As prom season is approaching, students should remember that checking out on prom day is not an excused absence!
Coop is a CTE course that allows students to work part time in a paying job or in an unpaid internship as part of their high school schedule during their junior and/or senior years. The coop application packet may be picked up from Mrs. Beck or Mrs. Hudgins starting today. The deadline to return the completed application is March 28.
Baseball v. South Lamar today at 4:00 p.m.
Prom ticket packages with a t-shirt are available for order today for $50. Today is the last day to get a prom t-shirt! Tickets will be available until April 6th.
Track @ Vestavia Saturday, March 10 at 9:00 a.m.
Softball @ Gulf Coast Classic Monday, March 12.
Baseball v. Gordo Friday, March 16th at 2:00 p.m.
Track @ Cullman Saturday, March 17th at 8:00 a.m.
Baseball @ Red Bay Saturday, March 17th at 4:00 p.m.
Soccer v. Holt Monday, March 19th at 5:00 p.m.
Baseball @ Bryant High School Monday, March 19th at 4:00 p.m.
Golf @ Bibb County Tuesday, March 20th at 2:30 p.m.
Motivational speaker, Brian Mendler, will be here on Wednesday, March 28th.
10th Grade: Forerunner Applications are available in the office. Applications are due by March 30th!
For the first time in several years, the Alabama State Department of Education will release an “A-F Report Card” for every school and every school system. The determination of how to fairly and accurately report data that is important for our families, communities, and state has been one of the most highly debated processes in recent history. Educating children is highly complicated and involves so much more than the use of an annual test to indicate success or failure. Still, annual tests are important checkpoints for progress and serve as one source of information for students, parents, and the community-at-large. Research across the country clearly shows that other critical factors in a child’s life, such as personal determination, support from home, and community life all play a major role in student success.
The ACT Aspire was introduced in Alabama schools beginning in the spring of 2014 as a more rigorous assessment in the areas of mathematics, reading, and science. It is given in grades 3-8 and for the first time in 2016, grade 10. The test measures how well students are progressing toward meeting college and career-ready benchmarks as they all will eventually take the ACT Plus Writing college entrance exam in grade 11. Whether or not a student intends to go to college, the rigor and academic progress measured is important for whichever path a student chooses after high school.
The “A-F Report Card” for this year will not report letter grades. It will indicate a proficiency level in the areas as listed below.
[Schools with Grades 3-8 Only]
Learning Gains: This measure is important in that it shows the progress that individual students are making over the course of time. Using baseline data of 2014, this measure looks at the developing trend showing whether or not students are improving in math and reading over the three years the ACT Aspire has been administered. High schools will not have this measure as 10th graders took the ACT Aspire for the first time in 2016 and the data is not available to determine learning gains. That measure for high schools will be reported starting with the 2017 report.
Student Achievement: This measure is a reflection of how well students performed on the test for the spring 2016 administration in the areas of reading and mathematics.
Local Indicators: This is a measure of how well a school or school system performed in meeting a locally-selected area of need (example: improvement in discipline; character education program; attendance goals; etc.) based on beginning of the year baseline data compared to reports at year-end.
High schools will have the “student achievement” and “local indicators” measure along with a measure for “graduation rate”.
Graduation Rate: This measure will reflect a school’s percentage of high school students who graduated within 4 or 5 years from the time they entered ninth grade.
Progress Being Made in Tuscaloosa County Schools
While there is much improvement to be made, results over the past three years show clear evidence that students are improving and the instructional strategies that are being implemented are making a difference. The “Student Achievement” levels are not ones in which we are proud, however, the strong scores in “Learning Gains” show that we are moving in the right direction. “Learning Gains” are also important because it reflects results from all students, at all levels of academic performance (low middle, or high), and shows that gains are being made.
Our instructional focus in Tuscaloosa County to help students achieve to their full potential revolves around several key areas. Initiatives and strategies we have in place and are working to enhance are listed below.
All new teachers are being assigned a veteran and highly successful teacher as a mentor to work with them throughout the school year.
Each school has set up a data room and meets regularly to review formative assessment data so that instruction may be adjusted on a weekly basis as needs dictate. Formative assessments are quick checks that are given on a weekly or even daily basis that provide feedback to teachers and students.
Research shows that coaching is one of the most effective strategies to improve instruction. Our system has employed twenty-four instructional coaches and reading specialists to work with our elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.
As a result of an identified need to increase the rigor for our reading instruction, the Wonders reading program has been provided to all elementary schools at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. Visits and consultation with other school systems that showed greater proficiency in reading helped us determine that this program would be a great benefit to our system.
Additional support for teacher professional development in the area of mathematics has been provided through the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) as well as Math Solutions. Each of these providers has experts in the field of mathematics who provide resources and coaching for teachers.
The faculty at Northside High School is implementing a literacy program entitled Literacy for All. Students will be required to write essays in all core classes as well as elective courses. Students will receive continuous instruction on reading, discussing and annotating articles; pre-write utilizing graphic organizers and finally, write the essays. Studies have shown that utilizing literacy/writing across the curriculum has increased ACT reading and writing scores tremendously.
Professional learning communities, where teachers who teach in the same content area communicate and work collaboratively to plan for instruction, develop formative assessments, and analyze assessment results are being set up throughout our system.
Much work is being performed in professional learning communities to clearly identify the learning targets associated with each standard within a content area. Emphasis is being placed on how the instruction and formative assessment is closely aligned with those learning targets.
Efforts are being made to develop strategic intervention plans where students who struggle in a particular area may receive additional time in instruction, and for those who are more academically proficient will receive enhanced instructional opportunities.
Specifically at Northside High School, we offer study strategies classes for students who struggle in core subject areas. We also offer Enrichment class to all 9th and 10th graders. This class allows students opportunities for extra tutoring sessions, catching up on missed work, learning proper study skills, as well as requiring designated reading days.
Although not shown in the “A-F Report Card”, the Tuscaloosa County School System is meeting or exceeding the state proficiency levels in most grade levels in reading and mathematics as shown by the charts below.
The Tuscaloosa County School System
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4:30 PM JV BB v Hillcrest
5:00 PM Soccer v Holt
4:30 PM BB v SVHS
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM SB @ SVHS
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM JV BB v Gordo
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM SB @ Brookwood
4:30 PM BB @ SVHS
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM SB v. Carbon Hill
4:00 PM BB @ South Lamar
5:00 PM Soccer v Hillcrest
10:00 AM Track @ Northridge