Volleyball v. Hillcrest today at 5:30 p.m. We will honor seniors!
XC v. Hoover at Veterans Park today.
Interact members interested in running for club officer should see Mrs. Atkinson in Room 111 to sign up.
All seniors will report to the cafeteria Friday at 8:00 a.m. for a FAFSA presentation to prepare for seeking financial aid. Following the presentation (will last 1st period), the students and their parents are invited to meet with Bevill State financial aid staff members for assistance in completing their FAFSAs.
Football @ Holt Friday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. We want to “Impress the Ironmen”. Dress as your future career.
Volleyball Area Tournament at NHS Monday, October 23 at 2:00 p.m.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. FBLA will be raising money for the Breast Cancer Foundation starting today through October 27th, in 4th period class. The 4th period class that raises the most money will be prized Krispy Kreme doughnuts on Halloween!
DCH will be offering open houses for the Radiology Program next month. These open houses are for prospective students and/or parents to learn about the program, the prerequisites, meeting our faculty and touring the school. Space is limited so please R.S.V.P. to Mrs. Hudgins with the number of people coming and the date you would like to attend. All of the open houses will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the Radiology School. Confirmation emails will be sent along with a map. Choose from one of these dates: Monday, November 6, Tuesday, November 7, Tuesday, November 14, Thursday, November 16, Monday, November 20, Monday, November 27 or Thursday, November 30.
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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8:00 AM - 9:00 AM XC Hoover @ Veterans Park
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM VB v Hillcrest
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Show Me the Money!
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM FB @ Holt
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM FB @ Oak Grove
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM FB v. Holy Spirit
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM SamanthaFest
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Aladdin
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Aladdin
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Beauty Walk @ Bama Theatre