Planning for the Opening of Northport Intermediate & Reconfiguration of TCHS Feeder Schools

  • February 22, 2021

    From the Office of the Superintendent 

    At the February 22 Board of Education meeting, the Board made two actions related to the new Northport Intermediate School. Northport Intermediate will serve students in grades 5 and 6. Work is on schedule for the August 2021 opening of Northport Intermediate.

    Mr. Michael Tilford Named Northport Intermediate Principal

    At the meeting Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Michael Tilford as principal of Northport Intermediate School. Mr. Tilford currently serves as Principal of Myrtlewood Elementary School and previously served as Assistant Principal at Duncanville Middle School. Prior to joining TCSS, Mr. Tilford taught both fifth and sixth grades and served as a high school assistant principal. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to serve as principal of our new 5th and 6th grade intermediate school. A date has not yet been determined for Mr. Tilford to assume his duties as Northport Intermediate principal, but he will be involved in preparing for the school to open. Naming a principal is a key step in the important work that must happen between now and the opening of the new school. Mr. Tilford will be missed at Myrtlewood Elementary, and work will soon begin on finding an outstanding new leader for Myrtlewood. 

    Delay in K-4 Configuration Change at Northport Elementary and Huntington Place Elementary

    Also at the meeting, the Board approved a one-year delay in the transition of both Northport Elementary School and Huntington Place Elementary School to K-4 elementary schools. With tonight’s board decision, Northport Elementary will remain a Pre-K through 2nd Grade school for the 2021-2022 school year, and Huntington Place Elementary will become a Grade 3 and 4 school for the 2021-2022 school year. As already planned, fifth graders will attend Northport Intermediate. Even with delaying the configuration change by one year, the goal of creating more space at HPES is still reached, by moving fifth graders to Northport Intermediate.

    There are several reasons for the delay in the NES/HPES configuration change. We have a particularly busy and critically important summer ahead of us. With new summer learning initiatives prompted by the Alabama Literacy Act, and an increased need for remediation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need our available elementary teachers to work in conjunction with these efforts this summer. We also want to preserve time for our teachers to have a much-needed break. For all of these reasons, it will be helpful to reduce the number of teachers who will be moving schools this summer. These circumstances were not anticipated when the timeline was initially set forward for the configuration change. 

    HPES and NES will become K-4th grade schools in the 2022-2023 school year. Prior to that time, families will be notified whether they are zoned for HPES and NES. Those lines are not determined at this time. This one-year delay will also provide more time to examine new Census data and growth and development information in this area.

    TCHS Feeder Pattern Configuration for 2021-2022 School Year 

    With this change in place, below is the approved configuration for schools in the Tuscaloosa County High School feeder pattern, for the 2021-2022 school year. The new school and reconfiguration of existing schools achieves the goal in creating more space in schools throughout the feeder pattern. This reconfiguration does not involve zoning changes.

    Pre-K through 4th Grade:

    Crestmont Elementary

    Faucett-Vestavia Elementary

    Matthews Elementary

    Flatwoods Elementary

    Pre-K through 2nd Grade:

    Northport Elementary 

    3rd and 4th Grade:

    Huntington Place Elementary

    Grades 5-6:

    Collins-Riverside – Will serve students from Crestmont, Faucett-Vestavia, and Matthews Elementary Schools.

    Northport Intermediate – Will serve students from Flatwoods and Huntington Place Elementary Schools.

    Grades 7-8:

    Echols Middle School – All students in the TCHS feeder pattern (rising from Collins-Riverside and Northport Intermediate) will attend Echols Middle.

    We’re excited as we plan for the opening of Northport Intermediate and new opportunities affecting all of our schools in the TCHS feeder pattern. Families of students who will be affected by the reconfiguration will receive information specific to their schools and grade levels, as we prepare for the upcoming school year.