A Letter from the Superintendent
February 22, 2021
I wanted to make you aware of two big steps that occurred this evening, as we move toward the August opening of the new Northport Intermediate School. At this evening’s 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.
Also at tonight’s 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, we still meet the goal of creating more space at HPES 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. It simply just makes sense to hold off on this change for one year, with HPES and NES becoming K-4th grade schools in the 2022-2023 school year. Prior to that time, families will be notified which school they will be zoned for. 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.
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:
Pre-K through 2nd Grade:
3rd and 4th Grade:
Huntington Place Elementary
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.
Echols Middle School – All students in the TCHS feeder pattern (rising from Collins-Riverside and Northport Intermediate) will attend Echols Middle.
I know families with students who will be attending NES, HPES, Northport Intermediate, and TCHS are certainly concerned about traffic in the area. Work is currently underway on a northern access road to Northport Intermediate School. At tonight’s Board meeting, contracts were approved for a final design of traffic analysis and engineering services for the road.
We’re excited about the months to come 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.
Keri C. Johnson, Ed.D.