City school board proclaims October Dyslexia Awareness Month


Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson recognizes members of the Cullman Middle School Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter, sponsored by Lucas McCollum, center. / Nick Griffin

CULLMAN – The Cullman City School Board met Tuesday, where it adopted a resolution declaring the month of October Dyslexia Awareness Month, joining the Cullman County School Board, which declared the same thing last week.

Cullman City Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson gave a statement on how important dyslexia awareness is to her, the board and the community.

“Cullman City Schools joined with the State Department of Education and other school districts in passing a resolution declaring October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. It's important to raise awareness of dyslexia, recognizing that statistics tell us that as much as 15-20 percent of our students can be affected in their learning by dyslexia," said Patterson. “Cullman City Schools has been proactive throughout the years in seeking ways to support those students affected.  Utilizing professional development funds to have staff receive specialized training in how to best teach students with dyslexia has been an objective for the system for several years now. Cullman City Schools has a strong partnership with the City, and through that we received additional assistance that allowed us to employ a full-time intervention teacher who has an advanced degree in dyslexia therapy.

“Placing a focus on early identification and intervention with students is important.  Research proves students who receive effective phonological awareness and phonics training have significantly fewer problems.  Through our school-based reading specialists, we are ensuring all students receive the support needed to be successful readers and learners. Early intervention is key to supporting students with dyslexia because statistics state that 74 percent of readers who struggle in third grade will continue to struggle as ninth graders. We want to meet the needs of all students through our partnerships such as this with the City and the dedicated teachers we have.  Cullman City Schools will continue to provide our students a successful foundation to their learning," said Patterson.

The board also recognized several board members and presented awards.

The first award recognized was the 2017 School Board Member Academy President’s Award, presented to the Cullman City Board of Education along, with recognition of board members Chris Branham, Joey Orr and Lee Powell for completing the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) School Board Member Academy Achievement Level 1. Cullman City Schools was also recognized as a 2018 Best School in America by Niche.

Next up was the Cullman High School Fishing Team, led by coach Kyle Morris, who in June won the Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation High School Championship. The fishing team members present for the recognition were Lawson Graves, Cameron Glasscock, Cy Lambert, Houston Smith, Keaton Kenney and David Dueland. Following them was the Cullman Middle School Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter, sponsored by Lucas McCollum, who finished first in the county in Forestry Judging and will be one of 23 schools in Alabama advancing to the district competition. They also received a Gold Level National Chapter Award at the state FFA convention.

After the award recognitions, the board moved onto approving several agenda items.

  • Approved the LEA Consolidated Plan for federal programs within Cullman City Schools.
  • Approved the Cullman City Primary School CIP plan.
  • Approved permission to contract with Dr. Gayle Morrison to provide guidance to teachers pursuing their National Board Certification for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
  • Approved a revised FY2018 Head Start Grandfathered Salary Schedule.

The next school board meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m.

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