City school board has 5-year accreditation visit, extends Patterson’s contract 3 years


Cullman City Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson, left, poses for a photo with Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey, right, Friday morning in Cullman. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN – The Cullman City Schools system has been busy this week with its five-year accreditation visit.  The results of that visit were discussed Friday morning in a special-called meeting of the Cullman City School Board. Also at the meeting were Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey and other Alabama State Department of Education board members, who were in town to tour both City and County schools.

Cullman City Schools’ accreditation visit began last Sunday due to the forecast of snow during the week. The accreditation team was given a presentation by members of the Cullman City School Board and had the opportunity to ask questions. On Monday, the team visited schools, observed teachers in their classrooms and interviewed 178 teachers, parents and community members. 

Although a formal report will be available in 30 days, Cullman City Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson was briefed on highlights and suggestions made to her by the team.

Patterson said, “The team  was inspired by the energy of our teachers and impressed with the conduct and behavior of our students. They were amazed at the on-task pace teachers and students were in as they visited classrooms.”

Patterson shared the “best compliment they gave us” was the team described Cullman City Schools as “real.”

She explained, “They said everything we provided as evidence, when they visited the classroom, it was real.” 

Other highlights included the openness and confidence of the teachers and staff, the great support teachers reported having from the administration, parents and community and the pride throughout the system and community for the schools. The team was also complimentary of the school board, describing it as “progressive, knowing their roles and wanting to serve their students.”

The team also suggested a few improvements it would like to see:

  1. A formalized program for a one-to-one program for child advocacy. 
  2. A more comprehensive program throughout the system regarding data meetings about improving instruction.
  3. Continue to work on differentiated instruction for digital learning. 

The team’s summary read “I commend you and your school system for its commitment to advancing excellence in education through your continuous improvement efforts in the accreditation process.”

Patterson’s contract extended

The board voted unanimously to extend Patterson’s contract.

Board President Jason Neal said, “We are pleased to announce that we have extended Dr. Patterson’s contract for three more years to May 31, 2022. We are excited for the next three years.”

Personnel considerations

  • Delilah Graves Fox, temporary math teacher at Cullman High School to fill a leave of absence (approximately) Feb. 11-May 24, 2019

The next meeting of the Cullman City School Board will be Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. in the central office board room.

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