Teachers, administrators getting ready for school, part 2

Cullman High School (Cullman Tribune file photo)

Part 1

CULLMAN, Ala. – It won’t be long until kids- and the grownups charged with riding herd over them- head back to school. The Tribune is asking teachers, administrators and staff two questions: 

  1. What have you been doing to get ready for the new school year?
  2. What are you most looking forward to this year?

They could give any answer, from a couple of sentences to an essay. Some folks gave specific answers to 1 and 2, while others just shared their thoughts.  Both are welcome. 

We’ll be sharing here and there from now until school starts.  If you’d like to take part, see below.

Kim Hall, principal, Cullman High School

1) “We have spent the summer preparing our campus and our buildings for the arrival of our students the first week of August. Our teachers have spent time resting and reflecting as well as participating in training and professional development related to their particular content specialization. Our counselors and administrative team have worked together to prepare for an outstanding school year filled with numerous opportunities for our students.”

2) “I always look forward to our teachers and students coming back to campus. A school is just a building until the teachers and students arrive. That is when the magic takes place! I am excited to meet our incoming ninth-grade class. It’s exciting to be a part of preparing our youth for their future and watching them grow into adults.” 

Jay Page, principal, West Elementary School

1) “Our teachers have participated in several professional development trainings this summer. Our English Language Arts teachers participated in a training title Structured Literacy that helps them to understand the science behind learning to read. We are excited about the new learning and the impact it will have on our students. Also, our math teachers finished training through AMSTI (Alabama Math and Science Technology Initiative) on the Ongoing Assessment Project, or OGAP. In OGAP training, our teachers learned how students struggle with mathematical concepts. Teachers learned about how to address student misconceptions about math concepts within the lesson and make adjustments to their lessons to help students understand the concept. We had two teachers and our library media specialist spend two days and become Google Certified Teachers to help them integrate technology into their lessons.”

2) “Our fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms will now have one-to-one Chromebooks.  This will be exciting for our students and teachers. Our students have had Google accounts and have used technology to complete interactive assignments.  With the one-to-one Chromebooks, we feel that our students will have more access to ideas, the ability to conduct research on topics that interest them and the ability to broaden our learning beyond the walls of our classroom.

“We are excited to have the carpet removed from our classrooms.  Our classrooms now have refinished hardwood floors or tiled floors, and we are thankful for the support of our central office in installing the new floors.

“With the different legislative mandates and a new summative test for our accountability scores, we want to ‘rise to the challenge’ this year. This will be the first year for our new summative testing in Alabama, and we want to have our students prepared. Also, we want to work to have all of our students reading at grade level. Most of all, we want to stress the importance of making daily progress.  Improvement is the key to our learning.”

David Wiggins, principal, East Elementary School

“EES underwent an extensive restoration project this summer. Carpet was removed from classrooms so that the hardwood floors could be restored to their original 1936 condition. In addition, carpeting was removed from the far east building and was replaced with VCT (vinyl composition tile).

“With retirements and transfers, we have a number of new faces on staff at EES, including the addition of a full-time assistant principal in Mr. Nic Gragg. He previously served in that position in a shared capacity at both East Elementary School and West Elementary School. Students will be welcomed by four new faces in EES classrooms as school begins: Mrs. April Dean, Mrs. Sarah Martin, Mrs. Jada Mitchell and Miss Alexandria White.

“We are excited to begin a new year with so many new faces, as well as some in new roles.”

Sound off!

If you’d like to share with us, we look forward to hearing from you: teachers, administrators, counselors, band directors, coaches, Child Nutrition Program workers, bus drivers, SROs, central office, city, county, private…everybody! Check those questions and let us know what you’ve got going on.  

Working on cool hallway or classroom paint jobs, decorations or setups?  Send us pics!  

If you’re getting ready for something that’s too big for two little questions, feel free to introduce us to what you’ve got.  

Email craig@cullmantribune.com.  If you’ve got something we need to come see or someone we need to talk to, let us know and leave contact information, and we’ll be in touch.

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W.C. Mann