CHS presents data from Bearcat Enrichment plan to school board

Cullman High School World Language Department Chair and Spanish Teacher Sara McCutcheon gives a presentation on the data results from the first nine weeks of the new Bearcat Enrichment plan CHS Staff put together to improve student engagement and productivity. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – “We have a really positive culture at our school,” Cullman High School World Language Department Chair and Spanish Teacher Sara McCutcheon said to the Cullman City School Board Thursday evening at its November meeting. McCutcheon, on the behalf of CHS Principal Kim Hall, presented data from the school’s Bearcat Enrichment plan. CHS faculty involved with Bearcat Enrichment work with students to monitor their progress and build relationships, improving student engagement and productivity at the school. Students have a Bearcat Enrichment period built into the school day every day except Wednesday.

Said McCutcheon, “Bearcat Enrichment is actually a combination of intervention and enrichment.”

What went into establishing Bearcat Enrichment?

  • Feedback and input from CHS faculty, Student Government Association (SGA) and parents
  • Amendment of the CHS bell schedule, check-in/check-out procedure and a cell phone policy where cell phone use is prohibited in the classroom
  • Time audits, where a select number of CHS staff followed 11 CHS students and studied how they spent their time
  • Site visits to other schools around the state to see new ideas for making the Bearcat Enrichment plan successful


What have the results been so far?
Using data from the first nine weeks of school, McCutcheon shared these results:

  • Failure reports have decreased 40.9%.
  • Number of students referred to the Problem Solving Team (PST) is down 50%.
  • Mental health referrals are down 17 to 9, or 47%.
  • Discipline is up 1% (due to the new cell phone policy).


“Our goal with students was success for all students and I feel Bearcat Enrichment has really done that,” said McCutcheon. “Just in my class in the last week of meeting in Bearcat Enrichment, a student has applied for a job, I helped a student find a free and reduced lunch form in Spanish, because her parents couldn’t read the one in English, we have set goals for the nine weeks (grading period) and for the year. Our attendance is much better in my class and just that relationship (with the students), it’s much better. And that’s going on in all of our teachers’ rooms, not just mine. That’s across the board; all teachers are involved in this.”

In other business, the Cullman City School Board approved:

Old business:

  • Ratification of bid results with Southland International Bus Sales as the lowest responsible bidder, meeting specifications for the Cullman City Schools Special Needs Bus Replacement – Bid #10-22-1901

New business:

  • Permission to amend the title of the Cullman High School Athletic and Extracurricular Handbook to Cullman City Schools Athletic and Extracurricular Handbook
  • Approval of Memorandum of Agreement between Cullman City Board of Education and the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) regarding the Poverty Simulation Program
  • Approval of Community Partnership Agreement between Cullman City Head Start and Brook’s Place
  • Approval of Child Development Clinical Agreement between Wallace State Community College and Cullman City Head Start/Cullman City Primary School, effective Oct. 25, 2019
  • Approval of the revised Chief School Financial Officer job description


Personnel considerations


  • Elizabeth Parker, Extended Day Program teacher at East Elementary School, effective Oct. 23, 2019
  • Raegan Stephens, Extended Day Program aide at Cullman City Primary School, effective Nov. 22, 2019
  • Savanna Ponder, Extended Day Program aid at Cullman City Primary School, effective Dec. 19, 2019

Employments: Conditional Employment under the terms of the Child Protection Act of 1999, Act No. 2002-457, and pending certification, as applicable:

  • Dora Ines Burton, CNP worker at East Elementary School, effective Nov. 14, 2019 (JV 19-0079)

2019-2020 Academic Supplement Schedule Amendment

  • Keenan Fowlkes – 100% of the West Elementary Veterans Day Program Supplement for the 2019-2020 school year (Local school funds)


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