Muscle Shoals City Schools

May 18, 2021

2nd Graders Learn about Careers at MSCA

May 13, 2021

An Old Church Gives New Life to Muscle Shoals Pre-K

An old church is about to get new life, and it will give some Shoals parents options for their children’s educations. Muscle Shoals City Schools announced plans to expand their First Class Pre-K program in the fall of 2022.

"We just don't have enough Pre-K offerings for our city's young families, and for a city our size and a district our size, we should have more than one First Class Pre-K program," said Muscle Shoals City Schools Superintendent, Chad Holden.

Currently, Muscle Shoals City Schools only has one Pre-K class with 18 students, but the demand is much higher.

"We always have a waiting list for our Pre-K program. In fact, this last year, I think we had to turn away about 80 families that would have qualified for our program had we have had the space," said Holden.

As of last Monday, the school system purchased the First Church of Nazarene, 2118 E. Sixth Street, to act as the Pre-K building starting in fall 2022.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

BOE Honors Longtime Board Member Farrell Southern

At Monday's meeting of the Board of Education, Superintendent Chad Holden read a resolution honoring longtime board member Farrell Southern who will complete his 15th and final year on the board at the end of the month.

"Mr. Southern has been a steady, reasonable voice on the school board for a long time. His wisdom and supportive nature will be greatly missed," Holden said.

Since being appointed in 2006, Southern has worked alongside four superintendents: Dr. Jeff Wooten, Mr. Billy Hudson (interim), Dr. Brian Lindsey, and Holden.

Board of Education Meetings and Minutes Available on Website

Go to this link anytime to view past meetings of the Muscle Shoals Board of Education or to read the minutes of each work session and meeting.

May Meeting of the Board of Education

MSCS May Board Meeting

Parents urged to vaccinate eligible kids for new school year

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s top education leader is asking parents to have their eligible children get vaccinated.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday that those 12-years-old and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Alabama.

“I strongly encourage any parent with a child that’s 12 to 15 or our 16, 17, to 18-year-olds to as quickly as possible get with their medical provider and get the vaccine,” State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey said Thursday.

With many school activities put on halt during the pandemic, Mackey says the vaccine is the pathway back to normal.

“This is our opportunity to have those full stadium and volleyball courts and not have to quarantine large numbers of people, but it’s all about whether they get vaccinated,” he said.

Mackey said those in school who are fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine if they come into close contact with COVID-19, if they are not showing symptoms.

With the expansion to those 12 and older, there will be more than four million people eligible for the vaccine in Alabama.

To read the full article, click here.

ADPH to hold webinar with superintendents and school nurses

On Thursday, May 20, the Alabama Department of Public Health will hold a meeting with all superintendents and lead nurses across the state to discuss the pandemic and guidance for schools going forward. Stakeholders can expect a statement from Dr. Holden soon thereafter with the district's plans for summer and beyond. Stay tuned.

USDA: School lunches will be free next year

By Lisa Singleton-Rickman of the TimesDaily

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that school meals will continue to be served to all children for free next school year.

That includes Shoals area schools, which will also be enabled to extend social distancing and the pandemic safety measures that have been in place the past year.|

To read the full article, click here.

Sheffield City Schools CNP Director (and future Muscle Shoals CNP Director) Blake Stone said free breakfasts and meals will make a positive difference in the system.

She said she feared the free meals for next year might come to an end because COVID seems to be lessening and more normal operations are returning.

"We were relieved that the waiver goes through June 2022 because there have been many extra expenses associated with serving meals during COVID," she said. "We're still sending meals home to kids who are on virtual education tracks. With this decision, we can continue doing this."

Programs are reimbursed based on how many students are served a complete meal.

"The cost of individually wrapping food items and all the special containers and other projects used during the pandemic is ridiculously expensive, but this program will take those expenses away," she added.

Muscle Shoals Superintendent Chad Holden said the transition to the SSO program in the fall means free meals and financial help for those families who are still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic.

"Being able to provide our students with two meals a day will also go a long way in helping our teachers address the challenges we will face next year with unfinished learning," he said.

Superintendent's Report

  • The superintendent thanked all who participated in the city cleanup back on May 1st, particularly the McBride Student Council. MSCS had a good group of young boys and girls who helped cleanup around our school campuses.

  • The superintendent congratulated high school assistant band director Jessica Hood on being accepted into the American School Band Directors' Association. Members of the ASBDA must be nominated and sponsored by a peer who is a current member of the ASBDA. Potential members must demonstrate a high level of experience, excellent moral character, and quality of musicianship.

  • Student recognitions

    • Annalee Regan - 7th grader at MSMS, finished 8th overall at the AHSAA State championship golf tournament

    • For the 28th year in a row, our high school wind ensemble and symphonic bands received overall superior ratings at the Music Performance Assessment.

    • The band had over 40 students participate in solo and ensemble this year, and all 40 students received superior ratings.

    • Drama/show choir - Hunchback of Notre Dame performances were outstanding.

    • Track and Field achievements - Aliyah Williams, 2nd place discus and Haley Tucker, 2nd place 400 meter in the 6A State Track Meet; our girls program finished 10th overall in the state.

    • Softball achievements: finished the season with a 31-6 record and a nice run in the 6A playoffs.

Upcoming Dates of Interest

Tuesday, May 18, 6:30 p.m.

Muscle Shoals Career Academy Awards Night (CTE Students)

@ MSHS Auditorium

*Limited Attendance*

Thursday, May 20, 8:30 a.m.

Muscle Shoals Middle School Honor Day (8th Grade)

@ Grace Life Church​

*Limited Attendance*

Friday, May 21, 8:30 a.m.

Muscle Shoals High School Honor Day (12th Grade)

@ Grace Life Church

*Limited Attendance*

Wednesday, May 26, 2:00 p.m.
Retirement Tea @ MSCA Multipurpose Room

Thursday, May 27, 7:30 p.m.
Graduation, James F. Moore Stadium

Cognia Accreditation Review Summary

In April, the Muscle Shoals City Schools enjoyed a virtual site visit from an external review team representing Cognia, the district's accrediting agency. While the official report won't arrive for 30-60 days, here is a summary of their findings as reported by the team before they left.

Key indicators (these are areas that they found strong evidence/exemplary practice)

  • Community partnerships/engagement

  • Communication

  • Instructional Technology Integration

  • Staff Evaluation Processes

  • STEM Integration (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math)

  • Resource Management

The team found no critical areas for improvement, but offered the following suggestions for consideration.

Areas for consideration

  • Formalize the strategic planning process with measurable action steps (they were complimentary of “a good start” but recommended that we take the strategic plan to the next level).

  • Consider additional efforts in curriculum alignment.

  • Evaluate the district's processes for multi-tiered instruction for struggling students.

  • Implement a process for evaluating organizational conditions and progress, perhaps annual surveys.

Big picture