The Counselor's Cave

January 2020

Let's make the 2nd Semester the Best Semester!!

Halfway! In a few short months we will be wrapping up another year and getting prepared for the 2020-2021 school year! My oh My how time flies!

From the Office of the Superintendent re: Vaping Consequences

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Decatur City Schools notified students and families at the beginning of the 2019-2020 year that we considered "vaping” to be a serious health concern and stronger repercussions would be implemented for students found vaping.

During the first semester, students found in possession of or using a vaping device were assigned to in school suspension (ISS). However, that punishment did not seem to deter many of our students who elected to engage in this harmful practice. After a discussion with students, parents and administrators, it was recommended that discipline for vaping offenses include an assignment to our Center for Alternatives to Suspension (CAS). Therefore, beginning in January of 2020, DCS administration will be assigning CAS to those students found using or in possession of vaping devices.

Again, as being reported in the news, vaping is causing serious health issues around our nation. We do not wish to see any of our students negatively impacted by either direct exposure or second hand exposure to these products. Please help us and discuss the dangers of vaping and the consequences of vaping at school with your student.

Curriculum Night

Tuesday, Feb. 4th, 6pm

Austin Middle School

Please help us spread the word about our phenomenal curriculum night. We would love for all incoming 6th graders and upcoming 7th graders and their families to attend. This event allows AMS to showcase the awesome opportunities that our school provides. Curriculum night will help students become excited about getting involved and selecting elective courses for next year.

5th Grade Visits

Monday, Feb. 3rd, 8:30pm-11am

Austin Middle School

Every year the upcoming 6th graders from our feeder schools come to AMS to get a sneak peek at their new school. The 2020-2021 school year is going to be a great one an we look forward to meeting our newest Black Bears!

February 5th-7th

5th grade elective selection. AMS counselors to visit Elementary Schools

6th grade Elective Selection (for 2020-2021 school year)

Thursday, Jan. 30th, 8am

Social Studies Classes

6th grade students will select their electives during Social Studies Classes January 30th. Expect information regarding elective options to come home soon!

Testing Schedules

Please keep the following testing windows in mind when planning for the Spring. (see below)


6th grade students will take the ACAP in the areas of Reading (ELA), Math, and Science. 7th graders will test in Reading (ELA) and Math.


All students will take the Scantron in the areas of Reading and Math.


Assessments are crucial to providing valuable information about student progress and drives instruction. The data tells us what is working, what isn't and what is needed........PLUS it gives us the opportunity to shine and show off how awesome our students and teachers are and how hard they have worked!

Upcoming Dates/Activities:

1/1 - Happy New Years Black Bears!

1/2 -Basketball @ Athens (boys at 4:30 girls at 4:30)

1/6 -Teacher Workday

-Basketball @ Muscle Shoals (Girls at 4:00 Boys at 5:00)

1/7 -Welcome back Black Bears!

1/9 -AR Celebration

-Basketball @ home vs. Hartselle (AHS boys at 5:00 girls at 6:30)

1/10 -Student of the Month Assembly for January (School Spirit) @ 8:45

-Report Card Day!

1/11 -All State Band Auditions

-Scholars Bowl Tournament

1/13 -Middle School Basketball Tournament (times TBA)

1/14 -Geography Bee @ 8:45

1/15-1/17

-6th Grade Kuder Assessment in SS Classes

1/16 -Millions Word Reader lunch

1/20 -MLK Holiday-No School

1/21 -Access testing for ELL students (window opens)

1/22-1/24

-7th Grade Kuder Assessment in SS Classes

1/24-1/25

-All State Band Auditions

1/25 -Lego Robotics State Competition

1/29 -Blood Drive

1/30 -6th grade (upcoming 7th grade) Elective selection in SS classes