This Week in TCS

Core Notes 2/28

Coronavirus Update

News coverage of the emergence of a new coronavirus that is impacting nations around the world may prompt our community to wonder how Tuscaloosa City Schools is prepared for the situation. In addition to closely partnering with public health agencies to keep up-to-date on this evolving situation, our schools are following existing safety practices to minimize the spread of illness and to encourage good health. Safe school plans are in place at each of our campuses and normal school activities are continuing.

It’s important to keep in mind that the health risk to the general public in Alabama from novel coronavirus remains low, and the best way to prevent the spread of viruses, in general, is to follow common-sense health practices like washing hands frequently, covering coughs, and staying home when sick. At school, TCS encourages preventative actions, including:

  • Routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces. Our custodians are directed to disinfect high-contact surfaces daily.
  • Washing hands frequently.
  • Encouraging students and staff to stay home if they are ill. If running a fever, it is recommended that students remain at home until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • Using respiratory etiquette (e.g. covering coughs, using tissue and no touching trash cans).
  • Our school nurses are valued partners in our healthy school efforts, and assist if a student falls ill while at school.

Parents can keep up with the latest news about the coronavirus outbreak and actions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control online at and through the Alabama Department of Public Health As new information is available, or if public health recommendations for schools change we will keep our community informed.

Questions can also be submitted to the TCS Student Health Services Department at 205-759-3678.

TCS Students Take Tops in MathCounts

The system's five middle schools placed in a recent math competition held on The University of Alabama campus. MathCounts is an event for middle school students where they participate in a written test and a ciphering round. The Tuscaloosa City Schools saw about 150 students participate in which Northridge Middle ended the day on top, followed by Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools-Middle; The Alberta School of Performing Arts finished fourth, Eastwood Middle came in fifth and Westlawn finished seventh among competitors.

"I'm super proud of all the students for the exposure and the participation and as a result, some of our students are already being looked at for academic and engineering scholarships," said Ken Webb, secondary curriculum specialist.

This is the second year TCS students have participated in the event.

Distinct Honor

CLAS Schools of Distinction principals
Five TCS schools have been selected for recognition as a prestigious CLAS School of Distinctions in two state school board districts. Eastwood Middle School, STARS/Success Prep, Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools-Elementary, Tuscaloosa City Schools and Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools-Middle, and Westlawn Middle School, have been selected as 2019 CLAS Schools of Distinction. Each school was nominated for this award by its respective superintendent. This award recognizes schools that serve as outstanding educational models for other schools in Alabama. These exemplary schools will be recognized at a luncheon May 4, 2020.

The principals of the recognized schools are featured above (left to right): LaTanya Williams Collins (STARS/Success Prep), Tiffany Davis (Westlawn), Eric Hines (Eastwood), Preeti Nichani (TMS-E) and Kristi Thomson (TMS-M). Find out for which innovative programs these schools are being honored!

Arts Excellence

TFAA student performance
Two TCS schools take center stage with a recent grant announcement! The Alberta School of Performing Arts and the Tuscaloosa Fine Arts Academy at Paul W. Bryant High School were awarded 2020 Alabama Arts Education Initiative (AAEI) grants from the Alabama State Department of Education. Each school will receive $20,000 toward their arts programming needs.

TASPA's grant will cover arts-integration professional development at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and that Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts in Montgomery. Meanwhile, TFAA will use the funds to cover professional development costs at the Art Schools Network in Las Vegas, Nevada and improve theatre lighting.

"I applaud these schools, their leadership, and faculty for their commitment to expanding arts education opportunities for their students," said Jeff Schultz, coordinator of fine arts. "The Alabama Arts Education Initiative grants are providing opportunities for these schools and students that would otherwise not come to light."

This is the third year in a row that TFAA has received this grant.

Recognition for TCS Superintendent

Mike Daria and TCS students

Tuscaloosa City Schools' superintendent Mike Daria has been named the The Alabama Community Education Association (ACEA) 2020 Superintendent of the Year. Daria was recognized for his willingness to be a key stakeholder in Community Education because of the system's commitment to afterschool programs and summer programs which speaks to ACEA's mission and vision.

Community educators are adept at working with community members to identify community needs, the resources available to meet them, and understanding the fundamental need for diversity and inclusion. Facilitating cooperation and collaboration among those in control of the resources is another skill required of the community educator. Leadership training, strategic planning, communications, public relations, and program evaluation, are among other skills needed.

The awards ceremony will be held next month in Birmingham.

Reading: The Science Behind the Work

District 1 school board member Matthew Wilson with TCS student
TCS is making progress in the area of reading. This week, Tuscaloosa City Board of Education members visited local elementary schools this week to gain understand the science behind reading instruction. Board members have heard presentations about the work over the past few months and this was a chance to see the work firsthand. The goal was for board members to understand the five components of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Don't Miss the Cut!

Early registration for Pre-K ends Noon March 5th! Register at today The lottery will be held 8:30 a.m. March 9 at the Tuscaloosa City Schools Board of Education.

Can You Deliver Kindness?

If you haven't already signed up to deliver kindness, you still have a chance! Visit to join the effort to connect students in need with those who can help.

About Us

The mission of the Tuscaloosa City Schools is to create and support a culture of high expectations for each and every student to achieve personal, academic and career excellence.