Friday Thoughts

December 14, 2018

Alabama State Department of Education - Release Schools and Systems Grades

Colbert County School System - 84

Leighton Elementary 82

Hatton Elementary 82

Cherokee Elementary 86

New Bethel Elementary 88

Colbert Heights Elementary 80

Colbert County High School 82

Colbert Heights High School 81

Cherokee High School 81

"Hard work is Hard".......Thank you for giving your best, everyday for every kid!! The proof is in the pudding. You showed up and showed out!!!

Every employee..... please join me in this blessing for our kids and for your dedication to a great school system!!!

"No weapon formed against us shall prosper." Isaiah 54:17

Did you know?

Did you know that Mrs. Margaret Mullens has been teaching dual enrollment classes for CCS for 5 years!! There's more...... Mrs. Mullens has been an adjunct instructor for the University of North Alabama for 11 years.

Since Fall 2013, 78 students have completed the Dual enrollment courses under Mrs. Mullens' direction.

"It is my pleasure to offer opportunities to students that are eager to start their early college journey in the Colbert County School System." Margaret Mullens


One Team....One Goal....Our Legacy!!

Faculty and Staff Shout outs

  • Jaime Carder has completed all course work for her Master's. (LES)
  • Matt Osborn has complete all course work for his Education Specialist.

    Unconditionally accepted and admitted as a Doctoral Candidate to the Orleans Beeson School of Education at Samford University on December 9th. Dissertation coursework begins January 21, 2019 (Central office)

  • Kayla Thorne has completed all course work for her Master's. (HES)

'Tis the Season for an Ethics Reminder

Holiday Gift-giving Reminders

As a reminder, in 2016, the Ethics Commission ruled that the de minimus limits on gifts ($25 per occasion; $50 per year) do NOT apply to public officials or public employees, as long as the gift giver is not a lobbyist or a principal (a person who employs a lobbyist).

Nevertheless, the Commission still suggests using the $25/$50 limit in policy as a best practice, but gifts beyond the de minimus amounts no longer violate the Ethics law. The Commission summarizes its practical guidance on pages 4 and 5 of the attached opinion.

A few other reminders ahead of the holiday season:

  • It is permissible to pool gifts, e.g. the room mom takes up $5 from each student who wishes to participate and purchases a $100 gift card for the class Christmas gift to the teacher (as long as the teacher doesn't ask the students to participate);
  • The board members may pool their money to purchase a gift for the board secretary;
  • Board attorneys may purchase gifts for their board member and superintendent clients; and
  • No gift of any amount can be given or received by any public official or employee in exchange for official action.

Finally, we encourage you to use the "Sally Smith Rule" this holiday season: If you saw a headline about an extravagant gift given to another public official or employee, what would you think? Comply with the law, but also use your good judgment.

Early Childhood Education

Cherokee Elementary Pre-K Shelving

Two new shelving units are needed to replace worn shelving units.


Colbert Heights 2 Classroom Furniture & Supplies

Colbert Heights Elementary Pre-K #2 plans to purchase shelving units and chairs for their classroom. They also play to purchase new manipulatives and materials that are wearing out.

$ 9,585.00

New Bethel Classroom Equipment and Supplies

New Bethel Elementary Pre-K plan to purchase 3 round tables and 18 chairs. They also plan to purchase classroom manipulative's.

$ 8,000.00

Healthcare Watch

Second Flu Clinic

  • All schools have adult and pediatric Epi-Pens stocked if an emergency occurred and someone needed an Epi-Pen
  • Purrell Dispensers are ready to be placed in cafeterias when we come back from Christmas Holidays. We haven't put them out yet due to not having reports of flu.
  • Hand washing has been taught to all of our students and faculty.
  • Bus Drivers county wide all have their own industrial strength wipes and gloves to keep their buses germ free during our upcoming flu season.
  • PEEHIP Wellness make up screenings will be January 2019. Wellness Teams will come out to each school again and to the Central Office. Flu shots will be available during this time as well.

Scale Back Alabama

Monday, Jan. 21st 2019 at 4pm to Sunday, Jan. 27th 2019 at 6pm

425 U.S. 72 Alternate

Tuscumbia, AL

Weigh in Week for SBA is January 21-27

How to tell if you are Dehydrated?

You know how they say you can tell your hydration by the color of your pee? Yes, it's accurate, but it's also kind of gross. That's why we employ this much subtler method of checking to see if we're drinking enough water. Here's the deal.

What you need: Your hands.

What you do: Using your thumb and index finger of one hand, pinch the skin on the back of your other hand. If it bounces back immediately, you're hydrated. If it takes a few seconds to return to normal, start sipping some H20.

Why it works: Your skin's ability to change shape and go back to its regular state (known as "turgor") is directly related to how hydrated you are. The more elastic your skin, the better shape you're in.

There you have it. No need to rely on the toilet anymore.

This article originally appeared on PureWow.

Career Coach - Mrs. Emily Crisler

2019 Colbert County Schools College Signing Day

Thursday, March 21st 2019 at 5pm

425 U.S. 72 Alternate

Tuscumbia, AL

We are planning on having a HUGE college signing day on March 21st. This would be county-wide for all seniors that are going to college. Please encourage your students to apply to college. Finally, this grand day is for ALL students accepted into college NOT just students who are receiving scholarships. #teamcolbertcounty

One Team...One Goal...Our Legacy!!

Job Opporunties with the Department of Transportation

Opportunities with DOT:

Engineering Assistant I

High School graduates

State Personnel: Class Code 2480

Mr. Chris Prince is the contact person. 256.668.1230 email:

Please share with our graduates and non graduates.

ESL Edge - Ashley Harris Teacher

  • Students at English Learner Level 1 - Entering:

      • Understand only isolated words or expressions

      • Listen and absorb language

      • May not produce speech for several months

      • Will begin to use everyday social and instructional words and expressions

    • Use of simple statements or questions, combined with gestures, visuals, or manipulatives, work best to ensure student understanding

Colbert Heights Elementary School

Marley Jacques, she is a 5th grader. She was the runner up for the spelling bee at CHES.
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Jordan Russ, she is a 5th grader and she was the winner of the spelling bee at CHES.
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Aria Gipson was chosen for Character In Action. Aria represents all 1st-5th students in Colbert County Schools.
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2nd Grade Christmas play

Tuesday, Dec. 18th, 1pm

1551 Sunset Drive

Tuscumbia, AL

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

Thursday, Dec. 20th, 8:30am

1551 Sunset Drive

Tuscumbia, AL

Students will wear PJ's and watch Polar Express movie in their classroom

The Danielle Denton Scholarship Fund

Somer has decided to do something so amazing for her Sweet 16th Birthday Party next month. With the approval from Carol Lee she is inviting anyone and everyone to help celebrate her Birthday by attending a fun party and giving any amount of money possible to help raise money for The Danielle Denton Scholarship Fund at Colbert Heights High School! Details to follow as soon as Christmas is over. If you are unable to attend we will have several ways for you to donate to the scholarship fund. PayPal, bank, to the school, or even dropping cards off at The Willows Day Spa. She wanted her birthday to mean more than just the fact she can drive a car without me. This scholarship program means a lot to her and anyone who may receives it at Colbert Heights! #curecf #chhs
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Music Concert Series

On December 6th, Bridgett Gauvin traveled to UAB for a weekend of Honor Band. Bridgett played with the White Band. She has also been accepted to the University of Alabama's Honor Band!!!

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A Chrsitmas Celebration presented by Northwest Shoals Community College

Northwest- Shoals Jazz Band and Northwest-Shoals Chorale....featuring MJ Satchel (CCHS) and Cameron Davis(CHHS).
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CHHS Senior Project Pictures


CHHS has been selected to receive an Alabama Middle and High School Robotics Grant in the amount of $1,500 for the Fiscal Year 2019.

"Your vision and enthusiasm to bring and introduce or expand robotics education programs to students are appreciated. I applaud your efforts to actively utilize robotics education as a means to engage students in their own learning."

Dr. Eric G. Mackey, State Superintendent of Education

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Musci Concert Series

On December 6th, Emily Vandiver traveled to UAB for a weekend of Honor Band. Emily played with the Green Band. Congratulations!!

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CCHS has been selected to receive an Alabama Middle and High School Robotics Grant in the amount of $1,500 for the Fiscal Year 2019.

"Your vision and enthusiasm to bring and introduce or expand robotics education programs to students are appreciated. I applaud your efforts to actively utilize robotics education as a means to engage students in their own learning."

Dr. Eric G. Mackey, State Superintendent of Education

2018 Muscle Shoals Christmas Parade

Partnership with CCHS and Toyota of the Shoals

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Cherokee High School


CHS has been selected to receive an Alabama Middle and High School Robotics Grant in the amount of $1,500 for the Fiscal Year 2019.

"Your vision and enthusiasm to bring and introduce or expand robotics education programs to students are appreciated. I applaud your efforts to actively utilize robotics education as a means to engage students in their own learning."

Dr. Eric G. Mackey, State Superintendent of Education

2018 CHS Senior Project Pictures

Hatton Elementary School

What Does Santa Claus Do The Day After Christmas?

Our first grade students at HES are now officially authors and they are published!!! Congratulations to the students, Mrs. Pendley, Mrs. Cora Gargis, and Kayla Thorn.

Written and Illustrated by: Hatton Elementary School's First Grade Classes, 2018-2019.

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AEA "Be A Champion and Read Contest"

Guess who won for In-service Region 1.............. Mrs. Heather Pendley!!!

Remember, there are still 11 more prizes to be given. Each school that had at least 75% student participation will be entered to win one of eleven $500 school library grants! These will be announced in January. Congratulations!!

Thank you for letting your passion guide you as a leader.....

Principal and Superintedent visit with Sheffield Kiwanis'

Special thanks to County Commissioner Tommy Barnes for the invitation..... It is always good to share our great accomplishments with our stakeholders!!

Human Resources & Business Office

PTO / School Related Organizations

This is just a reminder of the guidelines for school board employees in regards to school related organizations such as PTO’s. School Board employees cannot be involved with these organizations if they are an outside agency such as the school's PTO.

We have to make sure that these organizations truly operate on their own without employees of the District being involved. Please refrain from conducting any operational procedures, managerial decisions or discussions pertaining to the PTO.

Please let Mr. Brumley know if you have any questions.

Off-Site Counseling Appointments

Are you thinking of retiring? If you are within three years of retirement, an individual counseling appointment will provide many important answers to your retirement questions. Please view the 2019 appointment schedule to see when a counselor will be in your area.

12th Annual Shoals Earth Day Fest

The 12th Annual Shoals Earth Day Fest will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 11 am until 5 pm in Wilson Park, Florence.

Attached is the information and form for the 12th Annual Shoals Earth Day Fest Official T Shirt Design Contest.

All Colbert County School students in grades 4-12 are eligible. FYI: A NBES student won last year!! :)

For more information about our group please visit:

Colbert County Reporter

  • Every Friday, our students and staff are the paper..doing something awesome!! Check them out!!..
  • Please, please, please check out your local hometown paper…..
  • May I encourage you to renew your subscription because students from our district will be writing and editing for each distribution

Another great partnership!!

Assistant Principals Conference

Wednesday, Jan. 23rd 2019 at 8:15am to Thursday, Jan. 24th 2019 at 5pm

Orange Beach, AL, USA

Orange Beach, AL

Student Support Services

Character In Action (CIA)

Last Wednesday, the third Character In Action Awards were given out. The court room was overflowing with smiles and support for this semester’s awardees. According to Dr. Woods, there were over 100 Colbert County youth from our four public school systems nominated. What a great group! Colbert County truly has the best children!! Many thanks to the members of the Education Committee for handling all the details of the awards ceremony.

Colbert County Representatives: Aria Gipson (CHES), Eryauna Bolding(HES), Nolan Stracener (CCHS).

Attendance Appeal Meetings

Please talk with our students...... Everyone gets a chance to appeal.

As students get excited about the upcoming break let us all be diligent in our supervision to and from the lunchroom, during restroom class breaks, and during class changes to prevent any misconduct.

Please tell your classes that all Lunchroom Charges must be paid before students can take exam.

Resources for Suicide Prevention

Crisis Services of North Alabama (Huntsville) Phone: (256) 716-1000 Toll Free: (800) 691-8426 Hours of Operation: 24/7

Lifelines/Family Counseling Center of Mobile Phone: (251) 431-5111 Toll Free: (800) 293-1117 Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (CST) Monday-Friday

Alabama Department of Mental Health

The Alabama Department of Mental Health has put together this extensive webpage of resources to help persons suffering from addiction: family members,

providers, and professionals. Find the needed information with one click of the mouse.

Self-Harming Behaviors and Suicide Challenges

A growing number of young people from around the world are engaging in self-harming behaviors, and some are taking their own lives as part of on-line challenges. Parents are encouraged to monitor kids’ use of the internet.

What is the Kiki Challenge?

The challenge, which is also known as the "In My Feelings challenge", involves jumping out of a moving car and walking/dancing alongside it to the song In My Feelings by Canadian hip-hop artist Drake. Not only is the dance dangerous for the dancer, but the driver, who is recording it could hit somebody crossing the street. Hopping out of a moving vehicle or jumping into lanes of traffic to show dance moves could be fatal.

What is the Momo Challenge?

Research found the challenge first started on Facebook where people were asked to com-municate with an unknown person via an unknown number. Reportedly, the link of this game is being circulated through Whatsapp, which uses the image of a doll with scary protruding eyes. Once the contact with the victim is established, the ‘Momo’ account shares a series of challenges (read activities) that need to be completed to finally meet the ‘Momo’. Most of these tasks, according to reports, involve violent acts that end with suicide. If someone refus-es to follow the instructions, the Momo intimidates them with dire consequences.

What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

Blue Whale Challenge is a social network phenomenon dating from 2016 that is claimed to exist in several countries. The game starts out between the administrator and the participant. For 50 days the administrator will set up a different task for the participant to do. The daily tasks start off fairly easy, such as listening to certain genres of music to watching horror-style movies. As the days go on, the tasks grow increasingly difficult such as staying up until all hours of the night to mutilating the skin along with carving a whale symbol onto the arm. The final task and end of the game is the person committing suicide. If the participant refuses to complete the task, the administrator will re-lease, publish, share, and or post something personal or highly-sensitive online from his/her accounts (or at least lead them to believe they will).

What is a Pharm Party (Fruit salad) or Skittles Party?

A Pharm Party or Skittles Party is an event where teenagers bring all the prescription drugs they have on hand and pour them into a big bowl. Then anyone at the party who wants to abuse a pill just dips in, grabs whatever he/she wants and gulps them down to become intoxicated. This practice could be life-threatening, but with a deceptive name like a Skittles Party, it could be discussed right in front of a parent without him/her realizing anything was wrong.


Because stress, anxiety and depression can create challenges for many individuals, including interscholastic student-athletes, and severe conditions can lead to suicide, the NFHS has developed a new course titled “Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention” that is now available for our students.

Through the “Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention” course, answers are provided to numerous questions that students – as well as peers or any guardian responsible for the care and well-being of a student – may face in these situations. “Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention” features a seven-section course outline that includes information on wellness, student mental health, stress and anxiety, depression and suicide prevention. However, the course goes beyond highlighting the causes of mental health problems and the strategies associated with recovery thanks to its helpful resources.

The AHSAA asks that you strongly encourage every individual who has athletic or activity responsibilities within your schools to take this course. The course is FREE and is available on the NFHS Learning Center at If you have any questions or would like additional information, feel free to contact Cynthia Abrams at 334-263-6994.

“There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.” – C. S. Lewis

Academic Competitions

Junior High Scholar’s Bowl

Thursday, March 14th 2019 at 8:30pm

850 High School Drive

Cherokee, AL

High School Scholar’s Bowl

Thursday, April 11th 2019 at 8:30pm

2200 High School Street

Leighton, AL

Valedictorian/Salutatorian Luncheon

Monday, May 13th 2019 at 11:30am

312 North Montgomery Avenue

Sheffield, AL

Colbert County Honor’s Night

Thursday, May 16th 2019 at 6pm

503 South Wilson Dam Road

Muscle Shoals, AL

Pre-K Completion Ceremony

Sunday, May 19th 2019 at 2pm

503 South Wilson Dam Road

Muscle Shoals, AL

Saturday School

Saturday, Jan. 12th 2019 at 8am

909 George Wallace Boulevard

Tuscumbia, AL

Please bring academic work with you to work on and parents are welcome to come with their child.

Saturday, Jan. 26th 2019 at 8am

425 U.S. 72 Alternate

Tuscumbia, AL

Please bring academic work with you to work on and parents are welcome to come with their child.

School Board Members: Work Session

Monday, Dec. 17th, 5pm

425 U.S. 72 Alternate

Tuscumbia, AL

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 20th, 5pm

Colbert County School District, AL, USA


Education Foundation

Fall 2018 Payroll Deduction Fundraiser

  • Winner of the $500 classroom fee will be announced on Thursday, December 20th at the school board meeting, at the central office.
  • Thank you everyone who are participating....
  • I'll see you there....

Education Foundation Inserts - Sheffield Utilities

I am happy to say that we have completed a full cycle of the Colbert County Board of Education mailers and are getting some response. Special thanks to CCEF members for setting this up.

University of North Alabama

2018 UNA Commencement Ceremonies

If you are not aware, there will be three commencement ceremonies next month in Flowers Hall. Friday, December 14th at 7:00 pm and Saturday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Next Level of Instruction:

Stem Website

TVA has launched a STEM website with information for students to explore various careers, and. resources for teachers as well.

The Alabama Learning Summit Is Just Around The Corner

The Alabama Learning Summit is just around the corner. At this year's event we look forward to helping you refocus operations, empower teachers, drive student growth and increase student & parent engagement.

The tentative agenda is now available online. You can click here to access the Cvent registration site. If you haven't registered yet, click Register. If you are registered, click Already Registered, and log in to modify your existing registration. Click Registration next to your name, and select your courses.

With the agenda you can now do the following:

  • Review descriptions.
  • Map out your tentative schedule by selecting sessions you'd like to attend.
  • Add any free hands-on sessions to your schedule. Note: Hands-on sessions are free but space is limited. You must sign up for any hands-on sessions you'd like to attend.

Note: This agenda is tentative and subject to change.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

The PowerSchool Learning Summit Team

Alabama History Institutes

We would love for teachers in your district to participate in our sessions. Teachers are paid $100 per day. Elementary teachers will meet 3½ days for a total of $400, and secondary will meet 3 days for a total of $300. Those on a 12-month contract will not receive a stipend. Teachers are offered numerous free resources that they can take back to their students, and of course, earn STIPD hours. In each location, teachers visit important sites in their area and make connections with resource people in their own backyard. They are required to perform turn around training, as well, which helps to broaden their reach. Administrators can earn a PLU, which are available at every location.

You can view all our sites and offerings here. I have also attached our official flyer to this email. The deadline is January 18. This is the LAST chance to participate for Alabama’s bicentennial, and slots are filling up all the time! We want to encourage people to register as soon as possible!

In addition to the contact information listed there, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email or telephone if you or any teachers have questions.

Hayden McDaniel

Education Program Specialist – Alabama Bicentennial Commission

Alabama Department of Archives and History

624 Washington Avenue

Montgomery, AL 36130-0100

(334) 353-9154


A new survey finds 96% of principals think teachers are involved in making important decisions about their schools — far more than the 58% of teachers who feel the same way. Teachers likely don’t want to be polled every time the bus schedule changes or the nutrition staff is considering changing the lunch menu. And they want school leaders who they can trust to keep operations running smoothly so they can focus on teaching. But surveys have shown that school climate is a leading factor in whether teachers remain at their schools. Teachers want their voices to be heard. And if decisions regarding curriculum, student assignment to classrooms, teacher evaluation, assessments or other issues related to instruction need to be made, teachers want principals to value their expertise and experience.

Friday Roundup - Lisa A. Wood (Governmental Affairs Director)

Grant/Scholarship Opportunities

The Junior League is offering grants of up to $6,500 to organizations such as ours. The grants are intended to improve the lives of women and children. Applications are due by December 31, 2018. Projects funded by the grant must be implemented between April 2, 2019 and November 1, 2019. Complete information about the grant is available on the Junior League website at

As stipulated in the grant announcement, projects must be well defined and not fully funded by other sources. If any of the CCS organization have projects that are eligible for funding through this grant, Matt D. will be glad to compile and submit an application or assist in any way. Because the grant deadline is fast approaching during a busy holiday period, time is of the essence.

Business Highlight

Corporate Sponsors

Special thanks to our community partners for supporting professional development and for believing in our school system:

Gold Partner:

Mr. & Mrs. Charles Anderson

Medical Associates of the Shoals

Silver Partner:

First Metro Bank

Bronze Partner:

J.T.Ray Company


North Alabama Gas District

Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne, P.C.

Valley Credit Union

Legal Shield

Community Sponsor:

Cherokee Auto Part

Wittichen Supply Company

Lewis Electric Supply Company

Love Notes

  • Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary to all those who are celebrating in the month of December!!
  • Unspoken prayer request for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Please continue to keep the following staff members lifted: If your heart desires, please send a card. Invite your students to send a card...
  • Larena Harrell 12280 White Pike, Cherokee, AL 35616 (surgery)
  • Louis Delbert, 4221 County Road 6, Florence, AL 35633 (illness)
  • Susan Haley, 600 E. 4th Street, Tuscumbia, AL 35674 (surgery)
  • Angie Willis (baby boy Willis), 3215 County Line Road, Leighton, AL 35646 (grandbaby is in ICU)
  • Bob Montgomery,1798 Maclin Drive, Tuscumbia, AL 3567 (relative passed)
  • Aubrey Kimbrough, 3340 Frankfort Road. Tuscumbia, AL 35674 (wife is ill)
  • Alanson Holliday, 606 Gaines Street, Iuka, MS 38852 (mother is ill)
  • Jaime Carder, 362 River Lane, Tuscumbia, AL 35674. (mother passed)

Dr. Gale Denise Story-Satchel

One Team...One Goal....Our Legacy!!


"Have An Attitude of Excellence"