Jan. 26, 2023
News from around the Tuscaloosa City Schools
Calendar approved for 2023-24 school year
The Tuscaloosa City School Board approved the calendar for the 2023-24 year, after receiving input from parents and employees.
The calendar, which is very similar to this school year, will have the first day of school for students on Aug. 9, 2023. The approved schedule includes a week off during the week of Thanksgiving, two weeks off at Christmas, and a week off for spring break during the second week of March. Instead of three e-learning days, next year only high school students in grades 9, 10 and 12 will have one e-learning day, when 11th graders are testing. In addition, there will be two days of no school for students when teachers have professional development.
To see a copy of the 2023-24 calendar, go to https://www.tuscaloosacityschools.com/calendar#calendar7130/20230125/month
TCS Board thanked during School Board Recognition Month
January is National School Board Recognition Month. To honor the Tuscaloosa City School Board, the schools from every district created posters or banners signed by students, which decorated the walls of the TCTA ?? room during the Jan. 24 board meeting. Principals from across the system attended the meeting to express thanks to the board, and books were donated to the schools in honor of board members.
"You all continue to help us to become better, find better ways to help our students reach new heights and moving the needle of excellence," Dr. Amy Elam told the board Tuesday night. "Thank you for always listening to us, and always believing in us, and listening to our needs, and going the extra mile to make sure that our students have what they need. You are truly the board that wants to be in the trenches with us and make sure that we have what we need. We really do appreciate that."
TCS Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria said the board's work and support is instrumental to the school system's success.
"This board supports our people doing really great work in our school system and in our community. Certainly, the folks you have on your team here in the school system appreciate your leadership, your vision, and your commitment to results. That is what you are about. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, but it's probably hard to count the number of hours you spend moving this school system forward in your respective roles, and we cannot thank you enough." - Daria
Donuts with Daria
Come to the Phelps Activity Center on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 7:30-8:30 a.m. for a casual conversation session with the Superintendent of the Tuscaloosa City Schools, Dr. Mike Daria.
This will be a small group, limited to no more than 25 attendees, allowing people the opportunity to ask questions and talk about our schools in an informal setting. Coffee and donuts will be available. This is the first of three casual conversation sessions that are scheduled around Tuscaloosa this spring.
To register, go to: https://survey.k12insight.com/r/donutswithdaria
DAY: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023
TIME: 7:30-8:30 a.m.
LOCATION: Phelps Activity Center, 2200 Rock Quarry Drive, Tuscaloosa, 35406.
Specialty school applications deadline Jan. 31!
Is your child interested in attending Tuscaloosa Magnet School Elementary or Tuscaloosa Magnet School Middle, middle school at the Alberta School of Performing Arts, the IB program at Central High School or the Fine Arts Academy at Bryant High School? If so, remember to apply by 3 p.m. on Jan. 31!
Apply today! https://tcs-specialty-program.lfdmypick.com/application/4
Gifted showcase highlights student interests, research
Students from across the school system showed off their projects at the TCS Gifted Showcase Jan. 24 at TCTA. Project topics included everything from enigmas and the study of Ancient Greece to human anatomy and a passion project on horses. Way to go, gifted students!
Kindergarten registration time!
Do you have a child who will be in kindergarten during the 2023-24 school year? If so, it's time to register for kindergarten!
To enroll a student for kindergarten in the Tuscaloosa City Schools, the following is needed:
- Proof of birth/birth certificate
- Students must be 5 years on or before September 1 to enter kindergarten.
- Proofs of residence: Copy of lease or mortgage in parent's name; Copy of 2 current utility bills in the parent's name
- State of Alabama Current Immunization Form (Blue Card)
All documents must show the address of the physical residence and name of the parent or custodian. P.O. boxes are not acceptable.
For more info or to start the registration process, go to: https://www.tuscaloosacityschools.com/enrollment
Interested in Pre-K? Registration deadline is March 1!
Early registration for Pre-K will open January 15th and close March 1st , 2023 at 10:00am. The lottery will take place on Friday, March 3, 2023 at 8:30am at the central office.
Children must be four before September 1 and live in the Tuscaloosa City School zone to qualify. Children in our Pre-k program must be:
- Fully toilet-trained. Pullups are not acceptable.
- Parents must provide proof of residence, an up-to-date immunization card, and birth certificate when accepted into the program.
- Bus transportation is not provided for our Pre-k students. Parents are responsible for drop-off and pick-up each day.
Apply here: https://prek.alaceed.alabama.gov/
For more information, read the Pre-K handbook.
Attendance matters! Make sure your child is in school!
Research has shown that the higher number of absences a student has, the higher the likelihood that the student will suffer academically and have a higher chances of dropping out of school. It's just one reason that it's important to make sure your child is in school each and every day. SUCCESS STARTS HERE!
Congrats on city/county champs, Eastwood basketball!
So proud of our EMS Stampede Boys Basketball teams!!! Both Eastwood Middle School boys basketball teams brought home the City/County Championship trophies Jan. 21, making the 8th grade boys back-to-back champs!! Way to go, Eastwood!
Three students win character award
Three TCS students were honored this month for the Rising Star Student of Character Award, sponsored by Townsquare Media, Legal Services of Alabama and Child Abuse Prevention Services. The students were nominated to represent their school because they showed excellent character and empathy toward others. Congrats to Central Elementary's Adrian Gaspar Felipe, The Alberta School of Performing Arts' Brandon Austin and STARS Academy's Taliriyah Mack.
As part of the award, the students received a gift certificate, a medallion, and were featured both on radio and on the TuscaloosaThread.com. Way to go, students!
New Heights Community Resource Center opens
State Superintendent Dr. Mackey, the Tuscaloosa City School Board of Education, representatives from Alabama Power and other area leaders and nonprofit agencies celebrated the grand opening of a community resource center on January 18 that is the first of its kind in the state of Alabama.
New Heights Community Resource Center is an innovative partnership between the Tuscaloosa City Schools and local area nonprofits to help ensure the needs of Tuscaloosa City School students, their families and the broader community are being met.
“Imagine a place where struggling students can receive mental health services and drug and alcohol prevention support, a place where students can come after school for enrichment programs and mentoring. Imagine our students’ families having access to housing assistance, disability support, job coaching, English translation services, and even childcare. Imagine a place that has a store for students and their families to shop at no cost for clothes, food, school supplies,” said Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria during the ribbon cutting. “Imagine no more—this is New Heights.”
Plans for the center were first proposed in 2021 as an effort to bring community services together and collaborate to make them more accessible, while also utilizing unused space in a building owned by the city schools. Once Stillman Heights Elementary, portions of the New Heights building were renovated in 2022 so that former classroom space could be used as offices. The location is also home to TCS’s STARS Academy, an alternative program. By having the agencies on site, the hope is that it will better serve the students at STARS, but also all TCS students and their families, as the center is a hub for the nonprofit agencies.
Services provided by New Heights have five areas of specific focus: education, homeless and homeless prevention services, youth services, mental health and healthcare. There are 10 agencies who are the first community partners to move into New Heights: Habitat for Humanity of West Alabama, the Literacy Council of West Alabama, Disability Rights and Resources, Five Horizons Health, PRIDE of Tuscaloosa, the Kristen Amerson Youth Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama, Parents as Teachers, Tuscaloosa Reads and La Fuerza Multicultural.
In addition to the area agencies, New Heights will also be home to “The Lift,” which will be a store of all new, donated items including clothes, toiletries, food and school supplies that TCS students may “shop” at when a need is identified by their school social worker.
“We are so excited to currently have 10 community partners on board, and we hope to grow this even more,” said Tesney Davis, mental health coordinator for the Tuscaloosa City Schools. “I am very proud of TCS and the team we have that has done this work--people who worked very hard for this vision, which has been cultivated for several years now, and for it to finally come to reality has truly been a dream.”
Spring semester testing dates
ACAP Alternate Assessment - March 6-April 5, 2023; Grades 2-8, 10, 11
ACT WorkKeys Re-test, March 24-27, 2023; Grade 12
ACAP Summative, March 28-April 18, 2023; Grades 2-8 (Math) Grades 2-8 (Reading) Grades 4, 6, and 8 (Science)
ACT Plus Writing Pre-test Session* Prior to April 10, 2023; Grade 11
ACT Plus Writing, April 11, 2023, Grade 11
ACT Plus Writing with Accommodations (ACT Decision). April 11-21, 2023, Grade 11
ACT Plus Writing Makeup, TBD; Grade 11
Aimsweb Early Learning Screeners, May 1-12, 2023; Grades K-3 (Reading and Math)
Universal Screeners, May 1-12, 2023; Grades 4-10 (Reading, English, and Math) (HS only) May 2-6, 2023 AP Exams, May 1-12, 2023