Muscle Shoals City Schools

November 17, 2020

November School Spotlight on Muscle Shoals Middle School

It's "Thank Alabama Teachers Week"

Governor Kay Ivey has proclaimed November 16-22, Thank Alabama Teachers Week. Individuals and businesses throughout the state are encouraged to express gratitude to the men and women currently going above and beyond for both their students and communities.


  • Make a post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use #ThankALTeachers.
  • Send a surprise hand-written note to a special teacher in your life.
  • Donate supplies to a school near you. Check with the front office on items needed.
  • Provide discount or special perk at your business for teachers during Thank Alabama Teachers week.

Thanksgiving Break / Remote Learning Days

Remember that, due to the need to adjust the school calendar earlier this year, the first three days of Thanksgiving break are remote learning days. Like our fall break / remote learning days, students will have some "voice and choice" in what assignments they choose to complete to satisfy the learning requirements. These are not meant to be days for students to sit for hours behind a computer completing "school work." Each school will communicate their plan for students to complete the remote learning activities on or before Nov. 23-25.

The following days are remote learning days for students: November 23-25

The following days are considered Thanksgiving Break: November 26-27

Students will not report to school November 23-27 as the school buildings will be closed for the entire week. Assignments made for the remote learning days during Thanksgiving week may be complete ON or BEFORE November 23-25.

MSCS November Board Meeting 2020

MSCS October Board Meeting 2020

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.
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Career Tech Leaders Named

Come January 1, the Muscle Shoals Career Academy will have new leaders at the helm. At Monday's meeting of the Muscle Shoals Board of Education, the recommendation to appoint Dr. Dennis Conner as Director of Federal Programs and Career Technical Education and Mr. Jeff Madden as Principal of Muscle Shoals Career Academy and Associate Director of Career Technical Education was approved.

Prior to his ten years as Non-Resident/Attendance and Instructional Support Coordinator, Dr. Conner taught math and coached at Muscle Shoals High School for eighteen years, Decatur City Schools for two years, and in Cleburne County for one year.

In Dr. Conner’s current role, he oversees federal programs, all federal budgets, including career technical and eGap (Grant Application Process). He has assisted with planning, development, and implementation of federal programs and all aspects of compliance monitoring. The career technical oversight will be in addition to the responsibilities he already has.

"It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with the faculty, staff and students at the Muscle Shoals Career Academy. My desire is to provide optimal support as we continue to offer an instructional program that is student-centered, technically innovative, and industry-based. I believe that the Career Academy is a game-changer for so many of our students and I will strive to assist our faculty as we seek to deliver the knowledge and experience for all students to achieve their goals," Conner said.

Mr. Madden has served as assistant principal at Muscle Shoals High School since 2016. Prior to that, he served two years as assistant principal at Red Bay High School and eighteen years as a middle school math teacher and coach in Russellville City Schools for a total of 24 years of working in public education.

Mr. Madden worked at four industries for nine and a half years before starting his career in public education. He states, "In these roles, I learned the importance of hard work and the need for a skilled labor force. Our academy is the 'best kept secret' in the Shoals, and I look forward to helping it grow and prepare our students for college and a career.”

With MSCA being a STEM certified school, both men's experience teaching math was a trait that stood out according to Superintendent Chad Holden. "Our career academy has an intense focus on science, technology, engineering, and math. Dr. Conner and Mr. Madden know that, and their passion for STEM education will be important for our district moving forward and increasing our STEM opportunities."

The restructure of career technical education leadership occurred after the announcement that current principal and career tech director Caryn Hairell will retire December 1.

"The leadership structure in career tech has not worked well for the entire 18 years I've been in Muscle Shoals. We've had good leaders, but the structure has been an issue. There has been talk about changing it for years, and I saw the opportunity to do it," said Holden.

Mr. Madden's role will primarily be the day-to-day operations of the Muscle Shoals Career Academy while Dr. Conner will assume the larger oversight of career tech on three campuses (MSCA, MSHS, and MSMS). The restructure, including updated job descriptions and adjustments to the salary schedule, is estimated to save the school district more than $50,000 over the next two years.

"The career academy faculty told me through a survey that there was a need to separate the building principal position from the district-level leadership that is required of the CTE director, and I agreed. This will provide MSCA with an administrator who can manage the day-to-day operations more closely and efficiently," Holden said.

Kathy Wagnon set to retire January 1st

Longtime MSHS secretary Kathy Wagnon will retire effectively January 1, 2021. She served the Muscle Shoals City School district for more than 35 years.

Superintendent Chad Holden says you cannot replace the experience and passion that Kathy Wagnon poured into Muscle Shoals High School each day.

"She is the rock that holds the high school together, and she will be hard to replace. In fact, you can’t replace her! MSHS won’t be the same without Kathy manning the front desk," Holden says.

Muscle Shoals City Council includes MSCS students to lead the pledge

Under the leadership of Mayor Mike Lockhart and the new council in an effort to establish even stronger ties between the council and school district, student leaders from the Muscle Shoals City Schools will be involved in council meetings. At the November 2nd meeting, MSHS Student Council President Saylor Collum led the pledge of allegiance. (Photo by Jerry Woolfolk)

MSCS Afterschool Program Covid-19 Response Recognized

By Terry Peterson and Felicia Simpson
Alabama Afterschool and Community Education Network

From the article: "Covid-19 did not stop Muscle Shoals City Schools from continuing to serve their students throughout the summer. Most working families depend on these programs, deeming it important for this district to continue to serve in any capacity, even if it was a “limited capacity program.” Muscle Shoals City Schools, Community Education Coordinator, Monica Jeffreys said; “As for summer, it ended up being one of the best years. We had “Summer Staycation USA” and the students loved it. We had very small classes with only 65 total attending, allowing for social distancing. Under more normal circumstances we would serve many more students. We provided enrichment that included STEM, U.S. History, crafts, reading enrichment and technology. Of course, we had lots of physical activities too. We operated on our summer calendar, allowing for our normal 4-week summer program. We were able to remain open all four weeks without any Covid-19 cases.” To read the full article, click here.

ADPH COVID19 K-12 Schools Dashboard

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) launched its K-12 School Dashboard just a few weeks ago. On this site, parents can see the number of COVID19 cases in their school district on a weekly basis. Also, you can always checkout the MSCS website for updated information related to your child's health and COVID19.

USDA Extends School Lunch Waivers

On October 9, 2020, the USDA extended flexibilities to allow free meals to continue to be available to all children throughout June 30, 2021. This unprecedented move is part of USDA’s unwavering commitment to ensuring all children across America have access to nutritious food as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Ivey extends mask mandate

Governor Kay Ivey has extended the mask order in public schools and other public places until December 11th. We appreciate the awesome understanding and cooperation we have received in enforcing the governor's expectations. We believe it is one of the main reasons we have been able to operate school for in-person learning five days a week without COVID-19 outbreaks.
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