Secondary Spotlight

April 10, 2016

What does your rock pile look like?

Have you ever watched children on a playground and noticed how fascinated they are with rocks? No matter what the shape, color, size or weight, children can become so enamored with them. They feel the need to pick them up, maybe brush off the dirt, roll it in their hand and sometimes place them in a pocket ( hopefully not throw them - but we won't go there ;-). Rocks are actually very symbolic of our culture. Rocks have been used for centuries for memorials, trail markers, symbols, etc. It is part of our culture.

This week, I read an article from Principal Leadership entitled, Role Call by Michael Haynes. He compares rocks to cultural differences and how we are educators address the differences in each child. Michael Haynes continues to share a professional development activity that he did with his faculty, called "What's in Your Bucket?" Faculty members were asked to bring a rock to the meeting and place it in the bucket of their table. Teams were then asked to stack their rocks, while only 2 rocks were allowed to touch the table. Teachers quickly determined that each rock possessed unique traits that had to be addressed in order for the foundation to be strong. Groups were asked to do a quick write on the analogy of "rock stacking" to that of student achievement and culture responsiveness. Here are some of their notes:

1. A strong foundation is critical.

2. No matter what our piece of the work is, we need to remember balance.

3. Students come in all shapes and sizes, with different needs and skills, and as educators, it is our job to find the content and instructional balance so that they can all be contributing members of their classroom.

Below is the link to this article and activity. As you go through this week and the following weeks, notice the rocks. Remember, the rocks that you don't see on the top are the foundation that supports the structure! Be the rock that builds the strongest foundation.

Have a great week of learning!

Career Academy Information

Career Academy Enrollments

Principals, some of our career academies have a high number of student requests. When this happens, we have a procedure in place to enroll students and keep numbers under the predetermined academy capacity. We have compiled spreadsheets we will be sending out to school counselors on Monday with notes and instructions for each student request for academies. We are asking that counselors complete confirming student interest and return the spreadsheet by April 27th.

The following programs will have a students selected to participate during the 16-17 school year via lottery:

· Esthetics & spa Management

· Culinary Arts

· Welding

When you begin scheduling, your school’s time to send students to off campus academies/HCT will be the time as this year. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Shelton Cobb

Career & Technical Education Director

256-428-7810 Office

256-276-4559 Cell

High School Principal Reminders

  • Remember to select an ELA and Math teacher to teach ACT Prep courses next year. Donna Clark, Leslie Esneault and I will want the names of these teachers by May 15. We plan on arranging a PD day for them to prepare for this course.
  • Remember to have a SGA period. Beth Keller will send the course number. This course will be entitled, "Leadership". SGA members are not required to take the course. If you have other club leaders, they are welcome to take the course. Think about the period you would like to offer this course. If you can all decide on the same period, we could use the VILT labs for district SGA meetings.

Upcoming Events

April 11- STAR window opens

AP and IB high school principal meeting- 3:30-4:30 Merts ETC room

April 12- Principals' Meeting

April 14- No Place for Hate- 3:30 HHS Freshman Academy

April 15, 18- Teacher Effectiveness Meeting

April 18- Progress Reports go home

APRIL 19- ACT + WRITING; ACT Aspire 10th grade Assessment; State of Schools Address; 6:00 PM, AAA

April 20 - ACT Aspire Reading 10th grade, ACT EOC for Chemistry, Physics

April 21- Freshman Academy Roundtable; Garrison Luncheon - Redstone; Board Meeting 5:30 PM

April 22- No school - snow day

April 23- Greenpower Race Day! Come out and support our students!

April 25- EOC for Biology

April 26- EOC for English 12, US HY; HCPTA Banquet at Burritt

April 27- EOC for English 10 and 11; Administrative Professionals Day

April 28- EOC for Algebra I, Algebra II

April 29- EOC for Geometry, Pre- Cal

May 2- AP Exams begin, EOC for Chemistry, ACT Aspire Writing and English for grades 3-8

May 3- EOC for English 9, ACT Aspire for Reading grades 3-8, ACT Plus Writing Make up for 11th graders

May 4- ACT Aspire Math for grades 3-8

May 5- ACT Aspire Science grades 3-8

May 6- ACT Aspire Make Up begins

May 11- Graduation meeting

May 16- Senior exams; Schoolnet

May 20- Seniors last day

May 23- Exams begin for grades 9-11

*Checking on dates for some of the EOC - they are repetitive on Dr. McNeal's email


  • Thank you to each of you for ensuring the surveys were completed last week. I realize that you have many things on your plate. Appreciate your work with this!
  • Educate Alabama- submit EA End of Year Forms to Debbie Miser and your DOI by May 23, 2016.

Thought for the Week

Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." ~ William Yeats