Alabaster holds ESL community night

Alabaster Interim School Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds, left, speaks to English as a second language parents and students during a Feb. 19 meeting at Thompson Middle School. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Alabaster Interim School Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds, left, speaks to English as a second language parents and students during a Feb. 19 meeting at Thompson Middle School. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

About 75 English as a second language parents and students got a chance to meet some of the members of the upcoming Alabaster school district’s central office staff during a Feb. 19 community meeting.

During the meeting, which was held in the Thompson Middle School cafeteria, ESL parents and students joined several Alabaster principals and Shelby County School System employees as they enjoyed a potluck dinner.

“I’ve only been here for eight weeks, but I have learned very quickly that Alabaster is a great place for children,” said Dr. Phillip Hammonds, the interim superintendent for the upcoming Alabaster city school system.

In addition to Hammonds and several of Alabaster’s school administrators, parents also got a chance to meet Alabaster Board of Education Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction Cena Davis, who was hired by the Alabaster School Board on Feb. 15.

“We are here to help in any way possible,” Hammonds said.

During the event, members of the Shelby County Schools ESL department and several ESL teachers from Alabaster schools distributed information about an English class being held for non-English-speaking parents at Meadow View Elementary School.

Teachers also encouraged parents to check the Shelby County School System’s website, watch a local television station or listen to the radio to see if school has been canceled during inclement weather days.

Parents also heard a presentation from Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama Hispanic Program Specialist Alejandra Ocampo, who shared tips for helping children succeed in school.