Principal: PHS school year off to a ‘great start’

Published 10:07 am Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Pelham High School year is off to a smooth start, according to Principal Bob Lavett. (File)

The Pelham High School year is off to a smooth start, according to Principal Bob Lavett. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham High School’s 2013-2014 school year is off to a “great start” during its first few weeks, and school administrators are working to implement a couple of new programs, according to PHS Principal Bob Lavett.

“We are off to a great start at Pelham High School as another great year full of high expectations has begun,” Lavett wrote in a Sept. 4 email. “We had a lot of success at PHS last year, and we celebrate these accomplishments, but we also look to the future to see what can be accomplished this year.”

Students returned to classes in late August to several improvements made at the school over the summer. The Shelby County Board of Education recently installed new treads in the school’s stairwells, new ceiling tiles, new lighting in some areas and floor tiles.

Crews also renovated restrooms and are working to install new air conditioning units in the school’s main gymnasium, Lavett said.

The upgrades were among several completed in Shelby County schools during the summer.

The new school year also brought a pair of new programs to PHS, Lavett said. Through the “Bring your own device” pilot program, some teachers are allowing students to bring and use their own electronic devices, such as tablets, netbooks and smart phones to use during class.

“Let me be clear on one important point: we are not allowing the personal, discretionary use of smart phones (or any cell phone) by students,” Lavett wrote in a letter to parents. “However, if a classroom teacher decides to allow his or her students to use such devices during a given class period for a valid instructional purpose, he or she will have the freedom to do so.”

The school also launched its late start program this year, which will allow students to come in late on seven days to allow teachers to meet in “professional learning groups,” Lavett said.

“In these groups, they will review and analyze student achievement data and other relevant information, discuss common assessments and strategic interventions for struggling students,” Lavett said.