Plans and preparations for Pelham schools

Published 9:25 am Tuesday, March 4, 2014

PHS art teacher Kim Harrison and her student, sophomore Jake Nelson, display his award-winning logo creation. (Contributed)

PHS art teacher Kim Harrison and her student, sophomore Jake Nelson, display his award-winning logo creation. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“Pelham High School sophomore Jake Nelson is our first place winner,” Angie Hester said. “His design is our new logo for Pelham City Schools.”

With this exciting announcement beginning the most recent Pelham City Board of Education meeting, perhaps attendees should have been prepared for the waves of excitement to follow. Every speaker had news of progress to share at the PCBOE meeting.

Plans were approved to finalize the new school system’s relationship with INOW — the state’s required student information system that all Alabama schools now use to keep attendance, grades and other records. Bids were proposed for the Internet and telephone systems.

Dr. Marsha Burke and Dr. John Osburn shared their strategic plan process to lead Pelham City Schools toward organized and efficient progress.

This comprehensive planning process follows the pattern of record-keeping that schools must use for the state allowing for school improvement, teachers’ professional development, student initiatives and community input to be organized so information collected will easily transfer.

As a teacher serving often on school improvement committees, I see the value of having a unified strategic plan to guide this new system, while also generating necessary state documentation, is both visionary and time-saving. Allowing teachers to have more time with students is imperative. Providing a plan to easily help teachers keep the big picture in sight is inspiring.

Burke’s focus on the Pelham Board of Education’s objective “to build a world class system that is uniquely Pelham” was revealed through the strategic plan’s emphasis on community input. Burke described surveys that everyone will be asked to complete to help shape Pelham’s new school system.

“These surveys will only take about five to 10 minutes,” Burke said.

Everyone involved in the school system will need to take the surveys so the new system reflects what everyone in the city is hoping to find. Surveys will exist for the general community, for parents from each school, for teachers and everyone else involved.

Surveys and other information are easily accessible on the school’s website at Plans are forming fast for Pelham City Schools.