PCS receives award for best K-12 practices
Published 11:48 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
PELHAM— After illustrating the vertical alignment being implemented in Pelham City Schools’ curriculum, the school system was awarded recognition as one of Alabama’s Best K-12 Practices by Lean Frog Solutions.
Pelham was one of only three school systems in the state to be recognized by Lean Frog.
“We were selected out of all the school systems in the state,” said curriculum coordinator, Dr. Elisabeth Davis. “I think it says a lot for our teachers and administrators. We did this in the midst of becoming a new school system.”
Lean Frog looked at all the schools in the system K-12, according to Davis. The organization was looking for districts that were purposeful in planning curriculum from the elementary grades all the way to high school.
“What we are trying to do is look at the academies in our high school and go backwards to see how we purposefully plan to prepare our students,” Davis said of Pelham’s curriculum.
In its application to Lean Frog, Pelham City Schools used the eight academies in the high school— communication and media arts; culinary arts and hospitality; finance, entrepreneurship and marketing; engineering; fine arts; law; health sciences; information technology— and illustrated how each grade level is being prepared for college and careers through them.
One example of vertical alignment is the Leader in Me clubs at Valley Elementary School. There are about 30 clubs at the school and each one aligns with an academy and a student’s interest.
There is an engineering club aligned with the engineering academy at Pelham High School, a medical detectives club that aligns with the bio-medical academy and more.
Davis said many school systems have programs like Leader in Me at the elementary school level, but do not have them purposefully aligned for college and career readiness based on student interest.
This is the second annual round of Lean Frog’s awards, and Pelham City Schools was also given a $1,000 reward. Davis said the money will go back into the curriculum.
She said receiving the award was a feat for Pelham because they were able to implement and align a new curriculum in a new school system.
“I am (excited), I think that is what is really exciting is where the school system is headed,” Davis said. “They have that foundation that’s vertically aligned to support kids and get them ready.”