BOE approves classroom additions in Helena, Montevallo

Published 10:31 am Friday, March 18, 2022

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COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Board of Education has approved projects to add more classrooms at two schools in the district.

The board approved bids from Williford Orman Construction for classroom additions at Montevallo Elementary and Helena Intermediate schools on Thursday, March 17.

The base bid for MES totaled about $4 million for the addition of seven classrooms, while the base bid for HIS totaled about $3.8 million for the addition of eight classrooms.

In January, the board approved a nearly $3.5 million bid from Williford Orman Construction for the addition of 10 classrooms at Calera Elementary School.

In other business on March 17, the board recognized the Shelby County School District’s latest group of teachers who have acquired National Board certification.

“We all appreciate your efforts to improve your professional practice and ultimately create better learning environments for our students,” Superintendent Dr. Lewis Brooks said, before presenting certificates to each teacher. “Board members, we are so proud of these teachers for their efforts, again, to improve their professional practice and serve our students. We’re excited about what’s ahead for us in our school district, and we hope that you will encourage more of your colleagues to pursue National Board. Thank you all for what you do, and thank you for your commitment to students and Shelby County Schools.”

Dr. Angela Walker, the district’s instruction coordinator, talked about National Board certification and the requirements for teachers pursuing first-time certification or renewal.

“Back in 2003, I became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2003, and I had had professional learning before that changed the way I taught, but I had never gone through an experience that changed the way I thought about teaching,” Walker said. “It really was a paradigm shift and the most powerful professional learning I have ever completed to this day.”

Walker described National Board certification as the most respected certification in the field of education.

Candidates are required to complete the following four components over several years: Content Knowledge; Differentiation in Instruction; Teaching Practice and Learning Environment; and Effective and Reflective Practitioner.

“I think one of the reasons National Board certification is so powerful is it’s actually designed and scored and created by teachers for teachers,” Walker said. “National Board certification is not one and done. You get National Board certified, and then you have to renew your certification every five years.”

As a district, Shelby County Schools works closely with the Shelby County Education Foundation to support teachers who decide to pursue National Board certification, Walker said.

The district holds a National Board conference each year and provides three paid professional development days for the whole process and one paid day for maintenance recertification.

In addition, the Education Foundation offers component grants just for the district.

“Something new this year is we have a National Board leadership team in our district,” Walker said. “We got some volunteers from all of our current National Board teachers, and we trained them on how to be candidate support providers. We’re hoping that will really encourage and get our numbers up.”