Engaging All Learners

Engaging All Learners

Saturday, January 5, 2019

TCS Spelling Bee

The top spellers from each TCS elementary school and HTMS competed in the next round of the Scripps Spelling Bee at the TCS District Spelling Bee Friday afternoon.  The top spellers were Pierce Heinzman (Cahaba), Vivian Westin (Magnolia), Anna Green (Paine), and Ethan McCullough (HTMS).  After multiple rounds, Ethan McCullough was awarded top speller for the district.  Ethan will move to the next level, the Jefferson County Spelling Bee.  

Many people worked to make the district bee a success.  Thank you to Mandi Logan for calling the words, and to Jennifer Cardwell, Jenni Peters, and Kelly McGough for judging.  Special thanks go to Theresa Ray, Monica Bramlett, Catherine Finkley, Stephanie Rosetta, April Chamberlain, Donna Brumlow, and Dr. Neill.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Congratulations, TCS!

Well done, Trussville.  Trussville students, Trussville parents, Trussville city leaders, Trussville City Schools BOE and Superintendent, Trussville teachers, Trussville administrators, Trussville support personnel.  It truly "takes a village," and when everyone in the village goes above and beyond, we succeed.  Every TCS employee played an important role in helping all of our schools achieve an “A” on the recently released state report cards.  According to The Trussville Tribune, TCS is #2 in the state, just behind Mt. Brook.  This is fantastic, but not surprising.  Every school and every department has been focused on teaching and learning and implementing strategies that support the curriculum and rigorous instruction.  This focus, along with informed decision making, has resulted in this improvement.

I am certain that there is a correlation between this improved student achievement and the increase in adult learning in our district.  Every adult in our district continues to grow and learn.  I think about how much we have all learned in the past few years.  The more we know, the better decisions we make and the more students learn.  Intellectual work is hard, harder than manual labor.  TCS has transformed into a true learning community, where our first priority is learning.  We know that as long as the adults continue to grow and learn, so will our students. 

Welcome back to an amazing learning community as we start our second semester!  We have lots to do this upcoming semester.  We will blink, and it will be May! 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Schools Abuzz with Spelling Bees

During the past few weeks, many of our schools held local spelling bees as a precursor to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which has a ninety-year tradition.  This national excitement promoting literacy skills is expressed on the Scripps Spelling Bee site,"Every year, students from all walks of life have the opportunity to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, one of the nation's oldest and most iconic competitions. They progress from classroom to cafeteria, from auditorium to civic center, delighting friends, family, sponsors and fans, just as millions of other students have done before them"  (find more information here:  http://spellingbee.com/). 

The students of the school spelling bees went through quite a few hurdles before being named their school's winner.  All three elementary schools, as well as our middle school, held classroom competitions, followed by their school bee, which culminated in a school champion.

  • Cahaba Elementary -Pierce Heinzman
  • Magnolia Elementary - Vivian Westin
  • Paine Elementary - Anna Green
  • Hewitt-Trussville Middle School - Ethan McCullough 
These four students will participate in the Trussville City Schools District Spelling Bee on January 4, 2019, at the BOE.  All of the competitors represented their schools well, and we are so proud of the literacy skills displayed in these bees. 

We appreciate the efforts of all of the teachers who had classroom bees, as well as our spelling bee coordinators, as they worked hard to organize their school competitions.  School coordinators:  Cahaba Elementary - Stephanie Rosetta; Magnolia Elementary - Ryan Hook; Paine Elementary - Amy Ramer and Donna Brumlow; and HTMS - Brianna Oliveira.

The winner of the TCS District Spelling Bee will move forward to the county bee on February 8, 2019.

    Pierce Heinzman, Cahaba Elementary Winner

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Cahaba Elementary Spelling Bee Participants


Vivian Westin, Magnolia Elementary Spelling Bee Winner  

     Magnolia Elementary Spelling Bee Participants      

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Anna Green, Paine Elementary Spelling Bee Winner 
(shown also with Mrs. Donna Brumlow, assistant principal; Jack Reeser, Paine First Alternate; and Ms.Catherine Finkley, assistant principal)

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Paine Elementary Spelling Bee Partipants

Ethan McCullough, HTMS Spelling Bee Winner

HTMS Spelling Bee Participants 


Friday, December 7, 2018

Jerry Tracey Visits Paine

The 4th graders in the classes of Mrs. McKinley and Mrs. Waites celebrated their current nonfiction unit and shared their research on Extreme Weather topics. Special guest, Mr. Jerry Tracey, chief meteorologist  from WVTM 13, visited Paine to enjoy and learn from the students. Mr. Tracey was impressed and commented on their depth of knowledge with their topics! 

Twenty-two Trussville Teachers Attend Serravallo Workshop in Auburn

Trussville City Schools had twenty-two educators from the elementary schools and middle school attend Jennifer Serravallo’s “Reading and Writing Strategies and Structures:  Connecting Assessment and Instruction” conference in Auburn, Alabama, December 6.  TCS teachers have studied Serravallo’s work as a way to improve literacy for students.  The conference provided time to explicitly work with key strategies that can be used in the classroom, as taken from Serravallo’s  The Reading Strategies Book and The Writing Strategies Book.  Teachers were able to go through some specific ways to help students grapple with both fiction and nonfiction texts.  In addition, participants were directed through writing prompts, requiring all to take on the role of writers, just as they would have students do.  It was a powerful practice reminding participants of the challenges and victories students experience in their classrooms.  

HTHS Takes on Coding and Cookies!

Trussville City Schools celebrated Hour of Code this week.   Why is coding important? There are currently 5, 456 open computing jobs in our state with 503 computer science graduates.  TCS is striving to help students see the value in these potential careers and wants to provide opportunities for more exposure to these pathways.    See chart below that provides some national statistical data regarding careers in this field (cited https://code.org/promote):

Hewitt-Trussville High School held an Hour of Code Celebration during Husky Hour this week. Current computer science students were encouraged to bring a friend to join in on the fun!  They spent their free time completing introductory coding activities on Code.org.   Some students gained programming experience while others learned about coding for the first time. Erin Cornelison, HTHS Computer Science teacher said,  "We even celebrated with sweet treats.....cookies with cookies!"  A winning combination.