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6 days ago


CHAMBERS COUNTY, AL – The Chambers County School District will conduct kindergarten registration the week of March 5 - 9, 2018.

Any child whose fifth birthday is on or before September second is entitled to admission.Parents or guardians must provide proof of residence within each child’s school attendance zone, which may include any two of the following:

 Property tax record.
 Mortgage documents or property deeds.
 Utility connection receipt or utility bill showing the student’s parent or guardian by name and address.
 Apartment or home lease.
 Automobile registration.
Additional documentation must include guardianship papers to be presented at the time of registration (if applicable); certified birth certificate and Social Security card for each child;immunization certificate; and proof of guardianship or parental status (driver’s license with photo ID, a copy of which shall be maintained in the child’s permanent record folder).

Registration forms are available at all elementary schools and on the Chambers County website at All children with exceptionalities are eligible for services.The Chambers County Board of Education enrolls immigrant, ESL, homeless or migrant students regardless of proof of residence requirements.

For additional information, please contact Dr Nancy Maples, Director of Elementary Education, at 334-864- 9343, ext. 10214.

By David Bell


19 days ago



CHAMBERS COUNTY, AL – The Alabama Department of Education has released the Alabama State Report Card, containing a letter grade for schools and school systems across the state.

            The Report Card reflects several different factors including academic achievement, academic growth, and chronic absenteeism, as well as graduation rates and college and career readiness for high schools.


            The Chambers County School District as a whole received a letter grade of C, and a numerical rating of 76.


            “While we are certainly not ecstatic over receiving a ‘C’, we are pleased that our results were in line with the state average,” said Chambers County School Superintendent Dr Kelli Hodge. “In a discussion with principals, I reminded them that the Report Card grade was based on the performance of a single test. We don’t give report card grades to children based on just one assignment. While ‘C’ is average, and most people are supposed to score average, we are not satisfied with staying average. We will use this information to help us improve, but we will not discount all of the areas in which our schools are already showing improvement.”


            The State of Alabama introduced the State Report Card this year in compliance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act passed by Congress in 2015, which requires states to report on student academic achievement. The goal of the Report Card is to provide a starting point and to offer easy-to-understand and concise information showing how a school is doing.


            However, most of the data used for the State Report Card score was taken from the ACT Aspire Summative Assessment that the State of Alabama used to measure the educational standing of students in grades 3 through 8 and 10 from 2012 until 2017. In June 2017, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to terminate the use of ACT Aspire as the state summative assessment, yet included its data as a major component of the Report Card formula.

 Therefore, the Chambers County Board of Education has joined a growing number of school boards across the state that have adopted a resolution for a Vote of No Confidence for the report card because of the criteria established for measuring assessments, including “chronic absenteeism” that does not recognize excused absences.

 “We are not opposed to a report card that uses multiple measures in an equitable way to report successes or lack thereof in achievement, growth, college and career readiness, graduation rates and student success,” said Hodge. “We are opposed to a report card based on one test that has been discontinued for a number of concerns, including limited reliability and not being aligned with state standards.”

“We welcome a report card that recognizes the millions of dollars in scholarship money our students receive, one which recognizes students who graduate with credentials, college acceptance or military commitments,” Hodge added. “We want a report card that does not unfairly categorize students who work hard to keep up or catch up after having cancer, losing a home to fire, attend school-sponsored events or just have the bad luck of being sick several times in one year.”

According to the data used to measure academic growth and achievement during the 2016-2017 school year, the State Report Card indicated the following results for individual schools in the Chambers County District:

• Bob Harding Shawmut Elementary School – Score: 74 (C) 

• Fairfax Elementary School – Score: 70 (C)

• Five Points School – Score: 75 (C)

• Huguley Elementary School – Score: 86 (B)

 • John P. Powell Middle School – Score: 58 (F)

• Lafayette High School – Score: 74 (C)

• Lafayette Lanier Elementary School – Score: 78 (C)

• Lafayette Eastside Elementary School – Score: 66 (D)

• Valley High School – Score: 75 (C)

• W. F. Burns Middle School – Score: 77 (C)

“While the Report Card definitely has its flaws, it is one tool to highlight what we are doing well and where we need to improve,” said Hodge. “It is not meant to be the only measure of a school’s performance. Rather, it gives us an opportunity to encourage honest conversations about what we need to do to help our students succeed. We are all in this together. Schools, parents and our communities have a role to play in educating our children.” Hodge also pointed out that current initiatives are in place to help schools improve academic achievement, such as parent development workshops conducted at Lafayette  Eastside Elementary designed to teach parents how to encourage reading at home through daily interaction with their children. And, at J. P. Powell Middle School, family math, science and fitness nights are held each month, as well as after-school tutoring in math and reading each week. Similar activities are scheduled on a regular basis in schools throughout the district.

“There will always be opportunities for improvement, and our efforts to provide the best educational experience possible for our students will continue without ceasing,” said Hodge. “We welcome insight, suggestions and involvement from parents and the community to insure our success.”

Additional data and details about the factors used to determine grades for each school are available on the Alabama Department of Education’s website at Parents can also see how their children’s school compares with others of similar demographics.

By David Bell


7 days ago

            LANETT, AL – Claire Allen, an eighth-grade student at Chambers Academy in LaFayette, became the new Chambers County Spelling Bee Champion Thursday by correctly spelling the word “nether”, an adjective meaning “below, beneath or underground”. Claire was one of eleven contestants in this year’s event, which was hosted by Lanett Junior High School.

             Runner-up was Lillian Collier, a sixth-grade student at W. F. Burns Middle School in Valley. Other participants in grades 4 through 8 represented Eastside, Fairfax, Five Points, Huguley, Lafayette Lanier and W. O. Lance elementary schools, as well as J. P. Powell Middle School, Lanett Junior High and Springwood School.

             The local spelling bee was moderated by Dianne Sheriff, Special Education and Services Director for Chambers County Schools. Serving as judges were Ashley Crane, Executive Director of the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce; Tabitha Truitt, Assistant Director of the H. Grady Bradshaw Chambers County Library; and Barbara Perry, retired teacher from Lanett City Schools.

             Claire Allen will now represent Chambers County at the Alabama Spelling Bee to be held at First United Methodist Church in Alabaster on Saturday, March 10, beginning at noon CST.

Claire Allen (shown above left), an eighth-grade student at Chambers Academy, became the new Chambers County Spelling Bee Champion Thursday. Claire was one of eleven contestants in this year’s event, which was hosted by Lanett Junior High School. Shown at right is runner-up Lillian Collier, a sixth-grade student at W. F. Burns Middle School.

By David Bell


7 days ago

FIVE POINTS, AL – A new group of 16 Five Points School students has been inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. Eligibility requires that each student maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).

 In addition to the academic requirement, students pledge their active involvement in community service, leadership, and good character by demonstrating high standards of honesty, reliability, courtesy, concern and respect for others, as well as maintaining a clean disciplinary record.

Fourth-grade inductees included Jucasion Brooks, Skye Favors, Amilleon Huguley, Amillion Staples and Michael Turner.

Inductees from fifth grade were Tammiah Collier, Aayden Duffee, Kentrel Paige, Jermayne Rozier and Madison Turner.

Jasmine Barber and A’Shayla James were the new sixth-grade inductees; Talia Lee, Jaylah Sturdivant and Brianna Tucker were inducted from the seventh grade; and Zachary Taylor was the new eighth-grade inductee.

“These students have worked very hard to become worthy of this honor,” said Five Points Principal Rhonda Givins. “We are proud of each of them for their achievement.”

The inductions were announced during a special ceremony and reception at the school. 

By David Bell

VALLEY, AL – The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board presented a program Friday to students at Valley High School designed to discourage underage drinking.

Entitled “Under Age-Under Arrest,” the program was created in 2013, and has been presented at schools across the state.

“Underage drinking is a major problem in Alabama,” said Dean Argo, Government Relations Manager for the ABC Board. “Approximately 75 percent of high school seniors have admittedly consumed alcohol, and one-third of those are currently binge drinking.”

According to Argo, a recent study showed that 65 percent of underage drinkers get their alcohol from family and friends, and more than 80 percent of the alcohol consumed by minors is done within their own home or the homes of friends.

“Each year, about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking. That is almost the entire population of Valley, Alabama,” Argo told students. “These include deaths from drunk driving, other accidents, homicides, suicides and alcohol poisoning.”

Students were shown examples of young people their age who lost their lives due to alcohol-related incidents. In some cases, the victims didn’t actually consume alcohol but got into a vehicle driven by someone who was knowingly impaired.

“Decisions made at this juncture in your life will affect you forever,” said Argo. “That’s why it’s important to make the right decisions. Don’t make the mistake of saying it will never happen to me.”

Valley Police Chief Tommy Weldon also encouraged students to always drive defensively when operating a motor vehicle.
“It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself and watch out for others. When you’re driving on the road, be alert to dangers that may approach you,” said Weldon. “Each of you are precious, and we care about you. That’s why we’re here today.”
Valley High School Principal Sherry Ashe said she heard about the program this past summer and knew it would be beneficial to her students.
“Alcohol impacts our student body every day. We hear it from them about what goes on in their personal lives away from school,” said Ashe. “We want all our students to finish high school and become productive citizens. Hopefully, programs like this will help them stay on track.”
“We don’t expect to change the lives of everyone who attended this program,” added Chambers County School Superintendent Dr Kelli Hodge. “However, if it helps just one student, then it was worth the effort.”
The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board partners its education effort with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and local law enforcement agencies across the state. The agency has presented more than 40 programs since the beginning of the current school year.
All students who attended Friday’s presentation were asked to sign a pledge card committing to remain alcohol-free until they reach the legal drinking age of 21.


22 days ago

LaFAYETTE, AL – In an effort to help students become better readers, Eastside Elementary School recently hosted a lunchtime Parent Development Workshop designed to teach parents how to encourage reading at home. Lunch for those attending was provided by the school. The workshop was conducted by school principal LaKeyda Burnett, who stressed the importance of “time investment” on a daily basis.

            “Twenty minutes should be your target goal each day,” Burnett told parents. “If you can’t commit to twenty minutes, reserve as much time as you can and be consistent. Focus on reading material that is of interest to your child, and read aloud with them. If they see it’s important to you, it will become important to them.”

            Burnett said research has shown that daily reading improves a child’s math skills, and fiction books have been shown to build character and make children more compassionate. Reading also boosts self-esteem, communication skills and advanced vocabulary.

            “You are your child’s first teacher,” Burnett added. “We want to provide you with the resources and support necessary for your child’s success, and my door will always be open to address your needs and concerns.”

             In addition to reading at home daily with their children, Burnett suggested that parents engage in simple exercises such as playing word games or creating a “word wall” that can be interchanged to teach their kids new words each week. Once the child learns to spell the word and understands its meaning, they can then begin using it in a sentence.

             “We try to offer our parents some type of activity on a monthly basis. This was the second time this school year that we’ve held an event during school hours,” said Burnett. “Realizing how parent work schedules differ, we want to accommodate as  many of them  as  we 

can by providing both day and evening activities.”

            In addition, to live discussion with the parents, age-appropriate material was distributed containing additional information available through other sources. For example, one of the handouts featured the “50 Best iPad Apps for Users with Reading Disabilities,” any of which parents can download free of charge. Others provided tips specific to each child’s grade level.

            The next daytime activity for parents is scheduled in March. Anyone wishing additional information should contact Eastside Elementary School at 334-864-8274.

 PHOTO CAPTION: Eastside Elementary School Principal LaKeyda Burnett (shown above center) recently conducted a lunchtime Parent Development Workshop for teaching school parents how to help their children become better readers through interaction at home.

By David Bell


22 days ago


A new group of 38 Huguley Elementary School students has been inducted into the National Honor Society. Eligibility requires that each student maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).

In addition to the academic requirement, students pledge their involvement in community service, leadership, and good character by demonstrating high standards of honesty, reliability, courtesy, concern, and respect for others, as well as maintaining a clean disciplinary record.

New inductees included Tucker Anderson, Zoey Andrews, Jelilah Anglin, Anani Bailey, Ty’Shun Bailey, Zaniyah Bailey, Brady Blackston, Ethan Brooks, Kelsi Carr, Luis Castro, Carter Chambley, Jermeceonna Comer, Sam Gray, Makylin Hammock, Tenslee Haynes, Kaien Henderson, Tanearia Jackson, Chloe Jones, Ansleigh McClain, Kendall McQuiston, Camden Moncus, Parker Otto, Lynlee Pinkard, Jaydence Powell, Jake Reames, Chase Sanders, Sye Siggers, Kaleyah Story, Arianna Strickland, Lyric Sturges, Autumn Templeton, Jerrica Van Houten-Adams, Talla Waller, Kelcie Wenck, Parker Williams, Vann Williams, O. J. Woody and Braylon Carter.

“We are very proud of these students for their outstanding accomplishments,” said Huguley Principal Benji Mitchum. “Each of them will serve as excellent role models for their fellow classmates.” 

The inductions were announced during a recent PTO meeting and reception at the school.

By David Bell