New Albany School District Promotes National Dropout Prevention Month During October

October is National Dropout Prevention Month, a time to focus on increasing awareness of the long-term effects on students, the economy, and society when students drop out of school. National Dropout Prevention Month challenges our nation to become better informed about how to prevent students from dropping out of school.

The New Albany School District is committed to student achievement, student attendance, and dropout prevention this school year and in the coming years.

To promote awareness and better prepare for putting dropout prevention measures in place, a team from the National Dropout Prevention Center visited New Albany High School (NAHS) in the spring of 2017 for the purpose of interviewing staff and collecting data.  This team prepared a report for the high school which offered ideas and strategies for improving the dropout rate.

Dr. Mark Wilson, who is considered an expert in dropout prevention, conducted a two-day session with school administrators and counselors on specific strategies each school could use in their dropout prevention plans.

“Our district dropout prevention team has worked very hard to create a dropout prevention plan for our district,” said Superintendent Lance Evans.  “This is an ongoing process where our team meets on a regular basis to report on progress and seek input.”

Evans credited the high school for their work with students on credit recovery, as well as the work the elementary and middle schools are doing to insure that dropout prevention starts in the early years of a student’s education.

John Ferrell, NAHS Principal, explained that several students graduated in May 2017 because of the credit recovery opportunities that had been made available to them.  He also noted that students that are juniors and seniors have been identified that are behind a grade level or more in school.  The counselors are working with these students on an individual basis to develop a plan on completing credit recovery courses so that they can graduate on time with their age level peers.

The decision to drop out of school is not due to one single factor. It is the result of a process that often begins years before the actual event. Communities that understand the life-long impact for students who drop out of school and that work together to support at-risk students, however, can help decrease the likelihood that students will drop out of school. Begun early, effective prevention initiatives are the result of community-wide efforts that involve families, businesses, faith-based organizations, and schools.

National Dropout Prevention Month encourages public, private and nonprofit entities to raise awareness of the issue and encourage all students to stay in school for the brighter future it means.

The Alliance for Excellent Education reported that, on average, non-graduates earn $8,000 less per year than high school graduates; rely more heavily on public health services; are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system; are more likely to rely on various sources of public assistance and welfare; often experience quality-of-life challenges as a result of lower income levels and higher rates of public dependence; and are less likely to vote, have poorer health, and have shorter life expectancies than graduates.

“We understand that dropout prevention is a commitment and partnership between the schools, community, businesses, and families,” Evans emphasized.   “We are working hard to make sure that the schools are working hard to increase our graduation rate and lower the number of dropouts in the New Albany School District.”

4th Grade EXCEL Students Explore Poetry

Ninabeth Capaning’s fourth grade EXCEL class at New Albany Elementary School has been participating in a unit of study on poetry.

Students wrote poems and created water color illustrations to be used as table decorations for the Faulkner Literary Luncheon which was held on Friday, September 22.

On Tuesday, September 26, these students traveled to the Union County Heritage Museum to participate in a Poetry Workshop coordinated by Linda Everett of the Faulkner Literary Committee.

During the workshop, students listened to a poetry reading from Samantha Cavender, a published poet from Holly Springs.  Museum Director Jill Smith gave students a brief tour of the museum’s animal exhibit, Faulkner Room, and Faulkner Garden to provide inspiration for the students’ writings during the workshop.   Everett led the fourth grade students in a brain storming session and gave tips on how to construct a diamante poem.

The students will return to their classroom to revise their rough drafts, write their final poems, and create illustrations to be displayed with their poetry.

“What a wonderful opportunity for our students to be exposed to William Faulkner, a published poet, our local museum, and an opportunity to write poetry,” said Capaning.  “We appreciate the Faulkner Literary Committee and the Museum for allowing us to participate in such a unique event.”

 

 

 

 

NEW ALBANY SCHOOL OF CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION RECEIVES $2,125.00 GRANT

Lowe’s Donates Money for Agricultural & Culinary Garden

This summer, the New Albany School of Career & Technical Education received a $2,125.00 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant for an Agricultural & Culinary Garden.

Lowe’s awarded the funding during the summer and the school hosted their kick-off project on Wednesday, September 20.

The grant application was based on the goal of establishing raised bed gardens for the purpose of providing educational opportunities for hands-on classroom instruction for the Culinary Arts and Agricultural Sciences programs, as well as providing activities for interest groups during Vision Time.

Grant funds were used to purchase building materials, mulch, and fertilizer to construct the raised beds for the school garden, as well as hoses, tools, plants, and seeds for continual work in the garden.

New Albany FFA members, under the direction of Agricultural Instructor Bert Anderson, were involved in the design and building of the raised bed gardens during the summer.

On September 20, the “Dirt to Dishes” Vision interest group and the “Envirothon” Vision interest group planted their first fall and winter garden, with the assistance of Lowe’s employee Chris Bishop.  The kick-off event was planned by Culinary Instructor Anita Alef.

Alef and Anderson will work together throughout the school year to provide hands-on, real work experiences for their Culinary Arts and Agricultural students.

“Our school and community will greatly benefit from this grant. We wish to thank Lowe’s for generously supporting this important project,” said Lance Evans, Superintendent of New Albany Schools.

 

 

Back to School Safety

School buses are the safest form of highway transportation according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Our main concern is always safety,” said Lecia Stubblefield, Director of Transportation.  “We maintain our buses to a superior condition and our drivers are trained regularly in safety.”

The New Albany School District needs the help of everyone in the community to exercise constant courtesy and caution when they are near school buses, loading and unloading areas, and school zones.

Motorists are encouraged to be aware that school is back in session, to use extreme caution during school hours, and remember these basic school bus safety tips.

  • Be aware of flashing orange and red lights.  Flashing lights signal that students are about to board or unload the bus.
  • When a school bus is stopped on a four-lane highway that is not divided, ALL lanes of traffic must stop while the stop arm on a bus is extended.
  • Never pass a stopped school bus with its stop arm extended and red lights flashing.  It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus. Fines may range from $350 to $750.
  • Obey speed limits and slow down when driving in school zones.
  • Watch for students who may be walking to school or to school bus stops.
  • Pay attention to school bus traffic.

There are also several safety reminders for students who use school bus transportation.  Parents are encouraged to discuss these safety rules with their children:

  • Students should arrive at their school bus stop early and wait in a safe place away from the street.
  • Always stay in the sight of the driver.
  • Before boarding the bus, students should make sure the bus is stopped and the safety lights are flashing.  Students should wait for the bus driver to motion for them to board.
  • Always walk in front of the bus and never behind it.
  • Be alert to traffic before getting on and off the bus.  Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • While riding on the bus, stay seated and quiet so as not to distract the driver

“We continue to stress the importance of bus safety on multi-lane highways and to remind motorists that all lanes of traffic are required to stop when a bus is loading or unloading on an undivided highway,” Stubblefield said.  “Our main priority for our school bus drivers is to get students to and from school safely each day and they need the cooperation of other motorists to maintain the safety of our students.”

 

Everett Takes Part in National Youth Leadership Forum

Maggie Jo Everett, a sophomore at New Albany High School, participated in the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine from July 22-30 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Outstanding high school students from across the nation took part in this unique career development opportunity.  The forum sessions were held in nine cities across the United States and introduced young scholars to the many challenges and career options in the field of medicine.

Throughout the nine-day program, students were introduced to emerging issues in public health, medical ethics, research, and general practice.  Site visits to medical schools and clinical facilities exposed the next generation of medical professionals to the real world of medicine.  A highlight of the forum was a simulation that enabled students to test their knowledge as they triaged injured patients in a mass casualty disaster scenario.

Students who attended the forum were nominated by teachers and guidance counselors, based on their demonstrated academic excellence, leadership potential, and interest in medicine.

“The program provides an important behind-the-scenes perspective on medical careers,” said Jan A. Sikorsky, Ph.D., Vice President of Education for NYLF Medicine.  “This is a critical time for high school student to begin exploring their career paths, just prior to immersing themselves in college coursework.”

NYLF Medicine is part of the Envision family of programs, which enable students of all ages to explore their interest and experience learning beyond the classroom.  Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship, and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape.