Tag Archives: Education

Birmingham gets a second chance to meet new Schools chief “Dr. G” Tuesday evening

DrGHeadshotIf you’re a Birmingham resident who missed out on the chance to meet new City Schools superintendent Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan back in May, don’t worry. There’s another opportunity to meet “Dr. G.” beginning at 5:30 p.m. today (Tuesday, June 16) at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The two-hour meet and greet will also be a chance for those in attendance to hear prepared remarks from the new schools leader. Her selection was announced two days before the last public event, and the terms of her contract were recently approved (5-4) during a called meeting of the system’s board.

It will also be the first opportunity for Dr. G. to offer her thoughts on the school system’s official release from nearly three years of state oversight.

The Hueytown native has more than 24 years of professional experience, including recently serving as the deputy superintendent of school operations and interim superintendent of Macon, Georgia’s Bibb County School District. Castlin-Gacutan is scheduled to begin work here in Birmingham on July 1. She sat down for several interviews shortly after the announcement of her appointment, including this one with WBHM’s Sherrel Stewart and this one with AMG’s Madison Underwood.

Photo: via Birmingham City Schools website.

School Board 101 in session beginning March 23

school_board_eventMarch 23 sees the start of an educational series for adults, one aiming to “highlight the importance of school boards in our community and in their role in establishing education policy that affect our children.” According to the press release sent out by the BBA earlier this month, School Board 101: Putting Students First, presented by both the Birmingham Business Alliance and the Birmingham Education Foundation, will take place on four Saturdays between now and May 18 in the auditorium at Vulcan Park, with registration required for all sessions.

Considering we’re about to see those planning to vie for the school board seats begin to announce their intentions, the series seems quite timely. The educational sessions are not just for them though, as pointed out by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham on their website. The series lends itself to the focus of a piece published on Good Magazine’s website last week, one suggesting to be the change you want to see in the system.

It is not the only movement underway to help make the issue of education in metro Birmingham better. Breakthrough Collaborative recently shared a PDF describing the Birmingham site director position now available. The incumbent would begin this summer. The affiliate would be the latest addition to a collective currently operating 27 programs in 25 cities across the United States and in Hong Kong.

Mayor Bell’s listening tour stops at More Than Conquerors

William Bell headshotBirmingham mayor William Bell is currently on a listening tour – incidentally just before the start of what promises to be as intriguing a budget process as the city has ever gone through. It also happens to be an election year (though it’s still early).

This evening the tour will make a stop at More Than Conquerors Faith Church on the city’s West Side (Dennison Avenue to be exact) starting at 6 p.m. The focus of tonight’s discussion will be on the future of transit and education in Birmingham – two issues becoming increasingly more important than ever.

Perhaps the folks at Black & White will be particularly interested in tonight’s community gathering as a potential beginning to a follow-up of their February 17 feature piece titled “The Decline and Fall of West Birmingham.”

According to one of the tweets announcing the meeting this afternoon via Twitter, the meeting is open to the public.

edcamp Birmingham is coming!

edcampbham logo. Courtesy of official websiteThere may be some that believe teachers disappear on weekends and holidays, but many of us know that not to be true (or is that assuming too much?).

It’ll be safe to say that students of metro Birmingham, AL schools will know where to find some of their teachers in mid-April. A couple of educators are working on providing an opportunity for teachers to have access to “free, democratic, participant-driven professional development.” EdCampBham will take place on April 30 at Samford University.

It is currently the only unconference of its type planned for educators in the Southeastern United States. It would certainly not be the first unconference in the city; there’s already an annual BarCamp event.

Registration for edcampbham is already open. There’s also a Twitter account for those of you interested in following the progress that way.

Image: edcampbham logo. Courtesy of official website.

Samford to take down Ramsay Hall

We just received word that Samford University has announced plans to take down Ramsay Hall, the all-male residence hall that suffered a roof collapse in March of 2008, having “…reached a resolution in the insurance process.”

 The announcement was made earlier this evening via an email sent by the university’s vice president for operations and planning, Dr. Sarah Latham, to students and faculty.

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A Community Agreement is ready for Birmingham

We the People, in order to form a more perfect school system…” Those are the words that introduce readers to the Community Agreement developed through the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham‘s  Yes We Can! Birmingham campaign as the result of months of Community Conversations allowing input from residents across the city’s 99 neighborhoods about what they wanted to see for our school system’s children. Approximately 1,800 people participated in the conversations, focused on the following two questions: What kind of community do you envision for the future? and What kind of schools do we need to get us there? 

The agreement was unveiled at a gathering held at Vulcan Park this past Saturday morning. It is available as a PDF for you to review and download.

Remixing the classics, Scrollworks style

Scrollworks logoEarlier this week, Scrollworks and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (MYO) announced a remix contest. For those not familiar with the concept, you’ll want to check out the details on their blog. You get to rework a recording of the MYO in concert performing Paganini’s “Moses Variations” with Michael Fernandez, principal violist of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Why should you be interested in this? Because you have a chance to win $250, that’s why! That and it means that you’ll want to go to the MYO’s concert at the Carver Theatre on May 11 to find out who wins. You may also want to take a moment and learn more about this incredible project taking place in The Magic City…