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Friday, February 21, 2014

James Clemens video now a statewide teaching tool on handicapped laws

Posted by John Peck in General

What began as a local video to educate Madison residents about handicapped parking zones has grown into a statewide drivers’ training tool to educate them about handicapped parking laws.The four-minute community service video, entitled “Think Before You Park,” was produced last year by students at James Clemens High School in Madison in conjunction with the Madison City Disability Advocacy Board (MCDAB). The video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N45nIhDVP0M) got more than 7,000...

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Friday, February 07, 2014

Free2Teach a fantastic resource for teachers; a great cause to support

Posted by John Peck in General

One of the most underutilized resources for local teachers is the Free2Teach teacher supplies organization in Huntsville.Teachers in Madison City, Huntsville and Madison County school systems ought to keep Free2Teach in mind when gathering up classroom supplies and teaching materials.In these days of tight budgets, many teachers dip into their own pockets for supplies or to supplement the required supplies for students who otherwise would do without.The non-profit Free2Teach organization, located...

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Friday, January 31, 2014

IPad expansion breaking through learning barriers in special ed

Posted by John Peck in General

Madison City Schools is increasing the number of iPads to its developmental special ed programs, giving teachers a new tool for students with learning challenges. The MCS district acquired additional iPad Airs with protective cases for special ed programs at four schools: Columbia, Mill Creek and Rainbow elementary schools; and Liberty Middle School. The purchases were made possible with a $4,000 grant from Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, and a generous donation from Knights of Columbus of Madison. Dr....

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Dr, Fowler touts successes, challenges of MCS to chamber group

Posted by John Peck in General

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler shared the successes and challenges of Madison City Schools in a speech Jan. 24 to Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce business leaders.It was the chamber’s 2nd annual State of the Schools breakfast, held in the Jackson Center on the HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology campus. Superintendents of Madison, Huntsville and Madison County school districts gave an overview of their school systems.Watch video that Dr. Fowler showed...

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Central Office temporarily relocating due to heat failure

Posted by John Peck in General

Parents and Guardians, The Madison City Schools’ Central Office will close today at 1:30 p.m. due to a mechanical issue with the heating system. It will remain closed until Thursday, January 9th. Fortunately this DOES NOT affect any of our schools. We are relocating our central office staff for Wednesday, January 8th. Departments will be dispersed to schools throughout the system. Please contact the following schools if you need assistance: Registration/Attendance/Student Services –...

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Monday, January 06, 2014

School start delayed Tuesday, Jan. 7 for 2 hours

Posted by John Peck in General

Dear Parents and Guardians, Thank you for your understanding during our two hour delay this morning. We will be DELAYING tomorrow morning, TUESDAY, January 7, 2014, for TWO HOURS as we did today. As you can imagine our operational systems are not engineered for subzero temperatures. The late start gives us time to check conditions at our schools. A couple of hours of sunshine and radiant heat helps both inside and outside our buildings. The delay also keeps us consistent with our neighboring...

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Friday, January 03, 2014

Dr. Fowler weighs in on Jan. 6 weather delay decisions; none anticipated at this time

Posted by John Peck in General

  January 3, 2014 Dear Parents and Guardians, I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful break. It was so nice to see all the smiling faces back in our schools; even though some may have stayed up too late watching the ballgame last night, as I did. Seeing the students made for a warm day despite some cold temperatures! The early part of the second semester always brings an increased chance of wintry weather. Mother Nature is wasting little time this year, as we find ourselves facing some...

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Madison BOE purchases former day care for stand-alone Pre-K school

Posted by John Peck in General

The Madison City Board of Education met in a special called meeting today and approved the purchase of a former child day care center to use as a pre-K school.The building and three acres is located on Nance Road just a couple hundred yards north of Rainbow Elementary.The property was originally listed at $1.6 million. School officials negotiated a purchase price of $837,500 including all furnishing, fixtures and playground equipment.   Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler...

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Friday, December 06, 2013

James Clemens student masters ACT with a tops 36 score

Posted by John Peck in General

Sunny Chennupati, a junior at James Clemens High School, is the latest Madison City student to score a perfect 36 on the ACT test. Congratulations to this bright student and James Clemens High School along with the other Madison schools for this achievement. The Chennupati family moved to Madison in 1998 when Sunny was one year old. “My parents’ motives for moving were for me to achieve a greater education than in India and to advance their career opportunities,” Sunny said...

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Madison Elementary teacher motivates students to read

Posted by John Peck in General

A Madison teacher’s ability to motivate her students to read books landed her $1,500 to spend on her classroom.Julie Skipper, a 5th grade teacher at Madison Elementary School, was presented a check today (Dec. 4) from the Alabama Education Association from AEA’s “Be a Champion: Read” contest challenging students to read at least six grade-level books.Ms. Skipper got all 75 of her students to meet the challenge with her added task of having them write  essays on...

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Academies take career learning to greater heights in Madison City

Posted by John Peck in General

One thing that sets Madison City Schools apart from many other school districts is its emphasis on career technical academies which offer hands-on learning experiences in fields students may pursue after high school. This is done largely through partnerships with businesses, local government, hospitals, universities and many other entities – some in the way of internships, others in the form of on-site learning opportunities. The academies are like a compass that guide...

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Chess tourney at Rainbow shows rising popularity of game among students

Posted by John Peck in General

It was a great day at Rainbow Elementary, host of the Fall Queen’s Quest Chess Tournament on Saturday Nov 23. Approximately 100 students in grades K-12 competed in four individual and team sections.  In the Open Section, Bob Jones High School won first place team.  In the Junior High Section, Discovery Middle School won first place and Randolph won second place. In the K-6 Elementary Section, the team trophies were awarded to:  1st place Rainbow Elementary; 2nd...

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Madison City elementary and middle schools dominate math tourney

Posted by John Peck in General

Madison City Schools rocked in the recent Rocket City Junior Math Mania tournament at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.The tournament, hosted by Grissom High School, attracted more than 700 students from grades 4 – 8 from Madison, Huntsville City, Madison County, Randolph and other schools. Madison students placed first or near tops in both individual and group categories in most instances.Madison City 4th graders did exceptionally well among the 117 students from 17 schools with 4th grade...

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A reminder to not park in emergency lanes at schools

Posted by John Peck in General

  Lately, our fire marshal has notified us of vehicles found parked in emergency and fire connection lanes at our schools. These lanes are for emergency access to schools in the event of a fire or medical emergency. We ask that you avoid the temptation to park in these emergency and fire connection lanes even if entering the school for only a moment. The fire marshal has indicated they intend to enforce the parking ban and we don’t want you to get a ticket and risk getting your...

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Madison City Schools end budget year on solid footing

Posted by John Peck in General

  Madison City Schools closed its fiscal year with a comfortable fund balance despite a sputtering economy that challenges the accuracy of revenue forecasting. Chief Finance Officer Mike Weaver briefed the Madison City Board of Education on the year-end budget figures Thursday night. Mr. Weaver reports that the fiscal 2012-13 books ended with $1.06 million in revenues over expenditures. That’s the fourth year in a row the MCS budget ended in the black. Schools Superintendent Dr....

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Ex-POW Leo Thorsness wows Liberty students with stories of captivity, hope, selflessness

Posted by John Peck in General

Liberty Middle School welcomed a real American hero who assured students that “helping others” and committing to “do what’s right” will give them a moral compass to guide them through life. Medal of Honor recipient Col. Leo K. Thorsness addressed Liberty seventh grade boys as part of leadership day at the school. He spoke of showing courage, valuing freedom and respecting others as virtues to strive for. Thorsness, a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, spent...

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Improvements in Teaching Math Are Good for Our Students

Posted by John Peck in General

I taught mathematics at the high school level for 12 years and I taught remedial math classes at a junior college for six years. When I worked with struggling math students, one important goal for me was to help them "know what they didn't know" about mathematics. If that sounds odd, think of it this way: if we can learn the big concepts about how math works, then our success with math is not so dependent on our ability to memorize formulas and procedures and then figure out when to apply them....

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Student input valuable in Madison City Schools decision-making

Posted by John Peck in General

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler meets regularly with a lot of accomplished people. But a highlight of his interactions is with school kids. Wednesday, Dr. Fowler got that opportunity in a meeting with the Superintendent’s Student Avisory Council. That’s a forum where students can voice concerns on school matters and the superintendent can get their input on district planning and decision-making. “We’ve got the best kids ever here in Madison City Schools,”...

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Alabama School Bus Safety week drives attention to rider safety in Madison City Schools

Posted by John Peck in General

Each day throughout the school year in Alabama, hundreds of thousands of students are transported daily on school buses.That includes approximately 5,000 in Madison City Schools where busses roll nearly 370,000 miles a year carrying Madison students to and from school. See more about Madison City Schools bus service on this brief video on the district's website. It's under the transportation link.   Oct. 21-25 is Alabama School Bus Safety Week. The state Board of Education made the...

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Innovative programs draw statewide attention for Madison CIty Schools

Posted by John Peck in General

  Madison City Schools continues to garner statewide attention for innovative programs and initiatives. The latest edition of Alabama Education News http://www.alsde.edu/FileViewer/AEN/Octobera2013.pdf includes a writeup about Madison City’s plans to provide foreign language instruction to Kindergarten and first grade students. Introductory Spanish will begin in January, using teachers hired with local funds. Spanish was the language of choice from parent surveys that were conducted...

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