A message from Dr. Daria
TCS Team Members,
Spring break is so close!
Thanks for all of your efforts this year. Our mid-year data indicates that we are showing growth in student outcomes. We are not yet where we need to be yet, but we have time when we return from the break until the end of the year. When we return after the break, we will continue on our path of progress in making sure all students show growth and to move us closer to becoming the "A" school district that we aspire to become.
It is our sincere hope that you enjoy this week off. We hope you will rest and relax so you can return ready to bring our year to an incredible closing with strong student academic gains.
Have a great spring break!
- Mike Daria
How Safe are we? Safety Message by Mr. Green
In its recent study of 173 incidents of targeted violence spanning 2016-2020, The US Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center highlighted seven key findings:
- Most of the attackers had exhibited behavior that elicited concern in family members, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and others, and in many cases, those individuals feared for the safety of themselves or others.
- Many attackers had a history of physically aggressive or intimidating behaviors, evidenced by prior violent criminal arrests/charges, domestic violence, or other acts of violence toward others.
- Half of the attackers were motivated by grievances, and were retaliating for perceived wrongs related to personal, domestic, or workplace issues.
- Most of the attackers used firearms, and many of those firearms were possessed illegally at the time of the attack.
- One-quarter of the attackers subscribed to a belief system involving conspiracies or hateful ideologies, including anti-government, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic views.
- Many attackers experienced stressful events across various life domains, including family/romantic relationships, personal issues, employment, and legal issues. In some of these cases, attackers experienced a specific triggering event prior to perpetrating the attack.
- Over half of the attackers experienced mental health symptoms prior to or at the time of their attacks, including depression, psychotic symptoms, and suicidal thoughts.
Let’s rephrase these findings into instructions. These seven keys plainly describe what we need to do to be safer:
1. Look for and report and address areas of concern. The simple ability to have an open non-judgmental discussion about behaviors is a first step toward creating change.
2. Do not ignore, reclassify, or fail to document and assess the actions of the past. Our second question in any situation should be, ‘What happened before?’. What happened with the last occurrence, during the last year, or at the last school?
3. Create an open dialogue about people’s concerns. When you believe person’s opinion is unjustified, that fact is not as important as the fact that their feelings do exist. An individual will act upon what they feel or believe, regardless of our opinion on those beliefs.
4. Think critically about the relationship that exists between guns and attacks. At various times during its usable lifetime many firearms exist alternately as legal and illegal weapons. What percentage of households within this area have a gun present?
5. Move the thinkers out of the shadows. Ideologies which we may once have seen as being on the fringe elements of society are more mainstream now than ever. Name a belief system you don’t approve of and I am certain you will find it represented in the closest sphere of your associations. Does a pretense that these don’t exist help or hinder safety?
6. Alleviate stress wherever possible. When the ability to handle life’s stressors deteriorates, a person (or any person) becomes vulnerable to the less desirable traits of their character. Can we consistently provide access to the help that many need to manage daily life?
7. What our mind tells us becomes real. For most of us the borders of our existence becomes what we experience each day. One true objective of education is to enable a person to perceive more. A residual effect of a greater perception is a greater understanding of the world and quite possibly a greater empathy for one another.
Mayors Cup incentive!
The Mayor's Cup is set for April 29, 2023. This important annual event increases awareness about the importance of PreK and raises funding for PreK in Tuscaloosa City Schools. We need your participation!
And, if you register and participate in the Mayor's Cup, you will receive an extra personal day that can be taken on May 26 only. TCS employees and students also discount by using the code “TCS2023” between Feb. 29-March 31, 2023. Discounted registration will be $15. Starting April 1, registration will be $25. Click here to register: https://www.tuscaloosamayorscup.com/
School Quality Survey to go live March 21
Each year, the Tuscaloosa City Schools offer a School Quality Survey, which is taken by parents, students and staff.
This survey is vital in determining where we are doing well as a school system in the eyes of our constituents, but also, just as importantly, areas where we must improve and what the priorities are of our parents, students and staff. The survey will run for a period of two weeks. The survey is administered externally, by K12 Insight.
Keep an eye out for a link to the survey, which you will get via email on March 21. It is very important as TCS staff that you participate in this survey and make sure that students have the time needed to take it as well!
Slam Dunk for Students: Employees, we need your help!
TCS is sponsoring a friendly competition between schools March 1-April 7 to help raise donations for Neighborhood Bridges and we need your help!
This will benefit TCS students and help stock "The Lift" at New Heights with items frequently requested through Neighborhood Bridges. All donations will directly benefit TCS students.
This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about kindness and helping their friends and neighbors!
The “Slam Dunk for Students” campaign will run through April 7. Students and staff may bring in new items for donation (ranging from $20 gift cards to a pack of socks or other new clothing) to their school, OR, if you would prefer to make a monetary donation on the Neighborhood Bridges website, be sure to list your school so that it gets credit for the donation. Also, be sure to subscribe to the Neighborhood Bridges website so that you know what the most up-to-date needs are of TCS students/schools at any given time.
Companies are welcome to donate in honor of a school to count toward the competition.
The elementary, middle and high schools with the highest number of donations from this "Slam Dunk for Students" campaign will get a trophy during a celebration in April!
Thanks to all of our incredible counselors and social workers who use Neighborhood Bridges to remove learning barriers for our students! Thank you for your support and let's Slam Dunk for Students!
Click here to donate online and/or subscribe: Neighborhood Bridges Tuscaloosa
The School Superintendents of Alabama and Curriculum Associates are seeking Alabama educators who wish to further their education in the field of school administration. SSA is soliciting applicants for four $1,000 Administrator Scholarships to be awarded in March.
Teachers, counselors, or other aspiring administrators who wish to pursue a graduate degree in school administration, and who are planning to attend an in-state public college or university, will qualify. The degree may be at the M.S./M.A., A.A./Ed.S., Ed.D/Ph.D., or Instructional Leadership levels.
Previous SSA Administrator Scholarship recipients are not eligible to reapply.
The Administrator Scholarship application is attached. SSA’s application deadline is Friday, March 24th by the close of business (4:00 p.m.).
Winners will be announced March 29, 2023.
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