Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ACCESS Instruction

Here is an article about the ACCESS program available to our students. Click here for the article.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weather Make-Up Day Dilemma

Whether or not to cancel school, arrive late, or dismiss early seems to be a decision having to be made all too often the past several years. Whether it is El Nino, La Nina, global warming, or just a coincidence, the weather has played havoc with the school schedule. However, the most important thing to everyone is the safety of the students.

Being out of school is an inconvenience to parents, teachers, and yes even students (although they probably won’t admit it). Parents must find a way to get the student home if they don’t ride a bus, and even for bus riders, parents of younger children must have someone to stay with them while they are at home. Because businesses are not dealing with the lives of thousands of young people, many times they do not shut down because of weather conditions that cause school schedules to be altered. The days must be made up so the plans of student and parents are changed as the year progresses.

The people that make the tough decisions must rely on weather predictions from meteorologists that admit predicting weather in the Tennessee Valley is a very tough proposition. School officials listen to the latest predictions and make their call. The officials must always error on the side of caution, and after a tragedy like April 27th, everyone is on edge with that day still very heavy on everyone’s mind.

We had more snow last year than I remember in my lifetime (although I really am not that old) and we missed several days due to snowy roads. Once again this year has started off rough with storms and now the prediction of snow in November, so who knows what this school year holds for us. None of us want plans to have to be altered due to make-up days, but they are unfortunately part of what we may be forced to deal with as the year progresses. What ever the future holds rest assured that the people making the decisions will try and make sure we are at school if at all possible, but must always have the safety of our children at heart.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bryant-Jordan Award Program

Many of you may not have heard of the Bryant-Jordan Award Program, but everyone has heard of the namesakes of the program. This is a quote from the Bryant-Jordan brochure about the program: “Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and Auburn Coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan earned their reputations as much by their accomplishments off the playing field as by their victories on it.” The program is one of a kind and the state of Alabama is fortunate to have a program that honors students.

The Bryant-Jordan program has two sections. One section is the Scholar Athlete Award and the other is the Achievement Award. The Scholar Athlete Award recognizes high school seniors who have achieved a high level of excellence not only athletically, but academically as well. These students have high GPA’s and ACT scores in addition to their athletic achievements. It is always heartening to hear what great students we have in Alabama that participate in athletics.

The Achievement Award recognizes student athletes who have achieved in spite of an unusual hardship. These students achieve academically and athletically as well, but the focus is on the way they have overcome obstacles. Going to the state banquet in Birmingham, you hear heart-warming stories how these students have overcome physically disabilities, deaths of parents, rough home lives, and many other obstacles in their lives. Each student has a story of triumph and achievement.

Ardmore High School, along with all schools in Alabama, chooses their candidates who then submit paperwork to compete in the area, and then region competition. The region winners advance to the state competition where they compete for scholarships. This is a great program and we are proud to have to outstanding students to represent Ardmore this year. Daniel McNeese is our Scholar Athlete nominee and Allison Hodges is our Achievement Award nominee.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snake Infestation?

I thought this was an interesting article. We always say that you never know what is going to happen in a school. Thankfully, we haven't had to worry about something like this.........yet. Click here for the article.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ardmore is Still 4A

The new classifications from the AHSAA are available on the AHSAA website. Ardmore remains a 4A school for another two years. For those that don’t know, every two years the AHSAA reclassifies all the schools in Alabama. The classifications are based upon the number of students in grades 10-12 and 9th grade hold backs.

Many people think there is a “magic number” that causes a school to change classifications. This is actually not the case, but instead classification is on a scale that depends on the size of other schools in the state. The schools are arranged from largest to smallest according to student numbers and the lines are drawn in order to balance the number of teams in each classification. Once the classifications are determined, the area or region must be determined. Several factors are considered such as the number of schools of the same size and where they are located geographically.

A school could remain the same size and change classifications based upon changes in the enrollment of other schools. Schools may stay the same classification and change areas due to other schools changing classifications. The AHSAA looks at all the data and makes the best arrangement they can based upon numbers. I hope this helps explain some of the process.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sporst Banquets

Sports banquets cause a variety of responses and the response you receive many times depends on the position of the person. They are a time to reflect and celebrate the accomplishment of a team. For example, players typically like banquets because they are recognized for their accomplishments and (for the guys especially) there is good food. Some players had rather be getting a tooth filled than sitting and listening to coaches talk, so it is impossible to say all players like banquets, or all players dislike banquets.

The same can be said for parents. Every parent likes to hear positive comments about their child, but the entire banquet experience can be a little less than enjoyable to some parents. Parents love that someone else recognizes how truly special their child is, but if someone fails to recognize their uniqueness some parents do not take this very well. Perhaps the parents with the most mixed feelings are the parents of seniors. It is great to see your child honored as a senior and have the satisfaction they have reached a great milestone in their life. The joy often dissipates due to the realization they will soon be leaving high school and possibly your house.

Coaches, as a whole, are not big fans of banquets. Coaches spend 364 days of the year preaching team and one day having to say the dreaded words, “And the MVP for this year is….” Banquets basically go against what most coaches believe in but in order to honor the team and the players banquets continue. Don’t get me wrong, coaches love recognizing the accomplishments of their team and players, but the balance between honoring one player and offending another is very delicate. In front of every great running back is an offensive line that typically doesn’t receive the accolades the running back receives. A similar scenario exists for every team sport.

Sports banquets are a rite of passage, a part of growing up, and part of the high school sports experience. They hold many fond memories for some and unfortunately some very unpleasant memories for others. Like most everything else, banquets must be seen through the prism of the “big picture.” One should not get too overconfident from winning an award, and conversely not think less of one’s self for not winning an award. The true reward for playing high school sports is the lessons learned, not the awards received.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Parents, students, and faculty of Ardmore High School are encouraged to take part in a survey designed to provide feedback for national decision makers in the area of technology. The survey is anonymous and it provides vital information to policy makers as they look to the future of education.

There is a link to the survey on the school website. The password is included on the link and enables you to take the survey. We strongly encourage everyone to take the survey and let your voice be heard. Technology is a hot topic in public education and we need everyone’s thoughts and opinions.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Here is a press release from the Alabama State Department of Education. Click here for the link.