A Closer Look

 
Posting Date: August 19, 2014
Expires 9/15/14

Online Student Directory

This year, we are using a new online directory system (Circlebox).  With your Summer online school pre-registration, you can sign-up by going to:

http://www.circlebox.com/vhpto 

In addition to being able to enter your student’s contact information as it will appear in the online and printed directories, some Vestavia schools are utilizing this tool  to let you easily volunteer for PTO committees and to provide important school-specific information.

  • There is no charge to use this service.
  • The information is secure & only available to families of students in the Vestavia School System
  • The directory search functionality will be available once school year begins as homeroom classrooms are assigned.

Here’s how it will work:

  1. If you don’t already have a Circlebox account, you will be prompted to create one. (Some households will already have an account as a member of another organization that already uses Circlebox.)  All students in your household should be set up under your one Circlebox account. 
  2. In addition to your student data, you may also list (2) two points of contact (parents/guardians) for each household.  Both contacts (parents/guardians) will be able to access your household account for searches and updates.
  3. In addition to your directory information, please also complete the brief school specific questionnaire and the PTO volunteer form for each student/school where applicable.
  4. Once you enter your student’s information, that record will be “pending” until teacher assignments are entered.  Once the student entry is updated with the homeroom class assignment, (by PTO staff after the 1st day of school) your account will become “active” for Vestavia District-wide search. 

For Questions, Contact:  helpdesk@circlebox.com


Posting Date: August 29, 2014
Expires 9/30/14

Vestavia Hills schools raise more than $8,200 in ALS Ice Bucket Challenges

While it has been hot and dry around most of Alabama this week, Vestavia Hills has experienced a blast of icy cold.

From Liberty Park to Pizitz, students, administrators, parents and residents took part this week in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, raising more than $8,200 in the school district for The ALS Association.

VHHS Coach Buddy AndersonThe excitement began on Monday evening at Vestavia Hills High School, where more than 200 people showed up to douse themselves with icy water. School officials reported that participants emptied more than 1,500 pounds of bagged ice on themselves in the bleachers at Buddy Anderson Field, where even the field's namesake was seen hoisting a bucket.

At Louis Pizitz Middle School, students donated money for the chance to pour a bucket of the cold stuff onto the school’s three administrators. The event had special significance for Assistant Principal Andy Carpenter, whose father, former Auburn defensive back Lee Carpenter, has lived with ALS for the past 28 years. “I’m so thankful for our students for supporting a cause that means more to me than I could ever explain,” Carpenter said.Pizitz AP Andy Carpenter

And in Liberty Park, students at the middle school were still donating money Friday morning in a school-wide vote to see which teacher would be covered in cold.

“Vestavia students are known for their charity and community service, and the ALS Challenge is just another example of how our students answer the call of servant leadership by giving. We are extremely proud of them,” said Superintendent Sheila Phillips.


Posting Date: August 21, 2014
Expires 10/01/14

Update on VHHS Principal Search

Update on Principal Search Process at Vestavia Hills High School

August 21, 2014 (VHCS) – Mr. Tim Loveless will continue as interim principal of Vestavia Hills High School for the remainder of the 2014-15 academic year, Superintendent Sheila Phillips announced this morning.

In an email to parents of VHHS students, Phillips said that the consensus of the school’s principal search committee was “that we take our time to find the very best fit possible for our students and school.”

“As evidenced by the registration process and the smooth start of the new school year, we can trust that administrators, faculty and staff, as well as the students, know their roles,” Phillips said.

Loveless, who recently retired after serving more than three decades in administration at schools in north Alabama, was named VHHS interim principal in July. 


Posting Date: July 22, 2013
Expires 12/30/14

Facebook and Twitter

Vestavia Hills City School district now has a Facebook page and Twitter account. These social media tools will be used to disseminate school related information to a wider audience. Please "like" us on Facebook at our page Vestavia Hills City Schools and "follow" us on Twitter @vhcschools.


Posting Date: August 27, 2014
Expires 12/31/14

VHCS Strategics to lay groundwork for system-wide growth and improvement

Vestavia Hills City Schools is embarking on a new Strategics program for school and system improvement. Strategics is comprised of three critical areas — Strategic Thinking, Strategic Planning, and Strategic Action. This comprehensive development process will be conducted over the 2014-15 school year and beyond.

Dr. Bill CookVestavia Hills’ Strategics process is being facilitated through The Cambrian Group, a Montgomery-based firm specializing in strategic planning for education. Leading this facilitation is The Cambrian Group’s founder, Dr. Bill Cook, a native Alabamian who in 1986 introduced the concept of strategic planning to education. Cook authored Strategic Planning for America’s Schools, which is considered by many in the educational community to be the definitive book on both the theory and practice of strategy.

The Strategics process began in August with a two-day meeting of the district’s Strategic Thinking Team. Led by Dr. Cook, the Strategic Thinking Team was made up of 32 stakeholders including teachers, administrators, Board of Education members, parents, city councilors, and community members. This course explained in detail the various arenas of strategic thinking from a historical perspective, and how current local conditions should affect the district’s future planning and decision-making.

Next is Strategic Planning, which will take place over a three-day period in late September. Many members of the Strategic Thinking Team, along with several additional invitees, will return to begin hands-on discussion and formation of the district’s new plan. Sessions will focus on development of the school system’s statement of beliefs, mission statement, objectives, and strategies. Out of these meetings, a draft plan will be formulated and communicated to the public.

Following the creation of the draft plan, the district will begin soliciting volunteers to take part in Strategic Action Teams. These teams will meet over the course of several months to determine ways that the district can achieve positive results from each strategy. The district will create separate teams for each strategy, facilitating an opportunity for many in the Vestavia Hills community to assist the school system in a creative way. By early 2015, these teams will report their suggestions back to the Planning Team, which will then agree on action plans and on a concrete implementation process.

Another critical phase of the VHCS Strategics program is school planning, which will likely begin in the spring of 2015. Each school in the Vestavia Hills system will develop its own Planning Team, charged with the task of making the district’s Strategic Plan practical for their school on a local level. Schools will also form Action Teams and develop programs to implement each school’s strategies. This process will be overseen and approved by VHCS Superintendent Sheila Phillips.

The bulk of the district’s Strategics program should be completed by the end of the 2014-15 school year. Unlike traditional strategic planning, however, VHCS Strategics is a continuously developed plan. Periodic reviews and updates to each school’s plan and the district’s plan will take place, ensuring that Vestavia Hills City Schools remain in a framework for continued growth and success.

VHCS Assistant Superintendent Meredith Hanson, who is taking part in her third Strategics process with The Cambrian Group, says that the yearlong process is that thorough by design. “It is very in depth, and intense, to promote thinking and reflection to guide our district so that we do what is best for all of our students in Vestavia Hills,” Hanson said.

“I look forward to setting new standards for teaching and learning in our district as we work to define and create goals for the next level,” said VHCS Superintendent Sheila Phillips. “The investment all of our stakeholders make in this conversation will only strengthen the results for our children.”


Posting Date: August 20, 2014
Expires 12/31/14

VHCS Students Raise ACT Composite Average

Students in Vestavia Hills City Schools raised the district’s average composite ACT score for the second consecutive year, scoring more than five points higher than the state composite average, ACT reported Wednesday.

433 Vestavia Hills students took the ACT in the 2013-14 academic year. Those students who took the test scored an average composite of 25.8 on a 36-point scale. The average composite for the 37,985 students statewide who took the test was 20.6, according to ACT.

This marks the second year in a row that Vestavia Hills students raised the district’s ACT average. VHCS students scored an average composite of 25.6 in 2013 and 25.3 from 2010 to 2012.

ACT also announced Wednesday that 58 percent of Vestavia Hills test-takers had met or surpassed all four of its “college readiness benchmark scores,” which ACT defines as the scores needed to indicate a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher in college-level English, algebra, social science, and biology. More than two-thirds of Vestavia Hills students met or surpassed at least one of the college readiness benchmark scores, ACT reported. By comparison, only 21 percent of test-takers statewide met the benchmark in all four areas.

"We are proud of the hard work that has gone into preparing our students for this standard of success and for their postsecondary endeavors," Vestavia Hills Superintendent Sheila Phillips said this morning. "We will continue to focus on providing educational experiences that prepare our students for this level of assessment."