Meadowview, CHAT serve as examples to Mobile educators

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 21, 2005

Educators from Mobile County toured two Selma City schools on Tuesday to learn how to improve their instruction and leadership practices.

Selma Middle CHAT Academy and Meadowview Elementary opened their doors to 13 Mobile teachers and principals in order to show and explain the various programs and activities the schools use everyday to improve students’ reading and math scores.

The teachers visited the schools as part of a State Department of Education program known as the Teacher Leader Network.

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According to a letter sent to CHAT Academy Principal Charlotte Griffeth, the two Selma schools were selected for the tour because they set a prime example for good leadership and instruction.

In the letter, Dr. Anita Buckley Commander, state Director of Classroom Improvement, said the schools were selected as a “best practices site” based on the criteria of having a principal with strong leadership skills, along with setting high expectations for students and using research-based curriculum to positively impact student achievement.

“To have the State Department of Education put this label on us saying we are a good school, that is really flattering,” Griffeth said. “All of our accomplishments are made here because we work as a team.”

During their tour of CHAT Academy, the Mobile teachers heard from the school’s department heads about the instructional books and teaching tools they use.

Marsha Carmichael, CHAT seventh-grade Social Studies teacher, told the Mobile educators about the school’s goal of reaching 100 percent literacy.

“We have a faculty that is committed to meeting our goal,” Carmichael said.

Instructor Donna Harper told the visiting teachers about the success of the 180 Reading has had with students.

“It’s not always easy (to build a better school),” Harper said. “I’m a firm believer that ARI (Alabama Reading Initiative) helps improve our test scores. I’ve seen in done across Dallas County.”

Roselyn Farris, CHAT’s Technology Department Chair, told the Mobile teachers about how the use of technology in the classroom has enhanced the learning experience.

“We have been blessed with computer technology,” Farris said. “Every classroom has three to five computers in them.”

The teachers ended their visit with each school by touring the classrooms and watching the interaction between students and instructors.