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TUESDAY, JULY 11, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Decatur City Schools highlights to cheer

A group named A+ meets once a month to talk about good things that are going on in Decatur City Schools presented the June program.

Here are some of the things members heard and which every citizen needs to know about their school system:

  • Decatur schools were recognized nationally by SchoolMatch's "What Parent's Want Award." The award recognizes systems that have met standards of excellence in seven areas:

    Competitive Academic Test Scores, Accreditation, Recognition for excellence by a national foundation or the U.S. Department of Education, Competitive teacher's salaries, above national average instructional expenditures, above national average expenditures for library/media services, small class sizes.

  • Decatur has received this prestigious award for 12 consecutive years.
  • Decatur City Schools is the second largest employer in the city with 1,205 employees.
  • Decatur is the only school system in the state north of Birmingham that offers the IB Diploma Program.
  • Decatur is the only system in Alabama that has the IB program in the middle schools.
  • Decatur schools offer foreign language instruction in sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
  • City schools have been recognized with the Attorney General's Safe Schools Award more often than any other system.
  • Decatur has taken the lead in providing state-of-the-art robotics experience at all levels. Several elementary schools, all middle schools, and both high schools have award-winning robotics teams. Examples are: Top 8 finisher in the Peachtree Regional FIRST Robotics, 1st place Tennessee Valley BEST Award, 1st place Tennessee Valley BEST Robotics, 1st place Founder's Award for Creative Design Tennessee Valley BEST, 1st place Founders Award for Creative Design South's BEST Auburn University and 1st place Most Robust Robot South's BEST Auburn University.
  • In the past 10 years the Junior ROTC Program had 10 cadets appointed to the military academy at West Point and one appointed to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
  • City schools' Environmental Learning Center is a unique partnership between public schools and industry.
  • Scholarships of $6.4 million were awarded to Decatur City Schools' seniors last year.
  • Both high schools are consistently above the state and national averages on the ACT college placement exams.
  • City schools have the second largest chorus in the state.
  • Austin High's band has received the most consecutive superior ratings of any band in Alabama.
  • Decatur High's band has received the most superior ratings of any band in Alabama.
  • City schools have 23 National Board certified teachers, which puts it in the top 10 school systems in the state with the most National Board certified teachers.
  • A city student is the state winner of SkillsUSA auto tech competition.
  • City schools are a national MOVE model site. MOVE helps children and adults with severe disabilities acquire increased independence in sitting, standing, and walking so they may experience, learn and gain mobility, better health, and enhanced personal dignity. Many students have taken their first steps in our school system.
  • Decatur City Schools was the first system in the state to have a partnership with the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
  • Every third-grade student in the city receives 10 Suzuki violin lessons.
  • City schools have eight Pre-kindergarten classes.
  • In 1995, of the 16 Rhodes Scholar finalists from four states, two were from Decatur.

    Help spread the word that Decatur has great schools!

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