Munford High School this year boasts an all-time high enrollment of approximately 520 students! Character, Class, and Pride is our motto. This is what you will hear daily and be able to see as you walk the halls of our school. Overall, our kids do a great job of responding to expectations we set for them. Our goal is for every student to graduate on time with his or her respective class and to be College and Career Ready!
Munford High School is following the blueprint of Talladega County Schools’ Pillars of Exceptional Instruction to increase rigor in our curriculum. We are opening up the school year with a PBL focusing on Conservation Education, community partnerships, and our HOT SPOTS that support outdoor learning. We are offering 5 Advanced Placement courses (AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Literature, AP Language, and AP Government) this year with approximately 172 enrolled and 8 Pre-AP courses with approximately 398 enrolled in the respective courses. In two years we will offer AP Statistics & AP Calculus. We also have had a significant increase in our dual enrollment numbers! This year we partnered with Jacksonville State University Core Scholars program and we are proud to say that 33 students are enrolled in either History 201 or History 202. These courses are taught on our campus and our students have received scholarships totaling over $14,000! We have 5 more students that are taking college courses off campus. This year we have 11 students taking technical dual enrollment courses in welding and diesel mechanic at Gadsden State. The Class of 2016 numbers have improved. Out of 104 seniors 36 of them have qualifying scores on the ACT. Nine out of the 36 will be able to attend college without having to take any remedial classes. We would like for this class to super exceed the Class of 2015’s scholarship totals of over $2 million dollars and a 94% graduation rate.
Clubs, sports, and organizations keep our students active and involved in the community. This year we are very excited to have the MHS Ambassadors, SGA, FBLA, FCCLA, and FFA lead the student body in being a community and school servants. We are looking forward to participating in upcoming charitable events, service projects, and competitions throughout our local district and state. We have a zoology class that partners with JSU professors in the science department. These students are out in the fields with JSU biology professors collecting data and conducting research about native species in our local creeks and streams.
There is a lot of work going on at the Munford campus thanks to our many community partners. The US Forest Service has provided the funds for Munford Schools to develop the “Hot Spots” around the Munford Campus. These are outdoor classrooms that were built with the help of the administrators, teachers, parents, and students. The “Hot Spot” outdoor classrooms include a 4-tier wetland, butterfly garden, bald-cypress swamp, longleaf tree stand, nature trail, amphitheater, greenhouse, aquaculture facility, frog pond, fishing pond, arboretum, and low ropes course. We also appreciate all the help School Board Member, Johnny Ponder has given to the Munford Schools. He has made sure that each one of the students at Munford has had an opportunity to get their hands in the dirt. He has also brought in multiple community partners that have helped these students achieve greatness.
With the new More Kids in the Woods grant through the US Forest Service we are partnering up with urban and rural schools throughout the state to share resources and increase collaboration between teachers and students. We are also partnering up with the Alabama Wildlife Federation, US Forest Service, Environmental Education Association of Alabama, and Alabama State Department of Education to promote the state’s environmental literacy plan, AL Alive! This is a state Environmental Literacy Plan for environmental education initiatives that will make it easier for teachers in Alabama to weave EE into any subject area they are teaching. We are expanding our partnership with Auburn University and studying black bears around the state with Dr. Steury. The project involves using hair snares to collect bear DNA. We are setting up ten bait stations throughout the Talladega National forest and we will monitor these weekly for four-legged visitors. Our students will continue to work with Jacksonville State University Biology professors as they study invasive and native amphibian and fish species in local creeks. Data will be collected and shared at the annual JSU Science and Arts Symposium. Hugh Hammer from Gadsden State Community College has also been a resource for the teachers and students as everyone has learned how to maintain the aquaculture facility. We have six, five hundred gallon tanks full of Koi, catfish, and bream. The aquaculture students along with Mr. Pitts are working to get ready for our 1st annual fishing derby that will be held on Nov. 17 at the Munford Schools fishing pond. More information about this event will be coming soon.
We are working with the Alabama Forestry Commission, Talladega County Extension Service, Us Forest Service, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service to bring back the Talladega County Forestry Planning Committee. The committee is working together to education the citizens of Talladega County about good forest management practices on public and private lands. Field trips are being organized for the students living in Talladega County to participate in the Classroom in the Forest; Forest in the Classroom lessons on the Munford Schools Campus. The field trips will be led by Munford High School Ambassadors and the Talladega County Forestry Planning Committee.
To educate the community about our various projects, we have a weekly radio show on 92.7. We can be heard on Tuesday mornings at 7:15. You can also follow our varsity football team on Friday nights thanks to our local sponsors who support our radio shows. A few of these sponsors include Munford Grocery, Big Daddy’s Barbeque, Camp Callers, and County Commissioner Jackie Swinford. We are currently working with our student media teams to write weekly articles for the Munford Dispatch and develop a weekly tv show to be seen on our local channel 24.
The number of “Hot Spots” are continuing to grow as teachers are developing Project-Based Learning opportunities for their students and as we create new community partnerships. The resources and expertise of our community partners help us improve the use of each of these areas. There is a standard PBL format that schools follow and then there is the Munford Schools form. When our teachers create a PBL, they need to make sure they incorporate technology, a community partner, and an outdoor classroom visit. Some teachers take it to another level. Mrs. Harry and Mr. Ripley at Munford High School created another outdoor classroom by having their students develop a geocaching trail on the Munford Campus with the help of JSU Field Schools. They not only made a connection with our community partners, taught the students to use hand held GPS units, and created a new outdoor classroom area, but they also tied the project to the state standards they are required to teach. These “Hot Spot” areas take a team of people to maintain. We could not take care of all these areas without the continued support of the Talladega County Maintenance Dept. They have become experts in the field of aquaculture and the support from the lunchroom, housekeeping and office staff has been a tremendous help too. We are extremely thankful to our community partners for their continued support of our students. On the Forest of Heroes display, is recognition for each of our community partners. Phase II has been finished and now everyone is working on Phase III as the list of the community partners continues to grow.
MHS faculty ended the 2014-2015 school year with this year in mind. Teachers were able to meet in like content areas to develop their first PBL of this year. The goal was to create a PBL lesson that meshed content standards and our MHS HotSpots. History is focusing on the historical aspect of the development of the Talladega National Forest and also the history of Native Americans in Talladega County. Additionally, students will be classifying Native American artifacts which will be displayed in the media center. In order to document and educate the community on our HotSpots, English teachers will be working to develop a website to showcase how each is being used. Students will be developing infomercials of each HotSpot and they will regularly update the use of each area. In our math classes, students will create and evaluate equations of lines. They will create equations for parallel and perpendicular lines and use them in creating a piece of Cartesian Art that represents one of our HotSpots. Some students will also be creating a Geodisic Greenhouse after studying interior and exterior angles in polygons. Science will begin the year educating our freshman on the many uses of the HotSpots and also develop an aquaponics system to grow plants. Teachers will meet with Mrs. Klinner, our Digital Learning Specialist, and Mrs. Murray, our Science Integration Specialist to finalize PBL plans before they are launched.
Munford High has also made a commitment to utilize Google Chrome Apps. Not only is each teacher using Google Classroom as their classroom management system, they have also made the shift to sharing information with the help of Google Apps for Education. Teachers are able to update announcements, share specific calendars for school-wide events and HotSpot use, share lesson plans to the administrative team, share folders of resources during Den Talks, and compile and share their Digital Accountability Notebooks using Google Apps. We have definitely embraced technology to make networking easier and more convenient.