Community, post-secondary, business/industry partners and/or families actively support and are engaged with teachers and students in the STEM program.
Standard 1.10 Narrative
Fayetteville School is a wonderful and unique K-12 school that values our relationship with the community and business partners. Whether they are giving of their time or support, we believe these partnerships help to lay a foundation for all of our STEAM initiatives. Fayetteville School is one of three local schools that share a Sylacauga address. While Fayetteville shares a Sylacauga name, we are located outside of the city limits and therefore we must be creative in our approach to sharing resources with two neighboring schools. With these partnerships, we produce college and career-ready students, each year. To instill leadership skills throughout our student body we use digital portfolios and student-led conferences. From elementary, middle school, and high school we have designed a unique digital portfolio and student-led conferences just for that grade section of the school. To foster families actively supporting our school we invite parents directly into our classrooms through a program called Parents Are Welcome At School (PAWS). With this program, parents will visit each section of the school, elementary, middle school, and high school and observe the entire school starting with door greeters, classroom activities, conversations with students about the learning process. We love being a K-12 school while also striving to try to provide each student with a unique elementary, middle school, and high school experience.
Our school has a dynamic leadership team that helps to guide the implementation and revision of local school initiatives. The leadership team represents each grade section of our school so that a variety of opinions are expressed and provides us the ability to implement new changes effectively. In order to build upon the foundation that we have laid, we will continue and expand our digital portfolio program with new initiatives for each grade level. We will continue our PAWS program for the foreseeable future to further encourage parental involvement. We will continue district-level and local-level partnerships for the foreseeable future.
Area of Focus
At Fayetteville School reflection is an important part of every school day and school year. With proper reflection and open and honest conversation can happen concerning areas of weakness or as we call them areas where we can grow. One area where we can grow is with our student-led conferences and digital portfolios. We also recognize that parents of high school students are not as willing to give up their time to spend time in our classes and in the school for academic endeavors.
Plans to Improve Area of Need
We have participated in numerous discussions with our colleagues on the needs of the students especially in regards to what each grade section needs in contrast to other grade sections. One major change that is being implemented for the future is every high school student will present their digital portfolio to a family member and member of the leadership team. The middle school will present to a teacher and peers and the elementary students will present to their parents. We are actively implementing plans to improve our parent participation at the high school level. The PAWS program and the student-led conferences provide at least two clear opportunities for parents to be involved in significant ways at the high school level. As the parents provide this feedback from the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade years our belief is that an open conversation can develop and it will further enable parent involvement at the high school level. Our school has also implemented family STEAM nights with enormous success. All of our parents at each grade level can come to the school for one hour and learn about STEAM, how it is implemented, and how much our students are enjoying the learning process. The school has created interdisciplinary project-based learning teams. Through creation, reflection, and revision we will be able to provide a dynamic learning experience for our students that will reflect real-world examples.
Kids Creek Field Trip
At Fayetteville, we joined with our business partner the Alabama Department of Conservation to provide hands-on environmental learning. The program our students participated in is available through “Creek Kids,” a partnership of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. The Creek Kids Program teaches students about aquatic environments.
Students rolled up their pants and went in the creek! Using a net, they caught small fish and invertebrates. These were transferred to aquariums and magnifiers for students to observe.
Heritage Credit Union Staff Members - Community Stakeholders
At Fayetteville, we invited business and industry partners to actively support our school and they are engaged with teachers and students in the STEAM program. Mrs. Donna Brown and another one of her staff members from Heritage South Credit Union spoke to our third-grade students about the importance of saving money with savings programs to prepare for their future. The ladies and the students discussed the differences between needs and wants. Discussions also included the differences between payments using cash, checks, or debit or credit cards. The students also learned about making deposits into accounts.
At Fayetteville, we invite business and industry partners to actively support our school and they are engaged with teachers and students in the STEAM program. Our school utilizes AMSTI (the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative) materials regarding mathematics instruction. Our AMSTI specialist from the University of Montevallo is Mrs. Ashley Tilley. Mrs. Tilley meets regularly with our third-grade teachers to plan instruction, and this picture shows Mrs. Tilley completing a number talk regarding fractions with Mrs. Garrett’s third-grade class. Number talks are quick discussions that take students deeper with their mathematical thinking.
Elementary students partnered with Mr. Doyle Keasal director of Alabama Cooperative Extension/4-H and youth director, to plant vegetables in the raised garden beds within the children’s garden. Mr. Keasal taught students how to plant and care for plants in order to harvest the vegetables in the fall months. This activity empowered students with essential skills to last a lifetime. Mr. Keasal serves a valuable mentor and creates a positive relationship with students as he teaches them through hands-on activities.
Fayetteville School partnered with The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center to create a Fayetteville community Holocaust Museum, Fayetteville middle school students hosted a guest speaker from The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. The guest speaker was an Alabama resident named Mrs. Denis Lewis partnered with Fayetteville School to support teachers and engage students in STEAM. She came to tell the story of her grandfather and father’s survival of the Holocaust. During the creation of the Holocaust Museum, teachers reminded students of the driving question, “Why Should We Remember?”. Mrs. Lewis was able to provide a personal background story that helped the students in seeing a real-world connection.
Fayetteville's Holocaust Museum
Fayetteville School partnered with The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center to create a Fayetteville community Holocaust Museum and our school partners came to the middle school to participate in the hands-on activities and the presentations the museum had to offer. Student’s used various types of technology to present their museum displays. While visitors were able to hear presentations about certain topics of the Holocaust, they were also able to participate in STEAM activities the students created to teach others about the importance of remembering the Holocaust.
The East Alabama Works Robotics program gives secondary level students and their adult mentors the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem. Students are challenged to design and build a robot using a standard "kit of parts" and within a common set of rules. Successful engineering requires effective and efficient communication and documentation. Students document the design process throughout the robot design. Mr. Bruce Livingston, proprietor of Livingston Logistics, is working with students to construct a functional robot. With his expertise, he is leading the team to research and brainstorm a plan to construct a competitive robot.
Fayetteville School has a foundation committee comprised of four former Fayetteville School teachers, one current teacher, one parent and two local business members. These foundation members work to provide resources and materials for students and classroom teachers. In addition to raising money for needed supplies for Fayetteville School, this foundation has been instrumental in securing the construction of an outdoor classroom. The outdoor classroom is located in the protected wetland area on the campus. Students and teachers utilize this area to participate in various hands-on activities and extend STEAM learning from the classroom. This designated area has been frequently utilized to participate in art projects, science experiments and model construction. Teachers recognize that when students learn outdoors they are more motivated, inspired and willing to learn new things.
Fayetteville School partnered with our local area church to produce an ad for a community Trunk-or-Treat. Cedar Creek Cowboy Church hosted the event due to its large geographical location, but all churches were invited to participate. The Daily Howl staff created a thirty-second spot ad that was advertised on our social media. All aspects of the video were produced by students and then sent to administration for approval. Faith is a personal connection, but this partnership allows us to use STEAM and connect our students to an important part of our community.
Community Invention Project
In groups, students were tasked with contacting and partnering with local industries to develop inventions that would benefit their industry in some way. These pictures show the different stages of this massive project. As you can see, students talked on the phone with their companies, collaborated to develop blueprints for their inventions, developed and built these inventions, created professional presentations for these inventions, and even presented what they did with one of our community partners via FaceTime.
Career Fair 2019
Sponsored by Career Coach, Whitney Murchison and Future Business Leaders of America. Employers from all 16 career clusters were invited to share their job experiences and requirements with students in grades 9-12.
At Fayetteville School, we have partnered with numerous local businesses, including many in STEAM related fields for our students to participate in our job shadowing program. Our students had the opportunity to job shadow in the field they are interested in pursuing and these students had the opportunity to see the functions of the job, away from a classroom, and gain a better knowledge of the complexities of that career they may not have been exposed to from a textbook and/or computer screen. Another required component of the job shadowing program is the students interviewed the employee and gained further insight as well. Our students can also add this to their school resume which is a required component of the school digital portfolio. Our students have experienced a tremendous amount of success through this program and several have been hired on the spot!
Fayetteville School has partnered with Heritage South Credit Union to provide a Wolves Branch at our school. The Wolves Branch of Heritage South Credit Union is a real branch of the credit union. We have a fully functioning teller line available for students, teachers, and other school staff to confidentially transact business right here within the school. The student tellers are able to open new accounts, make deposits, make withdrawals, cash checks, and even sell reloadable debit cards. This partnership with Heritage South also includes a reward program for students that make good grades. Our students receive $10 for every A and $5 for every B they earn on their report card. This is a fantastic and convenient way to teach the real world to our students.
Forestry in the Classroom
One of the main concepts studied in environmental science is the impact that humans have on the environment. Students studied topics such as: how geographic information systems are used in forestry, the importance of proper forestry management, and the economic and environmental impacts of forestry in Alabama.
Students were faced with two driving questions.
What do humans do to harm the environment?
What are the possible solutions for repairing the harm caused?
Students, in their small groups, researched a specific human effect. These effects varied from littering to deforestation. After collaborating to capture data and create information and graphs, students assimilated the information and listed the major issues. The cooperative groups were tasked with developing a real life plan to combat their chosen issue that would make a positive difference in the environment. Jason Wales, Vice President of Clear Water Forestry, and Mr. Chilcutt came to the science classroom to discuss and present current information about Alabama forests. Having the support of business partners helps to further engage the students and the teacher in the STEAM program.
Fayetteville School and Coosa Valley Medical Center partnered together for a school/community health fair. At the health fair, simple health screenings such as blood pressure checks, body composition, vision, and hearing tests were offered. Students also participated in “Pound” which is a form of aerobic exercise.
The health fair at school was a great way to share information with students, staff, families, and the community about healthy eating, physical activity, health services, and other local health and wellness resources. This partnership allowed students to gain important health information as well as observe and learn about various occupations in the medical field.