Education

3 things to watch for in the new Birmingham school board

With over half of its members new and millions of dollars in federal pandemic relief funding, the new Birmingham City school board is ready to tackle education with a fresh perspective. WBHM talked to incoming, outgoing and returning members about what Birmingham teachers, students and residents can expect.

More Black families in Birmingham find freedom in homeschooling

The face of homeschooling is changing and diversifying. In just a year, the number of Black families has increased five-fold— and for more reasons than COVID-19. Several families told WBHM they see homeschooling as a way to protect their children from educational racism.

Alabama Board of Education cements state’s ban on critical race theory

At the October meeting, the Alabama state board of education cemented its ban on critical race theory into policy. But, attendants of the meeting reacted in disapproval.

The Birmingham Library delays plans to close four branches after city officials protest

The Birmingham Public Library Board of Trustees has delayed a proposed vote to shut down four library branches after receiving criticism from city leaders, including Mayor Randall Woodfin.

It’s fall break, but these Birmingham students are staying in school

This year, Birmingham City Schools gave students the choice to take a break during the fall intersession or stay in school for extra academic support and enrichment.

UAB Medical School Renamed After $95 Million Donation

The UAB School of Medicine has been renamed the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine after a Dothan eye surgeon donated a record-breaking $95 million to the school.

Bridging The Empathy Gap Between Birmingham Schools And The Community

The interactive art exhibit “All In” put viewers in the shoes of Ramsay High School students.

COVID Policies Vary By School District, Causing Confusion For Parents

The state of Alabama has issued recommendations to school districts on how to handle COVID-19 in the classroom. But many of them are just recommendations, giving districts lots of flexibility in setting their own COVID-19 protocols.

LGBTQ Students Find Hope In New Affirming School: The Magic City Acceptance Academy

The Magic City Acceptance Academy is a new charter school giving LGBTQ students and allies a safe space to learn and be themselves. It's the first school of its kind in the South.

Alabama Names Ashley M. Jones As Its New Poet Laureate

Jones, a Birmingham native, is Alabama's first Black poet laureate and the youngest person to hold the position.

From Optimistic To Anxious: How College Students In The Gulf South Feel About Returning To Campus

College students from Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi share their thoughts as a new school year in the pandemic begins.

Community Weighs In On Education Challenges Ahead Of Birmingham City School Board Elections

As the election for Birmingham City school board approaches, citizens from education and community advocacy groups speak on the problems the new board will face in the midst of a COVID-19.

WBHM Surveyed Birmingham School Board Candidates — Here Are Their Responses

The election for the Birmingham City school board is August 24. Ten candidates responded to WBHM's survey to see where they stand on COVID, academic, funding, and parent engagement.

Candidates For Birmingham Board Of Education

There are 22 people running for the Birmingham Board of Education. Elections are Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Alabama Bans Critical Race Theory In Schools

The state board of education has now officially banned critical race theory in Alabama schools. It was never taught in the classroom, but it could impact teachers and students.

Parents Urge Vestavia Hills School District To Require Masks

The Vestavia Hills school board's decision to not require masks goes against guidance from public health agencies, including state health officials.

Echoes Of The Past As Overwhelmingly-White Mountain Brook Debates Diversity

This summer, passionate voices clashed over a teacher anti-bias training program in Mountain Brook City Schools. But the debate rests on uncomfortable history in this white pocket of racially diverse Jefferson County.

Schools Opening Short On Teachers Because Of An Increase In Retirements

Last school year, more than 3,500 school employees retired in Alabama. That's the highest number since 2010. Some credit the pandemic for the rise in retirement, while others say a growing unappreciation for school employees had caused these workers to leave the industry.

5 Things To Know About Alabama’s Back-To-School COVID Toolkit

The state's updated guidance for back-to-school has several school districts in the region changing their COVID-19 protocols.

Birmingham Teachers Welcome Students Back To School Amid COVID Surge

School starts Monday in the Birmingham City Schools. Classes are in person but with COVID protocols in place.

Gulf State Schools Had Mask Mandates Last Fall. That Isn’t The Case This Year.

The coronavirus pandemic’s fourth wave has not changed state-wide back-to-school plans in the Gulf South, where cases are rising and mask use is voluntary.

At Summer Reading Camps, Birmingham Students And Teachers Prepare For Alabama’s New Literacy Law

Alabama joins 16 other states and Washington D.C. where third graders must pass a reading test -- or risk being held back. That’s why this summer, teachers at Birmingham City Schools began coaching their students on their reading skills to get a head start on the new retention policy.

No Place Like Home As Woodlawn High Breaks Ground For New, On-Campus Football Stadium

The new stadium is expected to be ready for the 2022 football season. It'll accommodate 2,800 spectators, and it will include an artificial turf athletic field, renovated field house and a stadium lighting and sound system.

Debate Over Diversity Training Consumes Mountain Brook School Community

The controversy over diversity training is complicated by the city's demographics. The suburb is overwhelmingly white and one of the richest in Jefferson County

School Is Still In Session In This Louisiana Parish. How Is The ‘Balance Of Instruction’ Going?

Red River Parish Public Schools is the first district in Louisiana to throw out the traditional school calendar. The goal for school leaders is to provide more instruction and support throughout the year, but some parents say students are burnt out.

Children’s Well-Being In Alabama Improves, But Still Lags Behind The Country

Alabama's children are graduating on time and more children have health insurance. But the state still falls behind the rest of the country in overall well-being for children.

Birmingham Schools Will Vaccinate Students And Their Families

Birmingham City Schools and Alabama Regional Medical Services will be giving COVID-19 vaccinations to city school students and their parents over the summer in an effort to make schools and their communities safer when they reopen in the fall.

Birmingham Promise Gets $8 Million Boost From Private Companies

The Birmingham Promise Initiative has raked in $8 million in additional donations. The education scholarship offers graduates of Birmingham City Schools free college tuition, apprenticeships and paid internships.

Storms Prompt Schools To Delay Opening Thursday

More than a dozen suspected tornados raked over Alabama on Wednesday.

A Year Like No Other: COVID-19 In The Gulf States

In a special broadcast one year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, reporters from public radio stations in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana reflect on the toll it’s taken on the region.

Samford Names New President To Replace Retiring Westmoreland

Beck A. Taylor, now president of Whitworth University, will succeed Andrew Westmoreland effective July 1.