Notes from Principal Paul
We had one of the
best years ever here at the Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD). Despite
limited funds and a slow (but improving) economy, the students and staff
at ASD had some great experiences as you will read about in the stories
in our Silent Warrior Newsletter.
From pre-school to
our recent graduates—from our dormitories to athletics—from August 2009
to May 2010, ASD continues to be the Home of Champions in every aspect
related to enriching the lives of our students. I would like to mention
just a few of the things we are most proud of this year.
had more graduates earning Alabama Diplomas than at any time in the
history of ASD since the Alabama High School Graduation Exam began.
· Every dormitory at ASD now has Video Phones so your children can call and talk with you.
· Our Athletic and Academic Competition Teams performed well with many championships and individual honors.
· Dorm Wars was once again a GREAT SUCCESS with honors going to the following:
o Thornton Hall—2nd place for older girls’ dorms
o McDonald Hall—2nd place for older boys’ dorms
o Jemison House—Champions for the older girls’ dorms
o Grace Hall—Champions for older boys’ dorms
o Mary Leonard Hall—Champions for the younger children’s dorms
o Weaver Cottage Boys—Winners of the “Spirit Stick”
Reader rewards for students included a trip to Auburn University to
spend the day with the football team and coaches. We encourage all
University of Alabama Fans to encourage Coach Saban to host our ASD
“Accelerated Readers” in the 2010 – 2011 school year.
number of Summer Work Experience Placements is higher than in past
years despite the slow economy. Employers are appreciating the quality
and work ethic of our ASD students—your children—and giving them jobs
before giving them to other applicants.
Elementary Department has had one of the best school years in a long
time. Our emphasis has been on the Bilingual Educational method. This
been scientifically proven to provide the best opportunity for language
and literacy development for deaf and hard of hearing children
(including those with Cochlear Implants). Emerging research indicates
that Bilingual Methodology also facilitates speech development better
than Auditory Verbal Therapy.
continues to be a part of the ASL/English Bilingual Professional
Development (AEBPD) and Research. In coordination with Gallaudet
University, ASD is working to provide all deaf and hard of hearing
children—your children—with the best chances for language development
and literacy anywhere. (References for the statements related to
Bilingual Education include: Cummins, 2006; Goldin-Meadow &
Mayberry, 2001; Grosjean, N.D., Malloy, 2003; Snoddon, 2008,
Yoshinaga-Itano, 2005 and Yoshinaga-Itano, 2006, Petitto et al. and
of my favorite things to do is EAT. Our cafeteria continues make meals
that are as much like “homemade” as possible. We strive to teach a
Healthy Lifestyle at ASD which includes a well balanced, yet delicious
meal plan. This is just part of the overall emphasis on healthy living
has started an ASD Silent Warrior Culinary Team. This team of young
chefs is planning to compete in their first state culinary competition
this coming school year. The team was established in cooperation with
Chef Chris Dupont, owner of Café Dupont in Springville, and Chef Anthony
Osborne, Dean of “The Culinard”, the Culinary Institute of Virginia
College in Birmingham.
I could go on and on
but we don’t have enough paper to print all the great things happening
with the students and staff here at ASD. While we are proud of the
great accomplishments of our students, we will continue our mission to
provide the best educational and life enriching programs by going
through an Accreditation Process. Accreditation will evaluate and make
suggestions for improvement while recognizing accomplishments and
achievements of ASD. This process will take place in February of 2011.
We will be working through the year to prepare for Accreditation. We
welcome this review of our school and look forward to suggestions that
will help us improve and better meet the needs of your children.
I’ll close by saying,
have a great summer! We anxiously anticipate the fun, achievement,
accomplishments, improvement, challenges and opportunities we will
experience in the 2010 – 2011 school year. August 8th
is registration day for almost all of the students. However, some
students will be receiving letters soon about football camp which will
begin August 1st. Only students receiving letters from Coach Paul Kulick for football camp will come to register on August 1st.
Finally, for those of you near the Gulf of Mexico, we continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
2010 Lady Warriors Track & Field
By: Coach Mrs. Marvice P. Robinson
The ASD Lady Warriors track team had a successful year. I had 29 young girls participate in track and field. The team’s accomplishments this year were: 1st place in Wildcats Invitation at Jacksonville State University, 2nd place in Talladega County Meet & Sectional Meet, 5th place in State Meet. We also had four young ladies win the State Championship 4x400m relay with a time of 4:33. Those young ladies are LaQuita Carroll (Jr.), Paige Adams (Jr.), Khiya Fields (8th), and Ashley Laster (8th). I am extremely proud of all of my girls for such an outstanding season.
ASD Silent Warriors Boys Track Team
2010 Track season was a very successful one for the Silent Warriors.
The team won the Wildcats Introduction Meet and were Talladega County
champions. The team came in second in the sectional meet, losing first
place to Cedar Bluff. ASD won second place in the state 1A meet, again
losing first place to Cedar Bluff, who have won the state championship
four years running. There were several standout players on the track
team that garnered attention at the state meet. Anthony Jones-Robinson
of Birmingham broke two school records for track and field. He medaled
in the 200m dash with a time of 22.44, beating the 1992 record of Craig
Lawson (22.56). He also medaled in the 400m dash with a time of 50.96,
beating the 1992 record of Charles Blackmon (51.06). Trey Gordon of
Talladega also broke two school records at the state meet. In the 1600m
run, he had a time of 4:47.23, beating the 1992 record of 5:01 by
Charles Blackmon. He also medaled in the 3200m run with a time of
10:29.64, breaking the 1987 record of Daryl James (10:59). Both Anthony
and Trey were state champions for 1A in those respective races.
Congratulations are also due to Joshua Snow for winning the state 1A
championship in long jump with a score of 20 feet, 6 inches. Anthony
Jones-Robinson, Joshua Eatmon, Shawn German, and Tyler Perry won the
state championship in the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:34. Last but not
least, Demetric Snider placed second in the state in high jump with a
height of 5’10”. All of these outstanding athletes, as well as the
entire track team, worked very hard the entire season. We are very
proud of these fine young men!
Coach Chris Moon, ASD Track & Field Head Coach
On May 7th, we got a sneak preview of ASD’s future Athletes, and believe me, our future is very bright!
Field Day at ASD is always an exciting day. Grades Kindergarten thru 4th
grade compete in different events, such as long jump, broad jump,
basketball throw, softball throw, relays, and dashes. Students have a
great time competing against each other to see who will be 1st
in each event. But it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, our motto at
ASD is “A good Sport is always a Winner”!!! The most popular event is
the “water” relay. The Teacher places a bucket on top of her head and
her students must fill the bucket with water by using a sponge.
Needless to say, more water goes on the Teacher than in the bucket. The
Children love it.
lunch, everyone gets to enjoy the pool!! At the end of the day, we
announce the winners of the banner competition, and then we get our fill
of popsicles and Gatorade. Fun is had by all, teachers, students and
especially the Physical Education Staff.
The ASD Agriscience class is
in the middle of a new renovation project this spring. The room
formerly considered the “old barber shop” has been completely gutted and
ready for renovation. The room will be divided to make a new conference
room for any meetings or evaluations needing privacy in the future.
Students will be involved with laying tile, installing a drop ceiling,
framing walls, hanging sheetrock, installing cabinets, painting and an
assortment of other hand-on experiences.
recently completed another spring plant sale larger than any sales in
the past. The plant sale gives students experience with dealing with
people in a way that hopefully gives encouragement in their ability to
work in sales. Students help with money, making change, paying invoices
and making sure customers are pleased with their purchase. This plant
sale not only requires Ag students, but teachers and students from other
classes as well.
has been an exciting year in the Career Tech Art department. The
students at ASD have really worked hard. Back in the fall we were very
busy spraying the field for homecoming, making signs and decorating
floats. We took a field trip to Pell City to sign a song for their
Veterans Day program.
ASD pageant was a huge success thanks to all the help and hard work of
our students. The contestants worked on painting props for their talent
portion of the pageant. Our students worked with the Elementary
department on painting backdrops for their Christmas production.
students have been working with our University of Montevallo intern and
have begun some “public art” which consist of murals in the hall, a
digitally enlarged mural in the computer lab, a mural in the art room,
and much, much more. We have also painted backdrops for several play
productions this year as well work we did setting up and decorating for
Career day. Our Art Show for the 2009-2010 school year was a complete
success. All the students and visitors really enjoyed seeing all the art
that the students have completed this year.
different classes were part of the 2009-2010 Drivers Education
curriculums. The first class was a class specifically for students that
had not yet earned their driving permit. The second class was for
driving experience, in order to help students practice skills behind the
wheel. Two classes were offered during remediation period and 7th
period. Emphasis was placed on driving safely, with special focus on
driver distractions such as texting while driving, DUI, and other
hazardous behaviors. This semester, a good percentage of students are
very close to taking their road tests through the third-party road test,
which is given by me. You will see these students with drivers
licenses, on a road near you soon!!
In Family and Consumer Science
students have learned about basic kitchen care as well as basic cooking
skills that will help them in the dorm and at home. Students assisted
with preparing food and snacks for our annual Career Day and helped
serve the snacks to our guests. In the next few weeks we will discuss
child and infant care and the importance of making responsible
Culinary class---We have had
the privilege of having Chef Dupont from Birmingham come to ASD to work
with a small group of high school students once per week since February.
The students in the group have worked on knife skills when cutting
vegetables and meats as well as working on simple recipes from scratch.
So far the students have learned to prepare and cook apple pie,
buttermilk corn bread and pork tenderloin. The students were given
professional grade knife sets and chef’s uniforms to start the program
as well as other donations from one of the parents. The goal for this
pilot program is for the students to participate in a high school level
culinary competition in the spring of next year.
FOCUS Group is a new after
school group that started at ASD this year. The students in this group
have worked really hard this year to get the program started and help
the other ASD students learn more about specific topics and current
events. We recently went to a conference here in Talladega with 40
other schools across the state of Alabama. The students participated in
workshops on drug and alcohol prevention and other topics that are
currently impacting students across America.
Work Experience News:
work program is the busiest time of the year at the Career Tech
Department. We have total of 20 job placements at this time of the year.
We are hoping to have 40 summer jobs before the summer is over. Our
office is busy running all over the state of Alabama searching for
employment as well as contacting with the student’s parents. It is time
for student to go back to their home community because this will provide
students with real job experience and help them to be prepare for
employment after graduation. With all the changes in the job market like
unemployment rate, slow economic growth, financial indecision and
layoffs with national and local businesses, summer youth programs around
state have been cut. We are blessed to be provided with employment
grant fund support from Alabama Department of Rehabilitation as well as
other fund from Alabama School for the Deaf.
Technology Education Class – Year End Report
year our classes had a goal to improve ASD’s technology access. We
placed two videophones in each dorm on campus. We also repaired or
replaced computers that had stopped working. Students learned how each
part inside a computer functioned. Students learned how to install
software and update Windows as needed. We also fixed internet wiring or
added wiring as needed. All of the hands-on experience has truly
benefited our students. Students are more confident and one student has
told me how he has applied this experience at home in adding a line in
his home and setting up his computer.
We had a great ASD News class in the 1st
semester that was dedicated to learning all about what was going on
here at ASD and in the world. A particular favorite site that our
students enjoyed looking at was CNN.com. In the second semester, some
students learned the basics of video editing. We had a FOCUS group
project that created a video to submit in a competition on Obesity
Awareness. My class participated in editing that video and submitting
This year’s yearbook class made a difficult transition to a full online
yearbook program. We have increased our pages from 96 to 120 for a
cheaper price! Next year we will change the way we do sales. We will
be doing pre-sales which will help us determine how many books we need
and ensure that we won’t have too big of a surplus in yearbooks.
Students love using the Photoshop software to create their layout and
design of the yearbook. We hope to upgrade our software to the most
current version of Photoshop this summer.
Other odd projects that my class participated in included art work on
the walls of our classroom. We also assisted with requests to set up
technology for meetings or events such as ASD’s Career Day and the SEAAD
Basketball Tournament in March. We also assisted with non-technology
requests. My classes have been exposed to different scenarios of
hands-on work through this experience.
in all, this has been a successful year where my students have gleaned
experience in all areas of Technology class as well as various
odd-jobs. I hope that through this class, the students have developed a
little bit more responsibility and a positive, serving attitude toward
Suggested Summer Reading
During your summer vacation, we hope
you’ll take a trip to the library and check out some of these great
books. They’re suggested reading for the High School Students that will
not only help you fight off boredom but will also help you be better
prepared for the 2010-2011 school year! All these books are 2.0 -3.5
reading level and their points vary from 1-2pts. Each student should
try to read at least six of these books.
- Sarah, Plain and Tall – Patricia McLachan
- Caleb’s Story
- The Courage of Sarah Noble- Alice Dalgliesh
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing- Judy Blume
- Superfudge- ( any of the Superfudge books) – Judy Blume
- Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl – Kate Waters
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark- Schwartz
Rising Incoming Freshman
Number the Stars – Lois Lowry BL 4.5, 4 points
The Secret Garden – Burnett BL 6.3, 13 points
The Whipping Boy- Fleishman BL 3.9, 2 points
The Courage of Sarah Noble- Dalgleih BL 3.9, 1 point
Wanted Dead or Alive:The True Story of Harriet Tubman- McGovern no AR quiz available, a book report can substitute
Hatchet- Gary Paulsen BL 5.7, 7 points
The Lion , The Witch and The Wardrobe – CSLewis BL 5.7, 6 points
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry- Mildred Taylor BL 5.7, 10 points
The Witch of Blackbird Pond- Speare BL 5.7, 9 points
Across Five Aprils- Irene Hunt BL 6.6, 10 points
The Red Badge of Courage- Crane BL 8.0, 8 points or Illustrated Classics for BL 4.9, 4 points
Whit Fang – Jack London BL8.4, 19 points
Death Be Not Proud BL 8.0, 8 points
Wuthering Heights – Bronte Unabridged- BL 11.3, 23 points or Illustrated Classics for BL 5.6, 3 points
Robin Hood- Howard Pyle BL 8.6, 21 points
A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court- Mark Twain BL 9.2, 21 points
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee no AR quiz available, a book report can substitute
Christy – Marshall BL 6.2, 29 points
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou BL 6.7, 13 points
Oliver Twist – Dickens Illustrated Classics BL 4.6, 2 points
Sense and Sensibility – Austen no AR quiz available, a book report can substitute
The Red-Headed League- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle no AR quiz available, a book report can substitute
The International Institute of Deaf Services
(IIDS), based in Birmingham, AL and led by Mr. Paul William Ellis, made
two $1,000.00 donations to ASD this year. The donations were for the
purpose of purchasing materials to promote literacy in our youngest
students in Woods Center. Many “big books” and story sets were able to
be purchased through this wonderful donation. We are very appreciative
to Mr. Ellis and his organization for thinking of ASD during these tough
Thank you to the MetroSertoma club for their
generous contributions which have allowed us to purchase the SmartBoards
used in our classrooms as well as replacement parts when needed.
Because of their support, we have been able to provide this wonderful
technology to our students...something we couldn’t have done without
them! Additionally, the club supports our annual Summer Camp by
arranging a trip to watch the Birmingham Barons Baseball Team! This
annual event is something our campers look forward to and is the perfect
conclusion to a wonderful week! Thank you so much for everything!
ASL-English Bilingual Professional Development (AEBPD) has completed
Levels 1 and 2 for the 2009-2010 academic year. Kudos to Mrs. Carrie
Ollard, 1st grade teacher, and Miss Suzanne Mattox, 2nd grade teacher,
for their 2-year commitment to this program. Levels 3 and 4 will start
in August 2010. These teachers are learning about the bilingual
education approach and how to utilize this teaching method in increasing
their student’s understanding of both American Sign Language and
English. Seminars are led by Mentors Myriah Dixon and Kimberly Moon.
The ASD Accelerated Reader program had several setbacks this year due to
technology issues, but that did not stop students! 28 students in
grades 3-10 earned a spot on the Auburn University Reward Trip which
took place on April 28, 2010. The Alabama School for the Blind brought
21 students on the trip as well. Upon arrival at Auburn University,
students were whisked to the team meeting room where they watched two
video clips dealing with Auburn University athletic traditions, as well
as an highlight reel of outstanding football plays. Students were
treated to a tour of the football team locker room, the stadium, the
indoor practice facility, the practice fields, and the football weight
room. The visit was topped off by a meet-and-greet with several Auburn
football players. All students got posters, Auburn pom-poms, Auburn
bandannas, and other trinkets. Special thanks go to Teresa Caudle,
AIDB’s audiologist, for her assistance in organizing this trip, and Mr.
Wayne Bolt, Director of Football Operations for Auburn University.
Students had a wonderful time (and so did the staff!!)
Busy Hands at the Woods Language Arts Center
preschool and kindergarten classes of the Woods Building have had quite
a busy year filled with activities, trips, and lots of fun learning.
This month, we’ve been working on our end-of-the-school-year program
“Waving Hands: A Celebration of ASL”. Each student will present a short
ASL poem or handshape story. Donned with costumes and props, each
student will represent a month of the year, showing what we learned
about that month.
We look forward to summer vacation and wish you all a safe and fun-filled summer! J
Preschool & Kindergarten
AIDB Chapel Program
from ASD who have chosen to be a part of the AIDB Chapel program have
had some great fellowship activities as provided by Liz Steele and Stacy
Wildes. One great example was their Christmas Party where they
participated in several games and activities.
We had a present unwrapping game where students had to wear gloves and try to unwrap their group's gifts.
The second game we played was where students had to try to get Pringles
and Oreos off their foreheads into their mouths without using their
hands. We also had a game where students had to pick red jelly beans out
of green ones using only their teeth - a twist was adding whipped cream
All students who came to the chapel that evening were involved in acting out part of the Christmas story.
Students seemed to really enjoy the evening!
Thursdays are the best days. Wednesdays are
terrible. Wednesday means I have to take a bath, get my nails trimmed
and have my ears cleaned. But then Thursday makes it all worthwhile.
Thursdays are my favorite days because they are the days I go to AIDB.
For the past few years I have been part of the pet therapy program at
ASD where Pet Partners (dogs and their humans) work with Melissa and the
students. Four o’clock on Thursdays is when the fun begins. I prance
through the campus, stopping to greet anyone that looks interested in
petting me. I love crowds of little kids, especially the pre-school.
They surround me and all try to hug me at once. Sometimes I feel like
they are just going to sweep me away with them as they move down the
sidewalk. I find the little kids most interesting because they are at
eye level with me and they laugh if I lick them on the head. I remember
one day seeing a little kid who was really scared because I am a tall
dog. I laid down and rolled onto my back so I would be less
intimidating. The little boy summoned up his courage to tickle my
stomach which made me grin. He laughed so hard at the idea of a dog
grinning! It still makes me grin when I remember him! People ask me
what my favorite memory is of ASD. That is a hard question to answer
because I have so many great memories.
I remember going to
Melissa’s office to meet with kids and talk about different subjects.
One subject that came up a lot (especially with pre-teens) was the
importance of hygiene. The kids loved to sniff my clean fur and to
brush my teeth. I was a good example of how people are more
comfortable around those that use good hygiene. And besides, who
doesn’t love a dog with minty fresh breath?
Over the years I also
helped teach social skills. My human told the kids about all the tests I
had to take to show that I am friendly before I could come to the
school. Melissa talked with them about whether or not they could pass a
‘friendship’ test. Then the kids practiced social skills and problem
solving skills by working as a group to get me to do things. They had
me jumping over obstacles, crawling through tunnels, weaving through
cones, and performing tricks while they learned to communicate and work
as a team. But I always put my paw down at playing fetch. The way I
saw it…if they really wanted the silly ball they should not have thrown
it across the field! I just sat there until they went to get it
themselves. Psst…this is when they got a chance to practice dealing
Some days my job was
completely different. On those days I just sat and let a homesick
student stroke my head while they talked about their home and the pets
they miss. One girl brought pictures of her pets to show me. Another
little girl even wrote letters to me each week. I got my human to help
me write her back so she would not be lonely at school.
But one of my most
favorite memories (and also my human’s favorite) was when I simply got
to be a dog playing with a kid…racing each other across a field of
grass, climbing to the top of the play ground equipment and going down
the slide side by side, and hunting squirrels in front of Manning Hall
(they pointed them out and I chased them up a tree). Then when we were
tired we laid in the grass together. I saw a huge smile on my little
kid’s face and I knew I had the greatest job in the world!!
Recently things have changed. In December my human took me to the
doctor because I had a knot on my
leg. The doctor said it was cancer and I had to have my left front leg
amputated. I did not get to come to ASD for several weeks while I
healed and got used to walking on three legs. I wondered how I would do
my job when I got back. I could still run after squirrels but I knew I
couldn’t climb the playground equipment or jump through hoops. How
would I be able to help all the kids? My human told me that I did not
have to go if I didn’t feel like it. But I missed my kids. Besides,
who would teach them the things only a dog can teach? I decided I
needed to go back to AIDB.
But things are not the
same since I have been back. The kids are not the same. They are
better! I see a whole different side of them now. Before the surgery I
was the one who took care of them…now they take care of me! They watch
me closely to make sure I am not too tired. They check to make sure my
other legs are OK. They make sure I have plenty of water and food.
The kids used to make me do tricks to get a treat, but now they just
give me the treats!! My human tells them that I still need to earn the
treats but I am glad they do not listen! The kids have helped me figure
out new ways of doing my old tricks like “shake” and “high five”.
Some things are still the
same. The kids still tell me about their pets and people they love.
They still think I am the smartest dog ever when I guess which of their
hands has a treat in it. They still sniff my clean fur and talk about
how good I smell. They still brush my teeth after I eat so I still have
minty fresh breath. And when I am tired, we still lay in the grass
together. I see a huge smile on their face and I know I still have the
greatest job in the world!! That’s why Thursdays are the very best