Schools team up for professional development

Thorsby and Jemison schools have been using their close proximity of late and sharing ideas of how to better their educational methods.

Faculty from Thorsby High School and representatives from Chilton County Schools were one hand as guests during a personal development seminar at Jemison Intermediate School on Sept. 1.

“It’s all about collaboration and working together, and how we’re doing things at Thorsby and how they (JIS) are doing some things,” Thorsby Principal Corey Clements said. “We’ve merged a lot of what we’re doing just to help kids.”

This was not the first time JIS and Thorsby worked together for a common goal.

According to Clements, the tight relationship between the two schools developed after JIS used Thorsby’s FFA program and pavilion as a model for their outdoor classroom project.

“Five years ago, we went out across the state trying to find a program (as a model) and a light bulb hit that it was right down the road at Thorsby,” JIS Principal D.J. Nix said. “There was one in our own backyard with Thorsby FFA.”

Nix thanked Clements for inspiration behind the recently built pavilion and JIS’s outdoor classroom, which will be implemented even further this year.

In return, JIS is offering Thorsby insights into its school-wide STEM program.

“I’ve always wanted to have a STEM program at our elementary at Thorsby, and they had that,” Clements said.

JIS allowed one of Thorsby’s teachers to attend one of the school’s professional development days, so that Thorsby can have some ideas moving forward.

The professional development session on Sept. 1 was a way for THS to help say thanks and give back to the staff JIS for its previous idea sharing.

School is set to officially begin Sept. 8.

“We just want to do something positive for this school year, because there’s so much negative,” Clements said.

According to Nix, JIS has a great platform to lend a helping hand to other schools interested in what it has done with its STEM initiatives.

“We have two teachers here that can train in Project Lead the Way and STEM,” Nix said. “Mr. (Jay) LeCroy wants to set this up as a hub training center for the state of Alabama.”

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