• 84°

Students, parents decide on class schedules for 2023-2024

MADISON – In Madison City Schools, students are experiencing an exciting time as they define their schedules for the upcoming school year.

Students benefit from a good balance between required courses and electives. MCS Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said in his “Sittin’ With the Supe” podcast that the district has “a vast number of opportunities for students . . . as they move through their academic journey.”

From numerous elective courses to career tech studies and educational pathways, each student can rely on support from school staff for a perfect fit. Students moving to a different school can meet teachers on that campus.

“While choice is a fantastic thing, the plethora of options our school district provides can sometimes feel overwhelming to students and parents,” Nichols said. “We want to help!”

In this podcast, Dr. Heather Donaldson, MCS Chief Academic Officer, and Sharon Powell, MCS Secondary Instruction Coordinator, advised Nelson on curriculum updates.

“Every year, we seek input from teachers, students and administrators to know what classes they what. And if any courses should be removed,” Donaldson said.

In fall, Powell gathers this input for a viable curriculum with innovative programs. They present their findings to Madison Board of Education around February for approval. Schools then distribute packets with registration forms and courses. Curriculum fairs inform student families.

The State of Alabama has added a requirement for College and Career Readiness for graduation. The change affects rising eighth-graders this year. To earn this credit, nine options are available, Powell said.

Among the options is benchmarking of ACT (in one area – English – 18, reading – 22, math – 22 or science – 23). Another way is dual enrollment credit by passing a college course with Calhoun Community College, J. F. Drake State Community and Technical College, University of Alabama in Huntsville, along with UA and Auburn University.

Students can earn a silver certificate, a work-based test used by industries for entrance credentials to work. Students must earn ‘4’ on applied math, graphic literacy and workplace documents. Another choice is to complete three classes in a career academy and earn ‘C’ or higher. Enlisting in the military is another option.

In high school, courses are classified as Advanced Placement, honor and grade level. “If you’re thinking about going to a four-year university, at minimum take an honors course but an AP course is preferable for the rigor for facing a college class,” Powell said.

Grades 6-8 have accelerated math and honors English, along with advanced history in eighth grade.

“It’s important to learn early what you don’t like . . . as it is for what you do like,” Powell said.

Next year, MCS will offer 34 AP courses. New courses are personal finance; counseling and mental health (as a career); and AP pre-calculus, Donaldson said.

In addition, students can earn a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License partnership at Calhoun. Completing the ‘heavy equipment’ class also will earn the work-based credential. “It’s an exciting way for a student . . . to be ready to go into the work force,” Donaldson said.

In middle school, 54 elective courses are available, such as fine arts including band, chorus, art, drama and technical theatre; Greenpower; Project Lead the Way; foreign languages; and 17 career tech courses.

If parents are overwhelmed with the procedures, Powell said “slow down and breathe. Counselors are always available and can guide you in the right direction.”

“Ask questions,” Donaldson said. “Don’t hesitate to ask counselors, administrators or teachers. Mrs. Powell and I can help.”

For questions, email Spowell@madisoncity.k12.al.us, hdonaldson@madisoncity.k12.al.us or ed.nichols@madisoncity.k12.al.us.


“I’m Meant To Be Here”- Dell Pettus Signs With New England Patriots- Former Sparkman Player Goes Pro


Get those pumpkins planted: Halloween starts in July


CAFY Back to School event to be held Saturday at Calhoun’s Huntsville campus

Bob Jones High School

Teachers support DIAL Scholarship program at UAH


oe Davis Stadium to host UNA vs. Jax State collegiate soccer match Aug. 18


UAH announces search for a master developer to enhance college-town experience


Huntsville Parks & Recreation to host inaugural Color Jam Family Fun Run & Walk


Fernandez named Assistant Coordinator of Accountability and Innovative Programs


ALEA reports 9 traffic deaths, 3 drownings over July Fourth travel period


Management institute awards scholarship to Michelle Epling


Sarah Crouch’s debut novel, ‘Middletide,’ sets whodunnit in Puget Sound

Liberty Middle School

White named Secondary Instructional Technology Specialist


Nominations open for chamber’s Annual Gala Awards

Bob Jones High School

MCCL wishes good luck to 4 graduating seniors


DIGITAL WELLNESS: UAH researcher studying ways people are detoxing from addictive technology

DIGITAL WELLNESS: UAH researcher studying ways people are detoxing from addictive technology


Workers and high school students learning new skills at Calhoun Construction Academy

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – July 10, 2024


Bodybuilding Championships To Showcase Body Perfections


Arrest made in shooting death of teen in Madison shooting


Garbage truck slams into Madison house injuring one




Historical society accepts Alabama House resolution at picnic


Madison Station Historical Preservation Society reaches 40th anniversary


Audience can chill to Calypso Vision on July 11