P.O. Box 1476, Birmingham, AL 35201
The mission of the Birmingham Education Foundation (BEF) is to bring the voice of the community to Birmingham City Schools’ leadership and to work with that leadership to provide a range of support to allow the system to fulfill its mission and vision. We do this with a vision that the children of Birmingham will be fully prepared for success in the work and life. We believe unequivocally that current circumstances should not be a barrier to future success.
As a result of 2007′s community visioning project Yes We Can! Birmingham, led by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, and our ongoing communication with members of the community, Ed has developed four strands, or focus areas, to accomplish the goals of helping to improve the Birmingham City School experience for students and parents. Specifically, we expect these programs to aid in increasing the cohort graduation rate from 55 to 70% by 2013, and then to 80% by 2016. This is how we are translating the community’s words into action.
Ed in partnership with BCS Family Involvement Department and Birmingham Council of PTAs is creating a network of classes called Birmingham Parent University, a parent engagement initiative that creates empowering experiences in a variety of settings to address student needs. Course offerings will fall under the following focus areas:
+ Parental Growth and Awareness
+ Learning at Home
+ Health and Wellness
+ Volunteer Training
+ Community Collaboration
Following the model advocated and supported by the National Academy Foundation, Ed and BCS are implementing a series of Career Academies in each of the BCS high schools. These Academies will combine academic and career-technical education to prepare high school students to be career and college ready, by creating a cross-curriculum program of instruction that focuses on one of 6 themes:
+ Academy of Business and Finance at Woodlawn High School
+ Academy of Engineering at GW Carver High School
+ Academy of Architecture and Construction at Huffman High School
+ Academy of Health Sciences at GW Carver and Jackson-Olin High Schools
+ Academy of Hospitality and Tourism at Wenonah High School
+ Academy of Urban Educators at AH Parker High School
Ed is supporting BCS administrators as they design and implement Professional Learning Communities in each of the BCS schools and in various other professional areas. PLCs are a model of management that allows for regular, timely and focused response to data on teaching and learning issues. These responses help teachers and school personnel improve educational outcomes in more immediate ways than relying on annual Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) data and state testing reports.
Ed and BCS, in partnership with A+ College Ready and Laying the Foundation, are equipping teachers with the resources and skills necessary to instill a more rigorous curriculum in BCS middle schools. As a result, our students will have the benefit of being better prepared to perform well in advanced courses and on the AP and ACT exams in high school.