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TIS designated an Imagine Nation Beacon School

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Thompson Intermediate School was recently named a recipient of the Imagine Nation Beacon School Award from Imagine Learning, a developer of supplemental adaptive curriculum for students in PreK through eighth grade.

TIS was one of only 5 schools in Alabama to receive this honor, which awards the schools that implement the Imagine Learning motivational programs to inspire engagement and confidence in young students.

According to TIS Principal Brent Byars, the school focused on implementing the programs to boost math and literacy through an involved and feedback-driven process.

“We use Imagine’s products as an initiative with the state and we have tried to use it to fidelity,” Byars said. “We have students take an initial assessment which puts them on a learning path. They are using the ‘Math’ and ‘Math Facts’ products. These are things that the students can really enjoy, while also learning and developing important skills.”

This award designates TIS as a “Beacon School,” meaning the school has successfully implemented the program through their educational curriculum.

“We did some things where we would have the kids come in and do this in the mornings before schools, and we were also requiring the teachers to have so much time each week with the program,” Byars said. “This helped to make sure kids were engaged and the teachers understood the time kids needed to spend on these skills.”

The program is designed to measure the skills of students and provide feedback to teachers, which helps develop individualized plans to help bolster the progress of each student.

“This whole process has been a testament to our teachers. We set the expectations but they really understood the importance of making sure they were utilizing the programs,” Byars said. “They can pull data to see if students are struggling and they can print off reports that help them do small group instructions. Their understanding of what we are trying to do at Alabaster City Schools is helping to shape our kids, who we call the champions of our future.”

Byars said that implementing these programs has helped improve the educational experience of students at the school, and he was grateful that the school could be recognized for their dedication.

“We were one of the only schools in the state to receive this award that says we went above and beyond for our innovative use of this program,” Byars said. “People start out programs like this, but then they fade as the school year goes on. This is a testament to our daily commitment to our students. It motivates our kids and they receive rewards and other things. It is about commitment and enthusiasm.”

Imagine Learning recognized only 237 schools throughout the nation with this award, with five of those being located in Alabama.

“We are proud to present these achievements to schools across the nation,” Imagine Learning CEO Jeremy Cowdrey said. “These awards recognize the schools and students that have demonstrated exemplary usage of Imagine Learning programs and they are a true testament to the hard work and dedication of students and educators around the country.”

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