Adamsville Elementary needs space for new school year
By Andrew Alexander
Adamsville Elementary School’s Principal Danny Combs has been an educator here since 1989.
After 13 years of teaching and coaching at the high school level Combs applied for assistant principal position at AES and was awarded the position.
“When I was teaching and coaching at the same time, I realized that winning in the classroom is just as important as winning on the field.”
Combs recognizes the most difficult part of educating students today.
“It’s important that you meet all the physical needs of a child before you can even begin to make progress with their academic needs.”
AES plans to educate an estimated 675 students in the 2011-2012 school year and has made several changes in approach while hiring three new faculty members.
Amber Enzor will be teaching the fifth grade, Hannah Simms will be teaching the first grade, and the new music instructor is Rebeka Rice.
AES is taking a new approach at scheduling classes for their older students. Third through sixth grade students will rotate to five different classrooms per day.
“We’re trying to let our teachers specialize in an area of study so they can fine-tune their skills,” said Combs. “We’re hoping we can give a better quality of instruction by allowing our teachers to become specialists in one academic area instead of trying to teach five different areas.”
AES will also take advantage of the One to One funding by providing all fifth and sixth graders with access to technology in their classrooms, according to Combs.
The after-school program will be overseen by Tina Mullis and Combs and will continue this year beginning the first day of school. It will run from 3-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, but due to cuts in state funding, Friday after-school activities will cost $5 and will not be as academically based like the other days.
“We’re trying to provide enrichment opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have,” said Combs, “and also to offer tutoring for students that need help in certain academic areas.”
The goals Combs has for the upcoming school year are to improve math and reading scores throughout the school.
According to Combs, there are a lot of state level changes of the Adequate Yearly Progress requirements.
“We met the AYP goals for this year, but every year those step up about 20 percentage points,” said Combs. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Another goal for AES this year is to keep the students fed with healthy meals. The school will no longer serve any fried foods to students.
“We offer a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack for children that stay after school,” said Combs.
AES also wants to see their students arrive and disembark from school in a safe manner.
According to Combs, AES has qualified for the Safe Routes to School Grant funded by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“It will provide sidewalks around the school and some of the adjacent streets for students to safely walk to and from school, whereas now, they have to walk in the street,” said Combs.
Combs, like a lot of others in McNairy County, sees the need for new schools to be built to educate children.
“I think Adamsville has grown to the point where that needs to be seriously looked at,” said Combs. “If you did the renovations necessary to give us some room for growth, and you did the renovations necessary to solve the high school’s issues, you really spend two thirds of what it would cost to build a new school to start with.”
Combs likened the scenario to trying to keep an old car running, “You can keep spending money on this car, but at some point in time you’re financially better of to invest in a new one.”
For more on Adamsville Elementary, visit www.mcnairy.org, then click on Adamsville Elementary, or call (731) 632-0934.