About Birmingham City Schools
The Birmingham City School System is an urban district located in Birmingham, Alabama, the largest city in the state. The city has a population of 212,237 according to the 2010 U.S. Census. It is the core of metro area of 1.1 million people.
The district has 43 schools -- eighteen elementary schools, eight middle schools, eight K-8 schools, seven high schools and one alternative school.
The $405 million dollar capital improvement program is near completion, with the renovation of Bush K-8 and Norwood Elementary School currently underway. Since 2011, the system has opened a number of new schools including Oxmoor Valley Elementary, Huffman High School, Hayes K-8 School, Charles A. Brown Elementary School, Parker High School, Jones Valley K-8 School, West End Academy, Bush Hills Academy, Henry Jefferson Oliver Elementary School and Huffman Academy. Major renovation and addition projects at Ramsay High School and Inglenook K-8 School also have been completed.
Phillips Academy and Ramsay High School have both been designated International Baccalaureate programs. Phillips has been granted IB status for the Primary Years program, with Middle years program designation anticipated this spring. Ramsay has received IB Diploma Program status, with the first IB cohort graduating with the Class of 2015. Birmingham City Schools is now the only district in the metropolitan area to offer International Baccalaureate programs for both primary and diploma years, and with middle years designation, will be one of only two systems statewide offering IB programming K-12.
While there are five magnet programs, many schools across the district have well-deserved reputations for high levels of student achievement. Among the award winners is Wilkerson Middle School, which has been named a Torchbearer School several times. Smith Middle School has also received recognition as a High-Flying School.
The district is especially proud of the W.J. Christian K-8 School chess team, which won the state academic championship in March 2014.
Our students not only continue to excel in academics but also in athletics. Parker High School was crowned the 2014 State 5A Champions in Boys Basketball and while the Wenonah Girls were crowned 5A Champions during the same season. This expands Wenonah High School’s reign subsequent to back-to-back State 5A championships won by its boys basketball team in 2011 and 2012. Also, Wenonah's We the People mock congressional hearing team went to national competition in 2012. Culinary arts students continue winning competitions, and its FCCLA students are perennial winners in state competitions.
Students from all seven high schools are taking Advanced Placement classes as part of a focus on providing AP opportunities across the district and participation in the A-Plus College Ready program. Teachers in middle grades also are to provide pre-AP instruction that will prepare students to be successful in AP classes in high school.
Seven career academies opened in August 2012 in six high schools -- Carver, Huffman, Jackson-Olin, Parker, Wenonah and Woodlawn. The academies will allow students to focus on various areas of interest in preparation for both college and career. Plans are currently underway to move to a Wall-to-Wall Academy model.
To further support college readiness efforts, Birmingham City Schools received a $19 million dollar GEAR UP grant to put more students on a successful college track. A program of the U.S. Department of Education, GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs and is designed to help at-risk students prepare for college and receive the supports and resources necessary to help them be successful in that endeavor.