About the Birmingham City Schools
The Birmingham City School System is an urban district located in Birmingham, Ala., 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 49 schools -- 21 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, nine K-8 schools, seven high schools and one alternative school.
The capital improvement program continues, with three new schools opening for the 2012-2013 school year, including a new Huffman High School, Hayes K-8 School and Charles A. Brown Elementary School. Six new schools opened in 2011, including a new 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 are in their second year of candidacy for the International Baccalaureate program and have begun teaching IB curriculum. Phillips has applied for the Primary and Middle Years programs, while Ramsay is a candidate for the Diploma Program. If the schools are successful in their quest to become International Baccalaureate World Schools, Birmingham City Schools will be the only district in the metropolitan area to offer IB programs for kindergarten through high school.
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 is designated 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 2011.
Wenonah High School has several accomplishments to boast about, including back-to-back state 5A championships won by its boys basketball team in 2011 and 2012. Its 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 being trained 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 areas of interest. Additional academies are in planning stages and will open in 2013. The administration also is researching themed academies in elementary and middle schools to give parents options when choosing schools for their children.