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Fiveash Flashback - November 2023

Dear SVS Community -

Welcome back to the Fiveash Flashback blog series, where we'll recap the latest happenings at SVS! Today we will recap October and November.

My involvement with Leadership Birmingham, particularly during October's Education Day, has bolstered Spring Valley’s visibility. Last week, I spent the day learning about Birmingham's economic status. There are multiple biotech, technology, and hardware companies receiving large grants.

Furthermore, there are several new start-ups backed with national venture capital. One panel discussed Birmingham's limited workforce, and I spoke about the need for employers to offer internships to neurodiverse students throughout Alabama. We submitted a grant last week to address this need, which could fund a job fair and subsequent internship for neurodiverse Birmingham area high school students.

The Hettie Johnson Institute leaders held two parent informational sessions at Mountain Brook Library. On November 30, we are partnering with the Alabama Independent Schools Association to host a dyslexia symposium at SVS.

This week, Crystal Smitherman, Birmingham City Council, is plans to visit with her family, including Carole and Rodger Smitherman.

This Friday, the Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools, Dr. Sullivan, will tour our facilities to understand our approach to reading intervention, specifically our work with the Neuhaus Basic Language Skills program.

Renowned Researcher Dr.Fumiko Hoeft is coming to SVS on November 29 to present the last 20 years of Dyslexia research. Visit the SVS website to register for this free event, open to the public!

In December, Mayor Woodfin is visiting!

Thank you for an incredible 1st month of our year-end campaign. To-date, we have raised $117,000 to ensure all students continue to receive the life-changing, transformational education Spring Valley has to offer. These funds directly support our teachers and students with classroom technology and enhanced security initiatives. Thanks to the generosity of the Lathrop Smith family, the next $20K raised will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Thank you for your consideration to participate in the annual fund campaign.

We received over $160K in additional GEER money, which we used to pay for the RI portable renovation.

Other grants received include the Baptist Health Foundation, the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

We have enhanced our GoGuardian subscription to include Beacon Core, to safeguard our students better.

Also, we subscribed to 'Pathlitics,' a web-based tool aiding in post-secondary placements, designed for alumni and current students. More details will be provided at the start of the spring semester.

Dunn Construction repaired the asphalt in the back parking lot this weekend. Many thanks to Bo Walters, CEO of Dunn, for making this incredible gift to SVS.

Ben Parker is installing steel posts to hang sun sails in the back parking lot and over the playground. Grateful for his donation.

Many thanks to Coach Green for successfully coaching our first flag football team. I was impressed with the teamwork displayed by our students.

I also want to express my deep appreciation to the Parents Active with SVS. Thank you for hosting incredible teacher appreciation events, from catered meals to the coffee truck. We are grateful.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I dare each of you to reflect on gratitude and identify three things you are for which you are grateful. Personally, I am grateful for my family, friends and the SVS community, where everyday hope abounds.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,

Dr. Laura Fiveash


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