Cullman High School strives to consistently communicate and model our mission statement – “Inspiring Students for Lifelong Success – Through Character, Citizenship, and Scholarship.” In alignment with the Cullman City School System’s purpose statement, we are preparing youth to be well-adjusted citizens who make positive contributions to a democratic society. Cullman High School is committed to providing a learning environment and school program that will foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development of each child to his or her greatest potential.
We believe the curriculum must be sound in academic requirements, stress the basic skills, include an awareness of the technologies of an ever-changing world, develop vocational skills, and foster an appreciation of the fine arts. Each individual should be afforded the opportunity to develop an open mind, inquiring attitude, positive self-esteem, and healthy lifestyle in order to think creatively, critically, and analytically and to become a constructive, independent citizen with self-worth and dignity.
Each student is recognized as an individual with varying needs, interests, learning capacities, talents, and aspirations. The curricula and extra-curricular opportunities must be adapted and a variety of teaching methods and materials must be utilized in order to meet individual needs. Physical, emotional, and social needs can best be met by maintaining a well-disciplined student body in a peaceful, attractive environment. The school should serve as a center for the educational, recreational, and cultural interests of the community. It prepares young people to take their places in the life of the community as worthwhile, contributing citizens, to occupy places of leadership, and to perpetuate the principles of the American way of life. The school and the community should work together to accomplish these endeavors.
Cullman High School has a strong tradition of both academic and extracurricular success. CHS students have a demonstrated history of intellectual achievement, exemplified as the class of 2015 earned almost four million dollars in offers of scholarship support for post-secondary education. For two consecutive years Newsweek identified Cullman High School for inclusion in their “America’s Best High Schools” listing. In the selection process, Newsweek considered graduation rates, scores on college entrance exams, participation and scores in college-level classes via Advanced Placement (AP) programs, and acceptance into a two- or four-year college program. For the first time, Cullman High School was listed as one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post. In addition, Cullman High School consistently ranks among the top ten percent of all Alabama High Schools on state accountability assessments.
All students have access to a comprehensive counseling program with annual advising for every student at the point of registration and an ongoing emphasis on long-term preparation for college and careers. Our students’ ACT scores exceed the national norm with CHS students averaging a 21.6 in contrast with the national average of 21.0. The range of course offerings includes a number of fine arts, career tech, and elective courses, reflecting student interests and ambitions. Cullman High School faculty regularly uses digital tools and projection technologies in each classroom to increase student engagement. As a result of the A+ College Ready program, an increasing number of Cullman High School students are registering for Advanced Placement coursework and passing AP exams to earn college credit or placement. The percent of graduating students that have passed an AP exam has increased from 5.4% in 2010 to 22.5% in 2015.
This exemplary academic success is supported by a dedicated team of instructors who are committed to meeting the challenge of today’s constant evolution of instructional strategies and digital resources. The faculty demonstrates its passion to mastering this challenge through professional learning. Last year 60 certified CHS instructors completed 3,007 hours of professional learning. The CHS faculty has increased their individual hours of professional learning from 35.2 hours per faculty member in 2010-11 to 50.1 hours per faculty member in 2014-15.
There is strong involvement and competitive success in school athletics, fine arts, career and technical education (CTE), and extracurricular activities. Over seventy-five percent of the CHS students are involved in 68 school-sponsored, extra-curricular, and athletic teams or clubs. The school community enjoys a comprehensive athletic program that includes 46 teams, 46 coaches, and 631 student-athletes (duplicated) that competed in 654 public competitions last year. The athletic teams consistently rank in the top twenty with unprecedented parental involvement of the parents in their respective booster clubs. The fine arts department consistently is rated superior in all areas of vocal and instrumental performance. The Cullman Bearcat Marching Band and Choir continue to set new standards with each performance. This last year the Marching Band performed at Walt Disney World, and the CHS Choir performed in Orlando, Florida. Our award-winning theatrical department annually presents professional, dramatic productions to over 2,000 school and community guests. The CTE programs are enjoying a significant enrollment increase as students enhance their classroom instruction with participation in the CTE student leadership and competition programs.
The exemplary graduation rate at Cullman High School is evidence that students are engaged in the school community. Cullman High has improved from a five-year graduation rate of 87% in 2008 to a four-year on-time graduation rate of 95% in 2014. In regards to citizenship, the 2015 Senior Class had 202 students that earned 5,668 community service hours or an average of 28 hours per student. Thirty-five students earned the 100 hour Community Service Seal on their diploma, demonstrating their commitment to the community and helping others.
The students and faculty at Cullman High School report that they are having a positive experience. On a research based survey CHS students rated their school experience as a 4.2 (5.0 scale) on thirty-two quality school indicators. This student rating, the highest in the last four years, confirms that students perceive Cullman High School as providing an effective, orderly and safe school environment. The faculty survey confirmed the student’s ratings with an average score of 4.1 (5.0 scale) on fifty-three quality school indicators.