About Shelby County Schools

The Shelby County School District has a rich history, dating back to 1856 when Mr. Henry M. Jones became the system’s first superintendent. A total of 25 superintendents have served since then, with Dr. Lewis Brooks being most recently elected to the position. Shelby County is one of 36 counties out of 67 in Alabama with an elected superintendent.

Shelby County Schools is a public school district governed by a five-member elected school board. Our board of education members are retired educators, business leaders, and family members of the students we serve. We are governed by, and work closely with, the Alabama State Department of Education regarding policies, guidelines, and curriculum. 

Shelby County school district is a large rural and suburban district. Our zones range from very rural communities in the south end of the county to very developed suburban areas in the north end of the county. The Shelby County School District comprises 31 schools from seven school zones - Calera, Chelsea, Columbiana, Helena, Montevallo, Oak Mountain, and Vincent. Three of the 31 schools are centralized schools that serve the entire district. These three schools are Linda Nolen Learning Center which serves students with special needs, New Direction which serves as the district’s alternative school and houses the Success academic recovery program, and the Career Technical Educational Center. Shelby County Schools also offers Virtual Shelby for high school students who maintain at least a C average and wish to attend school using a virtual learning option. 

The total student population of the school district is reflective of the community. The total enrollment of 21,194 reflects an ethnic background of 66% white, 18% black, 11 % Hispanic, 2 % Asian, and 3 % listed as American Indian, Pacific Islander, “unclassified” or “other.” A total of 51% of the students are males, while 49% are females.  The Shelby County School District has 2,334 students who use languages other than English in their homes. The district’s ELL population represents students from 52 countries and from 45 language backgrounds.

Our educational philosophy is very student-centered and focuses on the instructional framework that we developed based on our collaboration with Richard DuFour. This framework centers all of our instructional efforts and grounds our work in the foundational purpose of meeting students where they are and helping them get where they need to be. Our instructional framework includes four questions that drive our PLCs, planning, intervention, professional learning, and curriculum decisions. The four critical questions that make up our framework are: What do we want students to know and be able to do? How will we know when they know it? What will we do when they don't know it? What will we do if they already know it?

Our superintendent recently led an initiative to revisit our district-wide vision, mission, and beliefs/values. He collected feedback from students and parents during focus groups, met with school leaders and teachers, and collected feedback from all levels of leadership in the form of a survey. Our district's vision is to achieve excellence in education for our students and their success. Our mission is to empower and inspire our students to achieve academic excellence and make positive contributions to the world. 

Our values/beliefs are: 

  • We embrace authentic hope for our students and know that our work is critically important in their lives. This hope is energized by a relentless and resolute purpose: our students will learn and grow. 

  • We believe that high standards, integrity, transparency, communication, and accountability promote a positive culture and a dedication to excellence.

  • We recognize promoting creativity, innovation, and critical thinking is vital for continuous growth and improvement.

  • We set high expectations for both students and staff but recognize that resources and support are necessary for those expectations to be met and exceeded.

  • We focus on establishing meaningful and collaborative relationships with all stakeholders because they are vital to providing a welcoming, secure, and supportive environment.

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