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Benjamin Davis Elementary School

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Principal's Message

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! I am honored and excited to return for my third year as principal of Benjamin Davis Elementary School. Ben Davis is a “SPECIAL” little place where students inquire, explore, and contribute.  Our ultimate goal is to provide a safe, loving, and challenging environment where students become risk takers, critical thinkers, problem solvers and motivated learners.

We have an awesome year planned and you will be happy and delighted that you accepted the invitation to join our DCS magnet school family. Yes, I have some very high expectations for students, teachers, and myself but I rather for them to be too high than too low. That way, I know we will meet the needs of all our students.

This summer, the staff and I have worked hard to ensure our students will have every opportunity to be successful. We will lay a strong foundation by focusing on your child’s strengths and area of concerns. Once the foundation becomes solid, I have no doubt that your child will be prepared for the upcoming school term. More so, they will be equipped to make a smooth transition into secondary.

I’ve been in education for 25 years and each year, I’ve learned something different to help kids grow socially and academically. Therefore, I want to share three areas we will focus on this year at Benjamin Davis as we move forward. I know we have the best students and teachers in Decatur City Schools and perhaps the state of Alabama.  We take pride in educating students. What we have done is working and we will continue with implementing what we know to be best practices.


My first area of focus is teaching Standards. We will continue to teach Standards and use data to drive our instruction and to improve student learning. We do have students with the ability to solve problems beyond the Standards and read past their grade level. Those students will be provided with rigorous instruction, and computer based programs tailored to meet individual needs. I believe by continuing to focus on math/reading we will put our students in a position to compete with some of the best students in the world.

A second way to help prepare our students is to offer a second language. It has always been my goal to incorporate a foreign language into the curriculum. This year, basic Spanish is on the schedule. I believe students who are exposed to Spanish early in life will find it easier to learn and master in middle and high school grades, if they choose to study it then. Experts agree that foreign-language learning can give kids a leg up in many areas of their lives, both now and in the future. I’m excited about this new adventure and I will be sitting alongside the students learning to speak Spanish.

A third area of focus is to help students develop more problem solving and critical thinking skills. This will be done in the classroom as well as through STEM, math and reading enrichment, Wonderful Wednesday, and other classes. Let’s not forget Coding. It is my goal to ensure that students are creators and not consumers of technology. Students will be taught simple commands to complex programs, build games, and learn the correct terminology associated with coding and computers!

With that being said, “Are you ready for a fantastic school year”?


Aundrea Hanson