Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools - Middle – Tuscaloosa, AL

Award Year 2017

Exemplary High Performing Schools

Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools - Middle

315 Mcfarland Blvd East
Tuscaloosa, AL, 35404-3838

(205) 759-3653

Ms. Reba Kristi Thomson, Principal at time of Nomination

Magnet School

Tuscaloosa City School System

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Student Demographics

  • Black/African American: 37%
  • White: 56%
  • Hispanic: 1%
  • Asian: 6%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 9%


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6th graders assigned to teams on Draft Day at TMS - Middle

6th graders assigned to teams on Draft Day at TMS - Middle


Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools-Middle has a mission to motivate students to discover knowledge, create a better world, and serve in a way that respects others. This mission is reflected in the curriculum, practices, and procedures of the school. There is an international mindedness, a commitment to collaborative and authentic learning through inquiry, and integration of arts in education.

The magnet school serves students from the entire city, and the challenge is for children to accept each other. With classroom guidance lessons and student team meetings, the school has moved from children seeing color and differences to simply seeing each other as fellow classmates.

Instructional practices focus on project-based learning, International Baccalaureate framework, arts in education and the use of technology as a means to create projects and digital portfolios. Success is due to teachers' supporting all students through tutoring and small group instruction. Technology allows parents to be immediately informed of homework, tests, and grades. Chromebooks allow students to study presentations, videos, notes and assignments, and personal portfolios.

Families and community volunteers are active through PTSA support, The University of Alabama volunteers, parent volunteers in the office and school activities, and partners in education. We are fortunate to have strong support from our city.

Our school has learned to successfully offer project-based learning with arts in education. We depend on teaching a rigorous curriculum, developing the teenage mind, team activities, arts, and clubs. We encourage pride in each individua's talent and the importance of cooperation and tolerance.