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  Mission Statement  

Cranford H. Burns Middle School


Mission Statement


The mission of Cranford H. Burns Middle School is to provide a quality education in a safe, positive environment and to foster a sense of self-worth that will enable all students to become skilled and productive members of society.

" A caring community School with dedicated public servants giving every child every chance"

  About The School  

About our School!!!

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Cranford Burns Middle School opened the fall of 1998.  From the beginning, our goal has been and will


continue to be, to offer students a challenging curriculum to ultimately prepare them for lifelong success. 


The Burns faculty is structured to accommodate the academic needs our students, school goals and vision.


The teaching staff is strong, with many master teachers among faculty members.  The leadership and faculty


have continued to play an integral role in the continued success of Burns Middle School. Our classrooms will


be 21st Century classrooms by fall of 2011 with Smartboard technology in all core classes. All teachers will be


emphasizing the 21st Century Fluencies in preparation for future job skills. 


Burns Middle School has been successful in offering a wide range of regular, advanced, EYE ( engaging youth in engineering), math & reading intervention classes, and special classes to meet student special needs.  Students leave Burns prepared to meet the academic challenges of high school and work force development with critical thinking and problem solving skills.  The elective program offers a range of choices in fine arts including band, chorus, jazz band,robotics, technology and art.  Along with a variety of class offerings, students have the opportunity to experience sports, NJHS, Builders Club and other extra-curricula activities through clubs and other organizations. Beginning in 201-12 8th grade students will take a technology class engaging students in project based learning, gaming design, Career Cruising, and the Stock Market game.

Statewide diagnostic tests Aspire, Accelerated Reader STAR reading and math assessments, SSR ,Think Through Math, Read XL, project based learning/assessments,digital projects, Web-Quest, Common Formative Assessments and other educational evaluation tools are available to students to enhance academic performance.  On average, Burns Middle School scored above the national average on diagnostic test. The school wide goals  include , project based learning and assessments, no zero policy on digital projects + writing + math assignments, literacy and math skills developed across the curriculum, writing across the curriculum. advanced questioning by changing our verbs, and a comprehensive reading program built upon AR and Reading Renaissance practices. Burns initally received SACS accreditation in the spring of 2001 in the school improvement process with high commendations in teacher instruction, Art and technology. Burns was  reaccredited in the 2011-12 school year.

In addition, our school’s vision is connecting school, parents and community on every level.  At Cranford

Burns Middle School, we will continue to “Blaze the Trail…. and Build the Future.”

" Burns is a caring community school with dedicated public servants giving every child every chance"

Dr. Cranford Herman Burns Bio


Dr. Cranford Herman Burns
Assistant Superintendent/Superintendent
(July 1, 1907 - July 30, 1996)

     For nearly two decades, Dr. Cranford Herman Burns served the Mobile County Public School System in the top position as the superintendent.  A native of Cullman, Alabama, Dr. Burns was born July 1, 1907, in a small farm community in Cullman County, Alabama.  He was reared in a large family and was one of eight children.  Young Cranford went to public school, and during that time there was no nine-month school term until he reached high school.  It was when he reached college that he looked back on his childhood and realized the handicaps which are created from inadequate educational opportunities.  From that point Cranford Burns decided to make education his life's work.
     Cranford Burns graduated from Cullman High School in the class of 1927.  He attended Trevecca College in Nashville, Tennessee from 1928-1930.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Alabama in 1936, and his Master's degree in school administration at the University of Alabama in 1941.  He received a Doctorate of Education degree in school administration at Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York in 1948.  In order to receive his graduate degrees he attended summer school for eleven straight summers, working the rest of the year at a full-time position.
     Cranford Burns held positions as a teacher, coach, principal, and supervisor in the Cullman County Public Schools from 1930 through 1944.  From 1944-45 he was principal at Jackson County High School in Scottsboro, Alabama, 1945-46 he was director of guidance services, Extension Division at the University of Alabama.  From 1946-47 he was in school at Columbia University.  From 1948-52 he became assistant superintendent in charge of Curriculum and Instruction in the Mobile County Public School System.  During August of 1952 he was elected to the position of superintendent in the Mobile County Public School System, a position he held until he resigned in 1970.  Under the leadership of Dr. Burns, many changes occurred in the Mobile County Public School System.  He increased the guidance counselor services.  Every school is visited by a school nurse ten times a year.  Psychological services were added for all students.  One of his most outstanding achievements was his upgrading of the teaching personnel of the system.  Ten years after Dr. Burns took office, ninety percent of teachers possessed teaching degrees, whereas before, according to Charles E. McNeal, president of the Board of School Commissioners, only 66.7 percent of teachers had their teaching degrees.
     Dr. Burns was married to Dorothy Reinstadler of Cullman, Alabama, and they became parents of two children, Caroline and James.  He was a member of the Dauphin Way United Methodist Church and is buried in the Cullman Cemetery in Cullman, Alabama.  Our school was named in his honor in 1996 and shortly later construction began.  The school doors of Cranford H. Burns Middle School opened in the fall of 1998.

Burns EYE - Engaging Youth in Engineering Program.

EYE design process
EYE design process


   The EYE Module Study

EYE Middle Grades modules

Analyses of belief and attitude surveys indicate that the EYE Modules are having a positive impact in each of the three research areas as compared to students in a matched MCPSS middle school. A longitudinal study of the impact of the completed modules on a cohort of students begins in Fall 2011 and will be completed in 2014.



· Higher competence and confidence when working in teams

· More familiarity with using graphs and tables for data analysis

· Greater awareness of STEM careers



· Greater confidence in their ability to using engineering design to impact student abilities to apply math, science and technology



· Mobile County Public Schools have developed middle grades STEM Standards that are incorporated into the district’s math and content standards. The STEM Standards require the implementation of engineering design challenges each quarter in both mathematics and science classes.

Initial Findings

EYE Engineering Habits of Mind

Throughout the set of EYE Modules students learn how to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and technology through the engineering design process; analyze and interpret data; identify, formulate and solve problems; communicate effectively; function as part of a team; use the techniques and tools necessary in the modern workforce; recognize the need for and engage in ongoing learning.

EYE Module Design

Each EYE Module is specifically designed to bring relevance and rigor to existing mathematics and science curriculum, with a special emphasis on mathematics. Each module is centered around an engineering design challenge, fosters the development of “engineering habits of mind,” integrates technology and other resources to meet the learning needs of a diverse group of students, and deepens understanding of middle grades mathematics and science content.


Design Module

Engineering Field


Harnessing the Wind

Mechanical Engineering


Designing for Disaster

Structures & Materials


Don’t Go With the Flow

Environmental Engineering


EYE on Mars

Biological Engineering


Designer Dogs

Genetic Engineering


Catch Me if You Can

Biomedical Engineering


Rocket Car

Mechanical Engineering


Roller Coaster

Mechanical Engineering


Creating Bioplastic

Chemical Engineering


Engaging Youth Through Engineering (EYE) is a partnership-driven K-12 workforce and economic development initiative underway in Mobile, AL. Its purpose is to produce high school graduates eager and able to meet the growing demand for workers who are tech-savvy and innovative problem solvers. EYE uses engineering design challenges to bring relevance and rigor to the K-12 math and science curriculum. At the middle grades, EYE’s goal is to inspire and motivate students to take the high school courses needed in preparation for Mobile’s workforce needs in the 21st century, especially for the growing aerospace, shipbuilding, manufacturing and health related industries in the Mobile region.


Volunteers from business and industry serve as “extra pairs of hands” during EYE labs and are crucial to the success of implementing the EYE Modules.


EYE, while based on engineering challenges, is about more than producing engineers. It is about producing students with engineering habits of mind in preparation for the workforce or college. EYE is about Engineering Mobile’s Future.

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