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Dougherty County Schools Notebook - Dec. 16, 2013

This a compilation of events and happenings with the Dougherty County School System

Organization Donates Shoes to Northside Students

The Random Acts of Kindness organization delivered several pairs of shoes to students at Northside Elementary School recently. The leaders of the organization, Tosh and Tiffany Sevier, plan to donate shoes throughout the year as well as offer haircuts for boys through their business, Living Legends Beauty and Barber Salon, one of Northside’s newest Partners in Excellence.

Heritage Bank Participates with Monroe Small Business Program class

The small business development program at Monroe Comprehensive High School met for its first session of real-world application at Heritage Bank recently. During the session, students participated in one-on-one sessions with bank officials to discuss topics that included maintaining good credit history, commercial lending, checking and savings accounts, and various career opportunities in the banking industry. Students toured the facility and had an opportunity to view the banking experience from behind the scenes. They participated in reflection activities that included pathway standards, terminology, and lessons learned. Kathie Stewart is the small business development pathway teacher at Monroe High.

Pre-K Parents and Children Attend “Good Touch, Bad Touch” Workshop

Mildred Green from the City of Albany’s recreational department, in conjunction with elementary school counselors, presented a workshop entitled “Good Touch, Bad Touch to Pre-K parents and children as the Sylvandale PTO topic for October. There were approximately 100 adults and 40 children in attendance. Cathy Clyde presented the topic to the parents which included a touching, real life experience from an adult victim. Counselors Felecia Hawkins and Cassandra Ransom each had a group of children with a lesson followed by a video. Each child received a subject related coloring book, crayons, and a treat for attending. Parents and teachers agreed that this was a very beneficial and much needed message.

Turner Ambassadors Deck the Halls at DOCO Credit Union

On Dec. 5, student ambassadors from Turner Elementary School kicked off the holiday season by decorating the tree at their Partner in Excellence, DOCO Credit Union, with branch manager Megan Paulk. Turner’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade student leaders decked the tree with handcrafted ornaments and shared refreshments and cheer with the DOCO employees. During the event, Paulk shared information about career opportunities in retail banking with the students.

SGRAC Hosts Parent Dinner and Training Workshop

Studies have long shown that when there is active participation of parents in the education and behavior of children, the students perform better in the educational environment. To further that goal at South Georgia Regional Achievement Center, parents of students were invited to join them for Thanksgiving Dinner and a training workshop on the Infinite Campus system. Approximately 40 parents accepted the invitation to attend.

Students took charge of the dinner by decorating the cafeteria with tablecloths and turkey centerpieces. All the students dressed for dinner in special dresses, suits, and ties. They greeted their guests, escorted them to homerooms, and signed them up for the workshop classes.

The Infinite Campus training was provided by SGRAC parent liaison Erik Moore. Moore instructed the parents on how to monitor their students’ grades along with their educational progress. The program was a success and many of the parents complimented the children on their efforts. One parent said that the event showed her that she should be a more active participant in her child’s life.

The student committee for the event consisted of Je’Samuel Ward, A’Kirah Young, Marqavious Oliver, Keambria Alexander, Kanesha Taylor, Dequawn Coleman, Cedric Stewart, Willie Harris, Sha’kinah Davis, and Sierra Anderson. The event was coordinated by principal David Hamilton, Brenda Morrow, Najla Ali, and volunteer Marilyn Hamilton.

Live Oak Presents Bullying Workshop

Live Oak Elementary School staff, parents, and students participated in the “Bullying and Violence: What Parents Need to Know” workshop on November 20. The workshop was planned by Live Oak parent coordinator Ruby Salaam and was presented by TWI Counseling CEO Geri Carpenter who was assisted by Tami Tolbert, Terrell Lawson, and Steven Medlock.

The workshop provided crucial information for the participants and answered such questions as “How do I know if my child is being bullied?” “What if my child is a victim of bullying?” and “What should I do if I think my child is a bully?”

Pre-K Holds Literacy Character Dress-Up Parade

The Dougherty County School System Pre-Kindergarten Program held its annual Literacy Character Dress-Up Parade recently. The annual event promotes the importance of early learning and building good character through reading.

This year’s event included a crowd of more than 300 children, parents, grandparents, and community supporters who enjoyed entertainment by the Albany Middle School drum line and cheerleaders directed by Jessica Udell and Zelda White-Davis. The crowd clapped and cheered as the children marched in costume portraying their favorite book character. Evelyn Cookley from Family Literacy Connection fascinated the children with her reading of “The Little Old Woman that Wasn’t Afraid of Anything” written by Linda D. Williams. Members of Pre-K’s Partner in Excellence, Semper Fidelis, along with Mayor Dorothy Hubbard topped off the event by providing Keep Albany-Dougherty Clean coloring books and crayons to all the children.

ISECS Hosts Parent Workshop

International Studies Elementary Charter School’s second and third grade teachers conducted a parents’ workshop on November 14. The “Mathematics & Writing 101: the Common Core Way” workshop was interactive with parents working on tasks typically performed by students. They started off by playing a game, “Are You Smarter Than a 2nd or 3rd Grader?” which reviewed math vocabulary. Next, the parents worked in small groups to respond to a writing prompt of two non-fiction paragraphs. They had to compare, contrast, and state their opinion, just as 3rd grade students are required to do by the English Language Arts Common Core Standards.

Westover Healthcare Students Donate to Outreach Mission

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Westover Comprehensive High School’s healthcare students and teachers wanted to make sure families in need had the necessary items to prepare a family Thanksgiving meal. They brought in food items including a ham, a turkey, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, and many of the other trimmings traditionally enjoyed at Thanksgiving. All the food items were donated to the Faith Outreach Center for Women and Children. The center, opened in 1997, serves members of the community who may be in need. The teachers and students chose this community project because they are aware of the difficulties experienced by many people at this time of the year. Healthcare advisors are Vester Weaver and Felicia Hosely.

New Mentor Group Established at International Studies Elementary

“Young Men in Ties Reading” is a new mentoring group founded by Steven Godwin, an Albany State University student teacher at International Studies Elementary Charter School. The group is for 4th grade boys and met for the first time on November 12. They will continue to meet every Tuesday and Thursday after school to read books together to develop into better readers and writers. The students are using iPads to read e-books together. Godwin is also teaching the boys citizenship skills and the correct way to tie neckties. Sheila Thomas, a 4th grade teacher at ISECS, donated ties for the boys who participate in the group.

Parent Lunch and Workshop Hosted at Morningside Elementary

Parents and students were invited to have lunch on November 20 with Morningside Elementary School principal Ronald Lewis. The luncheon also included a presentation by school counselor Lynell Hubbard on helpful strategies for parents to help struggling students. Parents shared their concerns and received information concerning their students’ performance in school.

DCSS Counselors Present at School Counselors Conference

On November 14, the Dougherty County School System elementary school counselors presented at the 2013 Georgia School Counselors Association Conference in Jekyll Island. All elementary school counselors in Georgia are required to introduce students to specific careers clusters. Dougherty County’s fourteen elementary school counselors decided to develop career lessons focused on the 17 career clusters required by the Georgia Department of Education for helping schools meet their requirements on the Common Core Rating Performance Index (CCRPI).

The lessons submitted by each counselor were compiled into a booklet and presented at the conference. Using the lessons, the counselors provided strategies, lessons, ideas, and activities to meet the career needs of students in grades K - 5. More than 100 elementary counselors attended the workshop, along with Jacqueline Melendez, program specialist from the Georgia Department of Education, and director of guidance/counseling for the state. Melendez asked questions and recognized Dougherty County elementary counselors for doing an outstanding job in developing a booklet that addressed the 17 career clusters. The counselors who attended and presented at the conference were Margaret Hatcher (Sherwood Elementary), Kenisha Baker (Martin Luther King), Kyle Lee (Live Oak), Cassandra Ransom (Turner), Felicia Hawkins (West Town), Stacey Cross (Lincoln), and Patricia Harris (International Studies).