DCSS Notebook -- Sept. 29, 2013

Kennedy Banks

Kennedy Banks


Mike Morrison, FOX 31 chief meteorologist, visited International Studies Elementary Charter School earlier this month as a culminating activity for the first grade classes’ study of weather.

Northside Student Attends National Young Scholars Program

Kennedy Banks, a fifth grader at Northside Elementary School, recently attended the annual National Young Scholars Program at William Peace University in Raleigh, N.C.. The National Young Scholars Program (NYSP), in its 27th year, is an educational organization dedicated to the early identification, motivation, and inspiration of the nation’s most promising elementary students. Kennedy was nominated by her teacher, Christopher Jones.

The program has four discovery strands: engineering, crime scene investigation, NYSP explorers and medicine. Kennedy chose to pursue the medicine strand entitled “The Incredible Human Body.” Each strand allowed students to research, create, investigate, role-play, study, and learn about their chosen topic.

She had an opportunity to explore many aspects of human anatomy, including the circulatory, muscular, respiratory, and digestive systems. Kennedy studied complex reactions such as digestion, osmosis, and neuron movement in the brain to gain a greater understanding of the relationships present in the body’s anatomical systems. She also participated in dissection and other experiments. Kennedy’s culminating project was to examine a “patient,” and then recommend and present a plan of treatment.

She is president of the Diamonds and Pearls Culture Club and a member of the Student Council at Northside Elementary.

ISECS and Marines Hold “Meet and Greet”

International Studies Elementary Charter School is partnering with Marines from Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base for the second year with the “M.I.A.-Marines In Action” mentoring program. Earlier this month, Marine mentors met the classroom teachers with whom they have been placed during a “Meet & Greet” session.

The Marines will come to the assigned classrooms for an hour each week to work with students in any way the teacher believes will be beneficial. Several Marines who found last year’s experience particularly positive and rewarding are returning to the program for a second time. They were joined by many who are volunteering for the first time. The M.I.A. program is coordinated by Staff Sgt. Juana Snell.

Lake Park Third Graders Meet the “Franny Block” of Albany

Lake Park Elementary School reading teachers Joy Bowles and Donna Gleaton met their third grade classes earlier this month at the Dougherty County Northwest Public Library. The students are currently in a novel study of “Because of Winn Dixie.” In the book, Opal, the main character, became best friends with the librarian, Franny Block. The teachers thought visiting the library would be a great way to make a text-to-life connection while reading the novel. Erin Hunt, the children’s librarian at the Northwest branch, gave the children a tour, played a game, showed them how to find AR books, and read a story. The children also got their own library cards. Just like Opal, these Lake Park students are now “best friends” with their librarian.

Westover Choir Performs at 9/11 Memorial

The Westover Comprehensive High School Concert Choir performed at the Veteran’s Park Amphitheatre for the September 11 community memorial service held in conjunction with the Georgia State Firefighters Association and Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs 2013 Georgia Fire Service Conference. The group performed The National Anthem, America The Beautiful, and the Prayer of the Children.

The Westover Concert Choir represented their school while paying tribute to the firefighters who lost their lives in the Twin Towers attack on September 11, 2011. Selina Bentley is choral director at Westover High.

Local Gang Task Force Assists Sherwood Acres Students

Sergeant Duron Thompson of the Gang Task Force is coordinating with Margaret Hatcher, Sherwood Acres Elementary School counselor, to assist students in need of clothing. Teachers and parents can request needed items of clothing items.

Westover’s PURSUE Organization Community Service Project

As a community service organization, Westover Comprehensive High School’s PURSUE (Plan, Understand, Realize, Sustain, Uplift, Excel) program realized an opportunity to assist a family in need when one of their own members, Rashaud Jones, lost everything in a house fire recently. The group organized a “hat day” fundraiser led by senior Kierston Bolston and guidance secretary Jonita Daniels. The group raised $600 for the family’s immediate needs. Rashaud’s father, Robert Jones, expressed his family’s gratitude to the entire Westover family for their show of support and assistance.

The fundraiser is the first of many community activities that PURSUE members have planned the year. Other events will include a visit to the Phoebe Pediatric Unit, donating and volunteering at the Albany Rescue Mission, Habitat for Humanity, and Palmyra Nursing Home Christmas Program. The aim of the group is to demonstrate to the community that there are outstanding young women and men in our schools who want to make positive changes in society. One of the group’s goals is to expand into other schools in the area and across the state. The motto for each PURSUE member is, “I’m doing what I have to do to get where I want to be.” Kevin Fretwell is founder and sponsor of PURSUE. Jonita Daniels is co-sponsor.

ISECS Students Connect with WFXL Meteorologist

Mike Morrison, FOX 31 chief meteorologist, visited International Studies Elementary Charter School earlier this month as a culminating activity for the first grade classes’ study of weather. Morrison spoke with the students about how different types of weather events occur and demonstrated many instruments used to measure weather phenomenon. He explained the principal of condensation and precipitation, how cold and warm fronts interact, and the strength of the sun’s rays using audience participation and volunteers.

Westover High Marks 12th Anniversary of 9/11

On September 11, the 12th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, hundreds of people from across the country gathered at that location for a “Tribute in Light” memorial to commemorate the thousands of lives lost. Twin beams of light rising from Ground Zero served as a somber reminder of how New York City’s skyline was forever changed by the attacks. Westover Comprehensive High School remembered 9/11 by inviting first responders from the Dougherty County area to speak to students. First responder representatives from Dougherty County included firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and emergency medical technicians. The guests talked with classes about their roles and responsibilities when an event such as 9/11 occurs. Westover literature teacher Tammy Holton hosted the event.