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DCSS Update

By   /   October 15, 2010  /   Comments

Robert Cross Students Participate in Gubernatorial Debate

Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School students participated in the first student-led gubernatorial debate aired live on Georgia Public Broadcasting on October 3. Robert Cross sixth graders submitted questions addressed to the three candidates. The question submitted by Sierra Mulkey, a student at Robert Cross, was the first asked during the debate. Her question was, “With Georgia’s high school dropout rate at over 20% there is an increased emphasis on standardized testing performance which may be a driving factor in unethical behavior? What are your plans for decreasing dropout rate while maintaining standards of ethics and accountability within our local school systems?”

The debate was organized by the Student Government Association of The Georgia Institute of Technology. Student government representatives from The University of Georgia, Georgia College and State University, Morehouse College, and Georgia Southern University served as panelists for the debate. The three gubernatorial candidates, Roy Barnes, Nathan Deal, and John Monds, participated in the debate.

Sherwood Acres Students Participate in International Festival

On October 2, several fifth grade students from Sherwood Acres Elementary School had an opportunity to participate in the 2010 International Festival held at Riverfront Park in downtown Albany. During the festival the children experienced different cultures and tasted their foods while learning outside of the typical school setting. They were part of the performance of a popular Latin American dance that was the opening performance in welcoming the community to the festival.

The students who participated were Zackeria Knighton, Kamryn Bozeman, Payton Hocker, Tyree Porter, Austin Hipsher, Talyia Griffin, Kei’Aunna Chavis, Za’Britten Lewis, and Amaya Sweet. Their Spanish instructor, Lidia Olds, also performed a traditional Costa Rican dance with fellow Spanish teacher, Luis Diaz. The festival experience reinforced the students’ studies of other countries in their fifth grade Spanish classes taught by Dawn Johnson. Dr. Christine Ford, assistant principal, was part of the audience and showed her support by cheering along with members of the community counting in Spanish along with the song.

Dougherty High Students Take Part in International Festival

On October 2, students and teachers from Dougherty Comprehensive High School participated in the Third International Festival celebrated at the Riverfront Park. Performances were given by science teacher Seema Dhody, fine arts teacher Lisa Love and Alexandria Love.

Students participating were Priscilla Jackson, Jammie Pierce, Vondexia Thompson, Jina Forte, Dontevious Crapp, Jeremy Grant, Emal Naval, and Daniel Butler, who performed a folk dance from India choreographed by Seema Dhody. The students’ participation demonstrated Dougherty High’s ability to build cultural bridges between countries and to accept people from diverse cultures.

ISECS Students Participate in International Festival

Students from International Studies Elementary Charter School performed at the International Festival at Riverfront Park on October 2. The children sang two songs, “I’ve Got Peace in My Fingers” (in English and Spanish) and “Yo te Dare” (in Spanish).

They wore tie-dyed t-shirts created by parent volunteers. The festival was sponsored by the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau and Downtown Merchants Association.

Live Oak Celebrates Constitution Day

Constitution Day was celebrated by Live Oak Elementary School on September 17. The school partnered with American Legion Post 30 for the special event. Post 30 provided United States flags which lined the entrance to the school creating a spectacular sight for everyone who visited on that day.

The students, along with Live Oak principal Ellen Lane, are Zachary Mason, Jacqueline Horton, Taylor Chunn, Savannah Jackson, Wyatt Hurst, and Matthew Kennedy. Live Oak Elementary extends its appreciation to American Legion Post 30 for their help with the celebration.

Northside Elementary Kicks off ‘I Care’ Program

Northside Elementary School held its “I Care” kick-off on September 17 with a skit in the gymnasium. Special guests were the Albany High drum line under the direction of Trevor Baxter.

Northside principal Dr. Angela Shumate motivated the students with “I Care” cheers and chants. The students enjoyed a skit which included teachers and students presenting the “I Care” words for each month. The program ended with an emphasis on the importance of connecting the home, school and community.

Alice Coachman Students Learn About Johnny Appleseed

Kindergarten students in Sherri Stone’s room at Alice Coachman Elementary School enjoyed apple juice and apple pie with creamy topping on September 29 as they completed their unit on Johnny Appleseed. Stone, along with paraprofessional Dildred Morninglan, read a few more books about Johnny Appleseed before showing the students where seeds are found in different types of apples and serving the pie.

Stone, 2007-2008 DCSS Teacher of the Year, believes in involving every sense as she teaches. Her students often clap, sing and dance while they learn and tasting is even involved in some experiences. Earlier this year the class made butter and every year her class makes stone soup after reading the book of the same name.

Albany High Holds Latin American Independence Celebration

On September 21, the Foreign Language Club at Albany High School celebrated the independence days of Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. Independence Day for each of these countries is September 15 with the exception of Mexico whose Independence Day is September 16.

The foreign language classes had several lessons related to the event along with a cumulative poster project. The best posters were submitted to a poster contest and the winners were announced on the day of the event. Latin American food such as tacos, flan, and tropical sodas were served. During the celebration, a piñata was broken. The intention of the celebration was to promote students’ awareness of perspectives, practices, and products of the cultures where Spanish is spoken.

Robes in Schools at Albany High

On September 29, Dougherty County State Court Judges Victoria Darrisaw and Baxter Howell facilitated the Robes in Schools program at Albany High School. Robes in Schools is sponsored by the Just the Beginning Foundation, a multi-racial, non-profit organization composed of judges, lawyers, and other citizens.

Just the Beginning Foundation was founded in 1992 to develop and nurture interest in the law among young people from racial and other groups under-represented in the legal profession. Judge Darrisaw and Judge Howell spoke to Albany High School Law and Justice students as well as Albany High School seniors.

The event was moderated by student body president Chelsea Fitzhugh who posed prepared questions to the judges on topics such as their paths to law school as well as tips for success in the legal profession. The event closed with the judges answering questions directly from the students in attendance.

Radium Middle 2010-2011 Overall Players Chosen

Auditions for the 2010-2011 Overall Players troupe were held on September 22 at Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts. Students unleashed all their talent and imagination while demonstrating facial dexterity, vocal inflection and body expression as they vied for places in the storytelling ensemble.

Students chosen to be a part of this year’s cast are Tiyana Redding, Brittany Price, Corena Austin, Michaela Hudson, Camesha Walker, Brandon Wilson, Justyce Jordan, Keishondra Reed, Cam’Breana Dye, Jamiya Reese, Darian Breaux, Kristy Hughes, Tatyana Brown and Dexter Hooks.

When asked about the goals of the performance troupe, cast member Tiyana Redding said, “Our mission is to encourage reading for all ages.” The group is currently in rehearsal, adjusting their overalls and learning their lines and they look forward to receiving invitations to perform at PTO meetings, youth agencies, festivals and libraries.

To arrange for the troupe to appear at an event, contact Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts. Radium Middle drama teacher Tony Ford is faculty advisor for the Overall Players.

Radium Middle Students Participate in Preamble Competition

Now that we are in the midst of the mid-term political season and election messages are everywhere, Vinson Davis, principal of Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts, offered a challenge to his entire campus. Learn and recite the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America and present it in a creative and artistic fashion.

An incentive prize of $100 was offered for the most inspiring and creative group or individual performance. Almost immediately, a competition began to grow. The presentations were made on September 22 and three acts were selected by a panel of judges as finalists with the winner being chosen by the entire student body. The finalists included a vocal ensemble of sixth graders Osato Omuaza, Teaira McEntyre, Sha’kembria Williams, Marcus Washington and Teyonna Adams and a recitation accompanied by a piano featuring eighth graders Sara Foster, Raven Boyd, and Breanna Taylor. The winner was Jimmecha Carr who delivered a dramatic rendition of the Preamble.

Marchin’ Chiefs win Sweepstakes Award

On Saturday, September 25, the Albany High School Marchin’ Chiefs performed at the Hawkinsville Invitational in Hawkinsville, Georgia. Drum Major Jackie Childress earned Superior ratings for conducting. Superior ratings were also earned by the drum line, color guard (flags), and the overall band.

The Marchin’ Chiefs also earned the Sweepstakes Award, an award given to bands that earn all superior ratings. All bands at the festival were rated on a four-level scale: Superior (highest possible), Excellent (above average), Fair (average), and Poor (below average). Albany High School was one of only four bands out of a total of eighteen to earn the prestigious Sweepstakes Award.

The Marchin’ Chiefs are under the direction of Trevor Baxter with assistant director Jessica Udell, and color guard sponsor Jessica Thomas.

DCHS Concert Chorale Performs at DIEMS

The Dougherty Comprehensive High School Concert Chorale performed at Dougherty International Education Middle School’s Mister and Miss DIEMS Pageant on September 16. The Chorale, with soloist Jeremy Grant, performed “Yes I Can” by Kirk Franklin.

“Endless Love” was performed by Chorale members, Shaphan Jenkins (2010-2011 student director), Jeremy Grant, Chauntoria McCray and Yasmeen Hardman. The male quartet, composed of Donald Harper, Shaphan Jenkins, Nigel Pittman and Jeremy Grant, performed “Give Us This Day” by Edwin Hawkins The Chorale was accompanied by Tai’Rik Daniels on drums and Walter Boone on piano. The mission of the DCHS Chorale is to make the world a better place by promoting unity, peace, love and brotherhood.

2010-2011 Mr & Miss DIEMS Selected

On September 16, Dougherty International Education Middle School held its annual Mr. and Miss DIEMS Pageant with Miss Albany State University, Ali’Yah Arnold, serving as Mistress of Ceremonies. The pageant theme was “An evening of cultural diversity and beauty.” Contestants for the title of Miss DIEMS were Mercedes Jordan, Amber Bodrey, Angel Stubbs, and Linshima Mitchell. Mr. DIEMS contestants were Antonio Hunt and Kollier Martin.

The evening had an international flavor as the Miss DIEMS contestants represented different countries by relating information on their country. All of the contestants also gave a speech on their chosen platform topic. Miss DIEMS contestants were judged based on casual wear, platform topic, talent, evening wear and interview questions. Mr. DIEMS contestants campaigned throughout the school and were voted on by the entire student body. Before the crowing of the winners, special awards were presented for Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic, Miss Talent and Mr. & Miss People’s Choice Award. The highlight of the evening was the crowning of Antonio Hunt as the 2010-2011 Mr. DIEMS and Angel Stubbs as the 2010-2011 Miss DIEMS.

Entertainment for the evening included an inspirational praise dance by Chequoria Taylor, Miss DIEMS 2008-2009 along with musical selections by the Dougherty Comprehensive High School Chorale and DIEMS employees Delacia Tolbert and Tanzoria Hughes. DCSS Superintendent Dr. Joshua W. Murfree gave some words of inspiration during the closing of the pageant. Pageant committee chairpersons were Carrie Green and Karon Williams.

DIEMS Contributes to ASU Athletics

Dougherty International Education Middle School students, parents, faculty and staff recently contributed $500 to the Albany State University Athletic Department.

During the week of September 13-17 students and staff participated in several fun activities including spirit day, twin and triplet day, wacky tacky day and many others.

DIEMS Receives Donation from Home Depot

During last school year, Dougherty International Education Middle School student Jai’Da Hickey, won an award for her art work entered into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Children of the Dream art contest sponsored by Home Depot.

Because Jai’Da’s art work received the most popular votes by customers, Home Depot recently donated $2,500 to Dougherty International Education Middle School to be used for school improvement and campus beautification.

Albany Middle Students Win Scratch Competition

Three Albany Middle School business and computer science students participated in the 2010 Scratch Competition held at The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Projects were judged based on appeal, creativity, originality, technical merit, and how well the students followed good programming practices. Tiara Powell won 1st place for best individual animation, Khan Peterson and Keyyada Thomas won first place for best group game.

The students were awarded popular high-tech electronic items for their efforts. Scratch is a new computer programming language designed for students of all ages and is used as a way of introducing basic computer programming to students. Students can explore and experiment with the concepts of computer programming by using a simple graphical interface. They can create their own interactive stories, animation, games, music and art. The Georgia Tech competition was open to students in elementary through high school levels and more than $4,000 in prizes were awarded. Gloria Clemons is the business and computer science teacher at Albany Middle.

ISECS Celebrates International Day of Peace

International Studies Elementary Charter School celebrated International Day of Peace on September 21 with an assembly program. Students presented their ideas about peace in a variety of formats including videos, poetry, PowerPoint presentations, and art work.

Doug Porter, president of the Dougherty Rotary Club, spoke to the students and faculty about two international programs sponsored by Rotary to promote peace in countries all over the world. Those are the fight against polio and the Shelter Box program. The Dougherty Rotary Club is one of ISECS’ Partners in Excellence.

Boys to Men Starts Fourth Year at Jackson Heights

The Boys to Men mentoring group recently sponsored a free haircut day for all boys at Jackson Heights Elementary School. Area barbers volunteered their time and talent to ensure every boy at the school was well groomed. Boys to Men was started at Jackson Heights Elementary School three years ago. Advisors for Boys to Men include Pastor O.D. Burton Sr., Jackson Heights paraprofessional, and Timothy Robinson, parent facilitator.

The Boys to Men mentors know that in life, there are many challenges, but believe that with the right guidance boys can be prepared for what lies ahead in life. The group has many other activities planned for this school year such as NBA games, high school football, bowling, movies, skating, church, and others to enhance the boys’ social skills.

Sherwood Elementary Holds Photography Workshop

Quentin Jackson of Quentin Jackson Photography gave fourth and fifth grade students at Sherwood Acres Elementary School a demonstration of his work while teaching them about photography on September 9. The students were actively involved in examining the photography equipment and learning about various kinds of images that can be created.

Jackson included an informative presentation of the history of photography equipment and had several early-model cameras on display. He discussed advancements in photography and asked the students to predict what the future might bring. He encouraged the students to think about the uses of photography and gave the students an opportunity to submit their names to him if they are interested in developing their photography skills. Interested students will work with Jackson as part of the media magnet program at Sherwood Acres.

Morningside Cheerleaders Perform at Kids’ Expo

The Morningside Elementary School Sunbeam Cheerleaders participated in the 2010 Kids’ Expo on September 11. Kids’ Expo is a free annual event held at the Albany Civic Center by Dougherty for Children. Now in its 14th year, Kids’ Expo drew approximately 8,000 children and their families to its most recent event.

Two hundred exhibitors, seminar hosts, performers and volunteers provided information on health, safety, recreation and organizations for children, education, young children and special needs children’s issues. The cheerleaders performed three cheers and a dance, and were the center of attention. The cheerleaders also participated in a community clean-up activity on September 18 which reinforced to them the importance of giving back to the community and keeping your environment clean.

After the clean-up activity the girls shared a bonding experience with a picnic in the park. Sponsors of the Morningside Elementary School Sunbeams are Lashonda Atkins, Ashley Rucker, Veronica Thornton and Chiekara Waters.

Southside Teacher Awarded Grant from Georgia Power

Southside Middle School teacher Jarda Robinson recently received a $1,000 New Teacher Assistance Grant from Georgia Power. In this program, nominations are received from each of the public colleges and universities in Georgia that have Colleges of Education.

Candidates must be in the top 25 percent of the graduating class academically, must be a first year teacher currently employed by a public school in the state of Georgia, and must show high aptitude for teaching. The purpose of the grant is to encourage some of Georgia’s best and brightest new teachers by helping them purchase school supplies for their classrooms.

Southside principal Joey James said of Robinson, “He is one of the best additions to the staff and has made such a positive impact with the students and staff since his arrival. We are glad to have him as a part of the staff and as an example of the type of teachers we have at Southside Middle. We would like for the county to be aware of this great teacher and extraordinary gentleman.”

State Superintendent Bryant Names Parent Advisory Council

State Superintendent of Schools Brad Bryant on September 27 named 28 parents from all over Georgia to serve on his Parent Advisory Council (PAC). As members of the council, these parents will meet three times this year with the State Superintendent to discuss education issues in Georgia. Their primary focus will be increasing parent and family engagement to ensure student success. “Parents play a vital role in the education of their children,” Superintendent Bryant said. “I look forward to working with these parents and seeking their advice on how to encourage and strengthen parental involvement in our state.”

The meetings will allow parents to provide feedback and input on new policies, projects, and materials that influence students and their families. The Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council will share the information they learn with community members, other families, and schools. They will also serve as advisors and ambassadors in their respective communities.

Parents are nominated to serve on the PAC by their local school district at the beginning of each school year. Members are chosen by a committee of Georgia Department of Education representatives based on the applicant’s response to questions. Chosen to serve on this year’s Parent Advisory Council is Jonita Daniels, parent facilitator at Morningside Elementary School. Daniels is a mother of two who serves on the School Leadership Team and Principal’s Cabinet at Morningside and is currently completing a degree in Early Childhood Education.

Local Groups Donate Gifts for Grandparents’ Day at Morningside

Morningside Elementary School partnered with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and First United Methodist Church to honor their students’ grandparents on September 9. Andre’ Stevenson, on behalf of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, donated key ring wristlets for the grandmothers.

The personalized gifts were created by Becky Edmondson from Radium Springs Elementary School. Becky Boyd contributed personalized hats created by J-One Apparel on behalf of First United Methodist Church for the grandfathers. The grandparents had an opportunity to visit classrooms and enjoy lunch with their grandchildren. The faculty, staff and student body were excited to have grandparents in the building.

Lake Park Students Experience Close Encounter with Alligator

A very unusual, yet quite teachable, event occurred last Friday at Lake Park Elementary when students were able to observe a nine foot alligator from an unusually close perspective.

Lake Park teacher Joy Houldridge and her family were allowed to participate in an alligator hunt and came home with a nine foot (and quite dead!) alligator. Houldridge’s husband brought the alligator to Lake Park in the back of his pickup truck and Lake Park teachers took advantage of the unexpected opportunity bring new meaning to “hands on” activities. Students were excited to see the alligator and were full of questions.

Merry Acres Beta Club Raises Funds for Alzheimer’s Association

The Merry Acres Middle School Junior Beta Club joined the Memory Walk on September 25 at The Veranda. More than 30 of the club members came to support the Alzheimer’s Association fund raiser. They raised more than $340 by selling a book they compiled titled Walk with Me.

The book contained photos, memories, recipes, lists, and quotes all meant to inspire the reader. The event counted toward fulfillment of the requirement that club members contribute at least 20 hours of community service per year. Junior Beta Club sponsors at Merry Acres are Debra Smith and Jennifer Clark who both participated in the Alzheimer’s walk.

Albany Middle Launches 25-Book Campaign

“No Clowning…Just Read” is the theme for Albany Middle School’s annual 25-Book Campaign. A kickoff, featuring speaker Antonio Leroy, was held to encourage student participation in the campaign. Leroy, a former Monroe Comprehensive High School and Albany State University football standout, encouraged the students to seek opportunities to read whether at home, in school or even on the bus.

Selena Wingfield, Children’s Librarian for the Dougherty County Public Library, and superintendent Dr. Joshua W. Murfree, Jr., also encouraged the students to develop strong reading skills. The student body was entertained by the Albany High School drumline, directed by Trevor Baxter, and the Albany Middle School cheerleader squad, directed by Zelda White-Davis

Pre-K Program Awarded Two Grants

The Dougherty County School System lottery-funded Pre-K program has been awarded two grants to fund a transition program and an expansion of the program by adding an additional classroom. Both awards include the hiring of additional staff to include a transition coach, an additional teacher, and a paraprofessional. The grant proceeds will also fund travel and other job-related costs.

The Georgia Department of Education and Bright from the Start define transition as a process that prepares all partners including students, families, schools and communities, to develop knowledge, skills and relationships that help students move from one educational setting to another. Effective transition must address language and literacy needs, age appropriate social, emotional and physical developmental concerns, family circumstances that impede academic success, and the existence of effective community collaboration. The transition services position will be utilized not only by the Pre-K program, but will be responsible for serving both public and private preschool providers in the local community.

The expansion classroom will house 20 students and will contain all items needed for a state approved Pre-K classroom. The additional classroom will allow the DCSS to increase the number of children served by Pre-K to a total of 220. Staff members who wrote and submitted the grant application are Tamara Benton, Carlton Hollis, Suzanne Schley and Gloria Kendall.

It’s National School Lunch Week – What’s on Your Tray?

“School Lunch – What’s on Your Tray?” helps students learn that eating a healthy and nutritious school lunch is essential to help them get the most out of an action-packed day! Whether is a literal school lunch tray, or a busy academic and social calendar, what’s on a tray says a lot about a student’s personality. The highlight of the “School Lunch – What’s on Your Tray?’ campaign is a personality quiz that will help teachers, parents and students to find out how their school lunch profile stacks up and learn what foods are best to fuel them and keep healthy!

The campaign runs from August to October, culminating in National School Lunch Week, October 11-15. The School Nutrition Association (SNA) and the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP) are excited to bring great tools and resources to promote the “School Lunch – What’s on Your Tray” Campaign. The official “What’s on Your Tray?” website at http://www.whatsonyourtray.org has a tray full of activities and information for kids including the What’s on Your Tray personality quiz where students can discover what their favorite foods and activities reveal about them.
The DCSS Child Nutrition Department has planned many activities for the week of October 11-15 to celebrate National School Lunch Week. For more details please contact the Child Nutrition Department at 431-1818 or visit your child’s school cafeteria.

MLK Elementary Celebrates Reading

Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School celebrated reading with a pep rally on October 1.The Accelerated Reader program kick-off event took place in the gym where students enjoyed selections from the Monroe Comprehensive High School percussion band. Miss Albany State University, Ali’Yah Arnold, was the guest speaker and she energized the students with positive words about reading.

Miss ASU was accompanied by her Royal Court and the ASU Student Government Association. Albany State University Cheerleaders “pumped” the student body up with cheers and chants. The special guest for the afternoon was Chuck E. Cheese. He helped get MLK students ready for an exciting reading year.

Local Meteorologist Visits Sherwood Elementary

Yolanda Amadeo, WALB-TV meteorologist, was guest speaker at Sherwood Acres Elementary School recently. The fourth grade classes were treated to an hour-long presentation and discussion about weather elements. Amadeo gave the students a lot to consider regarding the different forces that play a part in creating the weather.

The students were excited to see Amadeo in person and had lots of questions for her. She is quite knowledgeable and is always generous in donating her time to the Dougherty County School System. JoAnne Lewis, Sherwood Acres media specialist, arranged the visit.

Radium Middle FBLA Completes First Service Project of Year

For their first community service project of the year, Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members wanted to start locally. On October 4, eleven FBLA members put on their gloves and grabbed a trash bag to beautify their campus of their “home away from home.”

The students picked up trash all around the school grounds improving the appearance and environment for their fellow students and staff members. Faculty advisor for FBLA at Radium Middle is Katherlene Stewart.

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  • Published: 1448 days ago on October 15, 2010
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  • Last Modified: October 15, 2010 @ 12:55 am
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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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