Monthly Archives: March 2019

MCS Board of Education Approves Math Adoption

MathAdoption2019 During its March work session meeting, the Marietta City Schools Board of Education approved the purchase of the Pearson Math Program for kindergarten through 11th-grade students. This adoption provides an opportunity for the district to support math instruction at all grade levels using a collaborative team to ensure alignment of the Marietta City Schools (MCS) Balanced Mathematics Framework and the Georgia Standards of Excellence.

In accordance with Policy IC, quantitative data and qualitative input were used to narrow the interested applicants to three vendors: Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Math, with the district and community ultimately choosing to partner with Pearson.

“We want every teacher and family to have access to a full menu of resources – traditional textbooks, teacher kits, consumables, and digital resources – so our children have every opportunity for success. I feel confident our math adoption committee, comprised of 40+ educators from every role in the district, did just that in their recommendation for Pearson Math,” said Superintendent Grant Rivera following Tuesday night’s meeting. “Our goal is to provide students, teachers, and families with the resources they need to support student learning.”

During the 2018-2019 school year, the Office of Academic Achievement and Programs worked with various MCS departments, administrators, teachers, and community members to recommend the purchase of a district mathematics program (K-11th grade). A Request for Proposal (RFP) was posted on October 2018 and interested vendors submitted proposals. These proposals were vetted by a review team comprised of school-based coaches, district coordinators, executive directors, and the deputy superintendent.

A community decision – teachers, parents, administrators, and even young students were encouraged to visit the district’s Central Office for a public review of vendors in early February.

District leaders have committed to putting the new resources in the hands of teachers by May 2019.

Survey results from both the math committee and community members support the adoption of the Pearson Math Program.

Learn more about the district’s new math adoption via the links below.

Grades K-5 – Math Curriculum Overview

Grades 6-8 – Math Curriculum Overview

High School – Math Curriculum Overview

Math Committee Voting Results – Math Results

Math Community Voting Results – Community Math Adoption

Meet Genesis: One of Many Exceptional Students in Marietta City Schools

Genesis_Exceptional students_00025Marietta Middle School student Genesis Juarez loves watching videos of her favorite boy band, Adexe y Nau, communicating with friends on Instagram and SnapChat, and socializing with her peers.  Normal behavior for most teen girls her age, but something that takes a little more effort for a student with Cerebral Palsy (CP).

Cerebral Palsy is a condition that affects a person’s muscle tone and ability to coordinate body movements and control their muscles. Genesis requires a wheelchair and is only able to control her left leg and foot.

“Although CP impacts her speech, that hasn’t stopped Genesis from being able to communicate,” says Marietta Middle School teacher Susan Donlin. “With the use of communication software on a tablet, she can access the software she needs for class by either selecting the correct icons with her left big toe while the tablet is on an easel or by using a joy stick attached to her left foot plate.”

And her teacher also tells us that Genesis has a great sense of humor and enjoys making the other students laugh.

“Genesis’ positive spirit and perseverance are a daily inspiration to those lucky enough to know her,” said Donlin.

Genesis is bilingual and speaks Spanish to her family at home.  The school downloaded the same communication software in Spanish on her personal device so that she can communicate more effectively with her family.

This effort is in line with services provided to students with special needs in the district through the Department of Special Services (DSS).

“Working closely with students, their parents and guardians, and educators, DSS works to create building blocks for successful students,” said Michele Bealing-Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS. “Through transition programs designed to provide soft skills, work, career, and employment-training opportunities, we want students like Genesis to graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.”

DSS of Marietta City Schools serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, like the technology used by Genesis, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting

Marietta City Schools is using March 4-8, 2019, known as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country, to highlight our incredible and exceptional students and their teachers.

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MHS Exceptional Students Manage Successful Coffee Cart for More than a Decade

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MHS student Darby Parker collects money from a science student during the early morning Coffee Cart delivery. This is the 12th year that the school-based enterprise has been managed by students with special needs.

Every weekday morning, students at Marietta High School can be seen taking a quick break to pick up their coffee and hot chocolate orders as the school’s “Coffee Cart” makes its way down the hallways. On any given day they will meet Darby Parker, one of the leaders of the small business, who helps to organize the orders and collect payments from students and faculty members.

A school-based enterprise operated by students with intellectual disabilities, the Coffee Cart has been in operation at MHS for 12 years with 25 students participating in its daily operations. The cart provides students like Darby with the opportunity to work on the real-life skills they are learning in class and can translate to life after high school such as counting money, making eye contact with customers, greeting customers, prepping beverages, and stocking the carts.  Participating students, like Darby, work on three domains: education/training, employment, and daily living skills.

“Exposure precedes preferences, so it is essential to provide students with the opportunity to try various jobs, skills, and activities, so they can understand what their preferences, strengths, and interests are,” says Angelina Snider, Transition Specialist and Success Coach in the district’s Department of Special Services (DSS). “Participating in the coffee cart provides the students with an opportunity to grow in confidence and their skills. The students interact with almost everyone in the building.  The teachers begin by placing the students in jobs according to their strengths and the students rotate through the jobs throughout their time at the high school.”

“Darby and her peers receive individualized support from their teachers, based on their individual needs,” explains Michele Bealing-Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS. “School-based enterprises are essential for students with intellectual disabilities to practice real-world job skills with support while in high school.”

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes March 4-8, 2019 as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country. This year’s theme is Building Blocks for Successful Students.  The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional organization of educators, parents and students dedicated to advancing the success of children with disabilities.

Darby_Exceptional Students_00009Marietta serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting.

“Our primary goal involves the use of system, school, grade level, and student-specific data to meet the needs of all learners, helping to grow the experiences and opportunities of students with exceptionalities while in school and after graduation,” says Bealing-Sayles.

So the next time you see the Coffee Cart coming down the hallway, know that it is more than an opportunity to take a break and enjoy a beverage, it is a specially designed program created to provide soft skills, work, career and employment-training opportunities for our exceptional students so that they graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.

 

Marietta High School Students Win Big at GHSA Literary Meet

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Marietta High School students competed in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Region Literary Meet at North Cobb High School on March 2, 2019. MHS finished 2nd overall with three students advancing to the State competition as region champions.

The GHSA Literary competition was created to promote sportsmanship and an appreciation for and study of music, speech, and other fine arts through Region and State competitions.

This is the first time in 15 years that Marietta has competed in this prestigious competition. Other high schools participating included Hillgrove, McEachern, North Cobb, and the overall region champions – Kennesaw Mountain High School.  The state meet will take place on Saturday, March 16 at Buford High School. Learn more about the upcoming state competition here.

Rhetorical Essay – Samira Butts, REGION CHAMPION

Extemporaneous Speaking – Calvin Rausch, REGION CHAMPION

Humorous Interpretation – Carson Shearer, REGION CHAMPION

Dramatic Interpretation – Jocelyn Floryance, SECOND PLACE

Duo Interpretation – Jessica Napier & Vesey Banuel, SECOND PLACE

Girls Vocal Solo – Nailah Williams, SECOND PLACE

Boys Vocal Solo – Aidan Fortenberry, THIRD PLACE

Girls Trio – Nailah Williams, Calvin Rausch, Lourdes Skeete-Dennis, THIRD PLACE

Boys Quartet – Aidan Fortenberry, Daniel Jacobs, Thomas Lewis, Nicholas Sims, THIRD PLACE

Argumentative Essay – Wyatt Strassman, FOURTH PLACE

Personal Essay – Cameron Payne, FOURTH PLACE

Congratulations and job well down to our MHS Literary team, and a special thank you to the team’s coaches and instructors – Lars Grevstad, Carla Mills, Shannon Lawson, Theresa Duarte, Tim Nielson, Holly Smith, and Craig McKinney.

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Marietta City Schools to Screen Documentary “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety”

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The feature film documentary “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety” is sparking a global conversation about anxiety through screenings throughout the country.

On March 20, 2019, at 6:00 p.m., Marietta City Schools will hold a special screening of the documentary at Marietta High School’s Marietta Performing Arts Center (MPAC) to open up a dialogue between local families, community leaders, and experts. The event will feature a viewing of the 56-minute film, followed by an informative panel discussion with special guests.

“We felt it was important to make a movie that could raise awareness to open up the conversation and provide hope,” said Scilla Andreen, IndieFlix CEO and “Angst” Producer. “So many people struggle with anxiety and have trouble talking about it. We want to change that.

Producers Andreen and Karin Gornick have one goal: to start a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. Through candid interviews, they utilize the power of film to tell the stories of many kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its impacts on their lives and relationships, as well as how they’ve found solutions and hope. The film also includes a special interview with Michael Phelps, a mental health advocate and one of the greatest athletes of all-time. In addition, the documentary provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, along with the help, resources, and tools available to address the condition.

Free tickets are available now and seating is limited. This film is appropriate for ages 10 years old and up.

Visit https://www.showclix.com/event/angst-marietta-city-schools to reserve your tickets today for the March 20 screening at the MPAC.

While “Angst” documents the struggles some people have with anxiety, it also reveals their hope for the future. Noah, a teenager in the film, describes it this way: “Anxiety doesn’t define me. It’s not just a curse; it also gives me strength.”

“Everybody needs to know that anxiety disorders are real, common and treatable instead of viewing them as a personal choice or something to be ashamed of,” said Dr. Jerry Bubrick, Senior Director of Anxiety Disorders Center, Child Mind Institute. “Getting help early is crucial in giving people the tools they need to feel better. We just need to start the conversation.”

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge in the U.S., impacting 54 percent of females and 46 percent of males, with age seven being the median age of onset, according to the World Health Organization. While anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only one-third of those suffering receive treatment. Everyone involved in the development of “Angst” has a personal experience with anxiety – from the producers to the interviewees.

“The conversation surrounding mental health really hits home for me,” said Michael Phelps. “Many people don’t understand how debilitating mental illness truly can be, and even more than that, how common it is, yet people are afraid to have the serious discussions about it. I welcomed the opportunity to be a part of ‘Angst’ to further the dialogue around mental health and to help people understand the impact anxiety has on our mental state and encourage people, especially kids, to ask for help.”

ABOUT INDIEFLIX FOUNDATION

The IndieFlix Foundation holds a unique place at the intersection of donors who want to inspire global change, and creative filmmakers who tell powerful stories that can unite and transform communities. By funding films that inspire social change and positive action, the Foundation supports documentaries that are screened in schools, groups and organizations. This brings communities together to watch films, sitting side-by-side, and allows conversations to begin. Recent documentaries include “Finding Kind, about bullying, “The Empowerment Project”, which addresses female empowerment, and “Screenagers” which delves into the impacts of social networking and increased screen time. Powered by donations, the IndieFlix Foundation’s cause-based content targets ages nine and up.   

ABOUT INDIEFLIX

Founded by filmmakers, IndieFlix is a membership-based streaming service ($4.99/mo & $39.99/yr) that is one of the industry’s most meaningful global streaming platforms. IndieFlix gives film lovers access to more than 4,000 high-quality shorts, features, documentaries, and series from 85 countries with an emphasis on content for a purpose. IndieFlix is available on just about any internet connected device, anywhere in the world. In addition to being a distribution streaming service , IndieFlix has several original social change projects in production. For more information about IndieFlix, visit https://indieflix.com/

 

 

Atlanta Braves Foundation Selects Six Marietta Educators for Grant Program

The Atlanta Braves Foundation has teamed up with the Marietta Schools Foundation to fund education projects for Marietta teachers that will provide a lasting and meaningful impact to MCS students through the Educator Grant Program.

Together, the two organizations committed $7,000 to fund professional development opportunities, classroom enrichment, field trips, and any other projects or programs that will improve the learning experience of Marietta students.

Numerous teachers submitted grant requests for their innovative project ideas to enhance student learning. Due to the overwhelming number of quality grant requests, the Marietta Foundation and the Credit Union of Georgia contributed additional funds to increase the planned $7,000 in funding to over $8,500.

Congratulations to the recipients below.

Candice Taylor –  Marietta Middle School
Dr. Kyra Caldwell – Marietta Middle School + Marietta Sixth Grade Academy
Beth Silvey – Hickory Hills
Kaitlynn Washington – Hickory Hills
Barco-Paige – Central Office
Throop, Susie – Central Office

MCS thanks the Atlanta Braves Foundation and the Marietta Schools Foundation for supporting the creative energy and innovative mindset of the district’s teachers while advancing their educational programs.

Marietta City Schools Recognizes Exceptional Children’s Week 2019

Marietta educators and parents partner to provide opportunities for students with exceptionalities

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recognizes March 4-8, 2019 as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country. This year’s theme is Building Blocks for Successful Students.  The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional organization of educators, parents, and students dedicated to advancing the success of children with disabilities.

The Department of Special Services (DSS) of Marietta City Schools serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting.  

“Our primary goal involves the use of system, school, grade level, and student-specific data to meet the needs of all learners, helping to grow the experiences and opportunities of students with exceptionalities while in school and after graduation,” said Ms. Michele Bealing Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS.

Working closely with students, their parents and guardians, and educators, DSS works to create “Building Blocks for Successful Students” through the enhancement of transition programs designed to provide soft skills, work, career and employment-training opportunities that allow students to graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.

Additionally, DSS works closely with CEC to improve public policy affecting youth and the professionals who work with them.

During Exceptional Children’s Week, MCS will use social media platforms to celebrate the successes of its exceptional students. Follow the district on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Marietta Students Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday on ‘Read Across America Day’

Students and staff in Marietta City Schools joined millions of their peers across the country this week to celebrate the sixteenth annual National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day.

NEA’s Read Across America Day, which celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the joys of reading, encourages citizens to pick up a book and read (while wearing a silly hat and socks if you choose). The special day also continues the district’s commitment to the initiative Marietta Reads!, which encourages Marietta City Schools students to read more, read better and read widely.

Take a look at these photos from around the district of classroom celebrations that remind us that you’re never too old, too wacky, or too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.

For more information on NEA’s Read Across America, visit www.nea.org/readacross and www.readacrossamerica.org and learn of other reading celebrations that are happening from coast to coast.

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