Smyrna-Vinings School News You Can Use

Teasley's Robot Warriors need your vote, Smyrna Academy of Excellence wants to tickle your funny bone and other schools news.

Monday is President’s Day across the nation and that means no school for Smyrna-Vinings kids. Students at Whitefield Academy and St. Benedict’s Episcopal Day School get an added bonus, as Tuesday is a teacher in-service day. Patch parents what do you and your kids have planned for the holiday?

Teasley Elementary School’s FIRST Lego League Team, the Robot Warriors, is competing for a chance to have its spoiled milk detection device professionally patented as part of the Global Innovative Award Challenge. The Robot Warriors need your help garnering enough online votes to advance to the finals. The three finalists nationwide will be honored at an awards ceremony at the U.S. Patent Office in Alexandria, Va. The winning team will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with Edison Nation to professionally develop, produce and market their product; a prize valued at $250,000. Voting is open till March 1 and community members can vote for as many solutions as they like. 

Teasley Elementary School’s library is growing thanks to the Vinings Village Civic Club. Each month the club honors its monthly speakers by donating books to the Teasley library in their name. January’s honoree was Pascaline Ivey, a media specialist.

Smyrna Academy of Excellence holds a comedy fundraiser at McCray’s Tavern Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m. See some of Atlanta’s funniest comedians at this fundraiser for the kindergarten through sixth grade Science Technology Engineering and Math charter school that will open in Smyrna July 2013. The show is appropriate for audiences 21 and older and tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased at the Smyrna Academy of Excellence website.

The charter school will also hold an informational meeting Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. at Rev Coffee. Parents and students can learn about the school’s STEM curriculum and pre-register.

Congratulations to Westminster Schools alumni and Smyrna resident Tucker Douglas Hartley on being named to the fall 2011 dean’s list at Washington University in St. Louis. Hartley is enrolled in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. To be named to the dean’s list students must earn a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher and be enrolled in at least 14 graded units. 

L. Davis March 03, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Do parents have any say in the matter? “Oh yes,” he said. “These are schools of choice. I’ve seen it work very well in certain instances. I’ve seen the bilingual program fail, and others fail when they did not learn English and have command of English. English is the language of commerce, and students have to learn English.” Hinojosa said Belmont Hills was the only Cobb school he knew of that was interested in dual language, though our district executive source said he had reason to believe Hinojosa was interested in expanding it to other schools. Belmont Hills is a kindergarten through fifth grade school, though it enrolls fewer than 500 students, Hinojosa said. The school has a high number of non-English speaking students, he said. “It’s 90 percent Hispanic,” Hinojosa said. “The language is up to them, but obviously it would be Spanish. That’s their native language.” (Incidentally, that’s not exactly what the district reported to state officials just a few months ago. According to student demographic data reported on Oct. 4, Belmont Hills’ student body was 60 percent Hispanic, 30 percent black, 7 percent white and 3 percent “other.”) And the story changed dramatically by Thursday morning, when the district’s communications director,
L. Davis March 03, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Jay Dillon, emailed Isaza and said: “After your interview yesterday with Dr. Hinojosa, we talked to Terry Floyd, principal at Belmont Hills, to get an update on the dual language initiative. She said it was something they looked at but have decided not to pursue at this time. She said they do not intend to submit a proposal for a dual language program.”
L. Davis March 03, 2012 at 01:00 PM
AT wonders whether most Cobb residents who pay the taxes that finance the school system would be happy about a program like this, regardless of its merits. We also wonder if this is another issue that the superintendent and school principal could implement without any say from the elected board — which begs the question of why even have a board of education? Three public elementary schools in Georgia are dual language schools, according to state officials. They are Unidos, in Clayton County; World Languages Academy, in Hall County; and Beulah Elementary, in Douglas County. Beulah Elementary began the program in 2008, according to information on its website. Parents of incoming kindergarteners choose whether their child is in one of the three English classrooms, or one of the two Spanish classrooms, and the students continue in such through grade five there. Beulah, like Belmont Hills, is a Title 1 school, which indicates most of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
L. Davis March 03, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Terry Floyd has been the principal at Belmont Hills since at least 2007. The Superintendent couldn’t recall when he had first heard of the idea, though he said it had been since Jan. 1. What exactly does dual language mean? We heard students would get their lessons in Spanish for half the day, and lessons in English the other half. “There are different models of dual language,” Hinojosa said. Principal Floyd, he said, was “going to do some research and was supposed to bring something back to the central office.” Hinojosa does have some experience with dual language schools in Dallas, Texas, where he was previously the superintendent.
L. Davis March 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Isaza tried to pick Floyd’s brain on the idea and her vision for her school, but Floyd emailed her Friday morning to say: “As principal of Belmont Hills Elementary School, it is my job to research instructional programs that may improve student achievement and benefit our diverse community of learners. Dual Language is just one of many programs I have researched. Following my research and considering the transitional state of Belmont Hills due to the recently approved redistricting, I have determined that Dual Language is not a program that we intend to pursue at this time. Thank you.”


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