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Share your opinions, read the latest news, debate the issues facing Cobb County School District, with special focus on public schools located in East Cobb.

East Cobb Middle School STEM Students Participate in ‘Hour of Code’ Video Chat

A classroom of East Cobb Middle School STEM students were one of seven schools in North America chosen to do a video chat with Dr. Hadi Partovi in honor of Hour of Code on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. Dr. Partovi is the founder of code.org.

Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.

East Cobb students chat with Dr. Partovi at the 18:45 mark of the video linked above.

(See more at: http://cobbcast.cobbk12.org/?p=7607#sthash.4NFX6F7r.dpuf)

 

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Cobb County Schools CLOSED for Winter Break

Cobb County Schools will close for the Winter Break on Monday, December 22, 2014, and resume for students on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. Staff will return on Monday, January 5, 2015.

 

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Cobb County Schools announces graduation dates

Graduates

The Cobb County School District has released dates, locations and times for the 2015 Spring Commencement Schedule. Pope and Kell will hold ceremonies on Thursday, May 21. Lassiter, Sprayberry, Walton and Wheeler ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 22. For locations and times, please visit Cobbk12.org.

(Source: Cobb County Schools)

 

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Cobb County School District Releases Results of School Enrollment/Population Study

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Click on image to enlarge

In order to help Cobb County School District officials better determine student enrollment projections and capital improvement programs related to demand for new schools, remodels or additions, the Cobb County School Board hired Davis Demographics & Planning, of Riverside, California, to  conduct 10-year student population projection study through 2023. The purpose of the $77,400 report was to research Cobb’s demographic trends, see how these trends may affect future student population and to assist in making facility adjustments that may be necessary to accommodate the potential student population shifts.

Cobb School Board Chair Kathleen Angelucci says it is important for the district to address potential enrollment concerns sooner rather than later  because it significantly affects the budget and capacity, or staff numbers. “It is always better to be proactive than reactive,” Angelucci continues.“Preparedness is key in good management.”

“Planning for and accommodating enrollment growth is particularly challenging, and even more so in areas with limited land options such as within the East Cobb community,” adds Scott Sweeney, East Cobb School Board Member. “East Cobb area high schools Lassiter, Pope, Sprayberry, Walton and Wheeler each have fewer than 50 acres and are surrounded by developed land.”

Of East Cobb’s 35 elementary, middle and high schools, five schools stand out in how greatly their enrollment numbers should increase over the next
decade. Brumby Elementary, which has a capacity of 751 students and currently serves about 1,200 students, is expected to increase by more than 400
students. Following a similar trend, Dodgen and East Cobb middle schools could each be tackling increases between about 300 and 700 students. In area high schools, Walton and Wheeler are looking at reaching student enrollments of about 3,400 students each— Walton up from more than 2,700 students this year and Wheeler nearly 1,900. Capacity at each high school is about 2,100-2,300.

Sweeney says bottom line Cobb is a great place to live with excellent schools and great employment opportunities, which factors into why people  continue to move here and the population increases.

“In addition to county population growth, many East Cobb community senior citizens are selling their homes to families with school age children drawn to the area because of the quality of the schools,” he says. “For example, before Eastside Elementary School was rebuilt, its enrollment was close to 900 students.

Today, the enrollment is closer to 1,200 students. What accounted for that enrollment growth? It wasn’t due to new housing development. Some of the growth could be attributed to families choosing public rather than private schools.”

He went on to say that he believes the district will work diligently to accommodate the East Cobb area’s student enrollment growth with school facility expansion or replacement as warranted. “It wasn’t too long ago that the school district had nearly 700 portable/trailer classrooms. Because of Cobb County’s continuing support for Education SPLOST funding, and the district’s commitment to make facility improvements, the portable classroom
count is 93 today. Fifteen of those are at Brumby Elementary School alone.”

Within the report is a “Ten Year Projection Methodology” section that details the factors included in the findings and why they were used. These include the calculation of incoming kindergarten classes, additional students from new housing, the effects of student mobility and a detailed review of planned residential development within Cobb Schools. Projection methodology used in this study combines historical student population counts, past and present demographic characteristics, and planned residential development to forecast future student population at the study area level.

The report included updating district mapping, using the Cobb Schools’ past three years of geocoded student data files, developing and researching pertinent demographic data, identifying current and future residential development plans and preparing a 10-year student population projection. According to the report, readers are reminded that this is a “snapshot” of current and potential student population based on data gathered in fall 2013. Population demographics, development plans, funding opportunities and school district priorities can change, therefore, new projections  and adjustments to the overall plan will continue to be necessary in the future.

(Written by Lindsay Field. Reprinted from the December 2014 EAST COBBER. Read the December issue HERE.)

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2014 Georgia High School Writing Test Results: Percentage of Cobb Students Passing Unchanged; Still Outperformed Metro Area Peers

Georgia law (O.C.G.A., Section 20-2-281) requires that writing assessments be administered to students in grades three, five, eight, and eleven. The State Writing Assessment Core Development and Advisory Committees assisted the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) in developing the writing component of the student assessment program. The committees comprised of educators with expertise in the instruction of writing skills and writing assessments, consist of eight committees—a Core Development and Advisory Committee for each grade level (3, 5, 8, and 11). The goal of the Writing Assessment Core Development and Advisory Committees and the GaDOE is to create developmentally appropriate assessment procedures to enhance statewide instruction in the language arts. Statewide writing assessments serve the purpose of improving writing and writing instruction.

Students in the 11th grade participate in the Georgia High School Writing Test and must pass the GHSWT to earn a regular education diploma. Students are asked to produce a response to one on-demand persuasive writing prompt.

The writing test requires students to produce a composition of no more than two pages on an assigned topic. The two-hour test administration includes 100 minutes of student writing time. The test is administered three times a year so that students have multiple opportunities to take the test before the end of senior year. The main administration of the GHSWT takes place in the fall of junior year. Results of the GHSWT are used to identify students who may need additional instruction in academic content and skills considered essential for a high school diploma.

At the district level, 98 percent of first-time test takers scored a passing grade, unchanged from 2013. Ninety-nine (99) percent of regular education students scored at or above the expected level of proficiency, which is also unchanged from last year’s administration. Eighty-six (86) percent of special education students taking the test scored at or above the expected level of proficiency, compared to 85 percent in the prior school year. Scores for English Language Learners (ELL) increased from 81 percent, to 96 percent in the current school year.

While the percentage of students passing in the district was unchanged, Cobb students outperformed their peers in other metropolitan districts (97 percent) and statewide (96 percent). The percentage of regular education students that passed the test across the State also increased 2 percent, from 96 percent last year to 98 percent this year. The percentage of special education students passing at the state level grew 9 percent (70 percent to 79 percent, respectively), and the percentage of English Language Learners statewide scoring at or above proficiency increased 11 percent, from 60 percent passing in 2013, to 71 percent passing in 2014.

Key Findings

District Results

  • A total of 6,733 first-time test takers took the writing test. Ninety-eight (98) percent met the passing standard with a mean scale score of 229. This reflects a 1-point decrease over last year’s scale score of 230.
  • A total of 6,666 Regular Program Grade 11 students were first-time test takers, with 99 percent passing and a mean scale score of 229. The percent of Regular Program students passing in 2013 was also 99 percent, with an average scale score of 231.
  • A total of 522 Special Education Grade 11 first-time test takers participated in the writing test. Eighty-six (86) percent met the passing standard with a mean scale score of 215. The percent of Special Education students passing in 2013 was 85 percent, with a scale score of 215.
  • A total of 46 English Language Learner Grade 11 first-time test takers were tested. Ninety-six (96) percent met the passing standard with a mean scale score of 213. Last year, 81 percent of the English language learners met the passing standard with a scale score of 208.

School Results

  • All 16 of the district’s high schools had a pass rate of 96 percent or better.
  • 12 high schools had 98 percent or more students passing. They were Allatoona, Harrison, Hillgrove, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, McEachern, North Cobb, Pebblebrook, Pope, Sprayberry, and Walton.
  • 13 of the district’s sixteen high schools had the same or higher pass rate this year than last year.

Click here to view the results table

(Source: Cobbk12.org)

Celebrate the Holidays with Shreiner Academy

Teacher Melissa Crimminger hangs out with 4th grade students at Shreiner Academy.

Teacher Melissa Crimminger hangs out with 4th grade students at Shreiner Academy.

Shreiner Academy is inviting the East Cobb community to celebrate the holidays with them Friday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Shreiner Academy’s  students and staff are throwing a Winter Wonderland event with children’s crafts, an indoor showing of the movie Frozen, special Frozen movie character visits and photos with Santa. Shreiner is asking all visitors to bring in a new toy or clothing item for ages 4 to 13 as admission. All donations will go to the MUST Ministries Toy Shop.

Shreiner Academy is a peaceful oasis located on convenient Terrell Mill Road near the I-75 Delk Road exit. The eight-acre wooded campus provides private educational opportunities for students age 2 through 8th grade. They pride themselves on small class size, individual attention, and outstanding faculty who really care about their students.

Melissa Crimminger, a Shreiner math teacher for 11 years, says that the academy is Cobb’s best kept secret. “We focus on the whole child and let them be who they are,” says Melissa. “Our aim is to bring out the very best in our students, while making sure they grow socially and academically.”

Using individualized and differentiated instruction, including transversing grade levels, Shreiner Academy is able to teach an accelerated curriculum while maintaining a warm environment in which children have fun learning.

Shreiner Academy offers a strong core academic curriculum, including music, art, physical education and Spanish classes from preschool to middle school. Additionally, the intimate setting provides opportunities for students to dive into hands-on learning and service. They plant and maintain vegetable gardens, perform in the school musicals, as well as give back to the local community.

Shreiner is now accepting applications for this year and next. The academy is hosting an open house for prospective families Thursday, Feb. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon and offers campus tours upon request. Shreiner is located at 1340 Terrell Mill Road in Marietta. Visit shreiner.com or call 770-953-1340 for more information.

(Paid Advertisement, reprinted from the December 2014 issue of EAST COBBER) 

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Walton Students Named Winners Of Attorney General’s Video Contest

 

Attorney General Sam Olens, left, announced the winners of the Prescription Drug Abuse Video Contest at Walton High School. Pictured with Attorney Gen. Olens are, from left, Walton Principal Judith McNeill, Walton students Adam Schmidt and Vaughn Smith who produced the winning video, Linda Strouffer of WSB-TV, and Cobb Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale.

(Source: http://cobbcast.cobbk12.org/?p=7539#sthash.2LTaa1Ut.dpuf)

 

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Cobb Schools Foundation Announces 2014 Teacher IMPACT Grant Recipients

The Cobb Schools Foundation announced the 2014 Teacher IMPACT Grant winners. The Foundation received 87 grant applications. This year, the Foundation awarded more than $22,000 in grants to teachers for creative and innovative ideas in education. Congratulations to all of the 18 IMPACT Grant recipients. Here are the recipients from East Cobb schools:

> Lori Kotarba – Kincaid ES
“Calm Down Caddies” $500

> Angie Dowling – Kell HS
“Making Literature Alive for ESOL students” $650

> Diana Bishop – Lassiter HS
“American Sign Language Club” $2,265.67

> Cynthia Pragovich – Nicholoson ES
“Portable Writing Lab” $1,310

> Sarah Dupuis – Keheley ES
“Enlarging eBook Collection” $1,500

> Dr. Ellen Campbell – CCSD Special Student Services
“DanceFit for Adaptive PE” $427
(In partnership with the Atlanta Hawks)

Since 2005, the Cobb Schools Foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to teachers in Cobb County School District. These grants are only  made possible by business partnerships and fundraising efforts, including the Annual Gimme 5 for Education campaign, golf tournament, Leaders & Legends Ball and more! For more information about the Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.cobbschoolsfoundation.org.

 

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Computer Science Education Week is Dec 9 – 13

Kids 4 Coding Education Technology Center in Roswell is hosting FREE Hour of Code events Dec 9, 10, 11 and 13th for students in Grades 2-12.
Next week millions of people worldwide will be participating in the Hour of Code and we are a host sight.
Computer Science is taught in only 5-10% of US schools.  The computer science field is growing approximately 300% faster than the economy.
The center and their work was featured in Tech Republic (owned by CBS) in October.

Kid 4 Coding is located at 11050 Crabapple Rd D-115B, in  Roswell 30075.

For more information: visit Kids4Coding.com or call

 

Attend the MDE School January Open House

The MDE School will host an Open House and Resource Fair , Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 6:30pm. MDE school educates children K-8th grade who have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities and special needs or need a different learning style and individual attention.

The Open House will be an opportunity to introduce interested parties to the facilities and staff, and inform them about the curriculum as well as the many resources in the community.

For more information please call the school at 770-971-4633 or visit www.mdeschool.com. The MDE School is loocated at 1517 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 30062.

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