Friday, February 04, 2011

18th Bus Trip Across Georgia

Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education

Day Two of this exciting opportunity to learn about Schools that are doing well in Georgia commenced at "Sawyer Road Elementary School, Marietta, Georgia."  My Journal entry:

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010.  An IB School.  All Scholars were IB, a requirement for Elementary Programs that want the IB Program.

The Welcome was performed by all Scholars under the Catwalks.  Reminded me of Extreme Home Makeover on TV, except there were 94 of us on two buses visiting the selected schools.

About Sawyer Road Elementary (SRE).  Training with a strong business involvement.  Five year old facility with 650 Scholars.  Focused on best practices.  Strong Community and Parent engagement which was very evident.  Preparing Scholars for a Global Society.  Service Projects included Haiti Relief and Heifer Project among many.  Clusters/Groups evident in each Class Room.  We had several groups and I was assigned to the "Balanced" group.  We had two guides, one to lead us from each class room on the tour and the other with a stop watch.  Well organized.  The school atrium greeting includes mimes who displayed the focus of the School.  Our guide answered my question about the school.  "What Makes this School Good."  The reply I received was:  "The Teachers make learning Fun."  All wore a Red Ribbon "I Believe in Me" which was a part of a drug awareness program.  All had the opportunity to participate in drama workshops. 

Interactive groups in each Class Room.  Extensive use of graphs and smart boards.  As we toured the Class Rooms all 94 of us in several groups noted that the Scholars remained focused.  The teachers "modeled diversity" colored hair was the common trait in one wing of the school.  The Spanish Lab included the language and geography.  Integerated Learning.  A very hands on learning environment in each classroom.  Very effective.  The Staff and the Scholars owned the circulum.  A Win, Win situation which was evident in each classroom.

A bully box in the Hallway where a Scholar could report a Bully without anyone knowing who did the reporting.  Excellent concept from my point of view.

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