Roan School’s Pumpkin-Decorating Contest Winners

Roan School tied literacy into its curriculum this month by holding a pumpkin-decorating contest.

Officer Michael Hughes Gives Safety Speech at Roan School

HughesDalton Police Officer Michael Hughes visited Roan School to discuss Halloween safety with pre-kindergarten through third grade students on Halloween

Hughes, who has two children of his own, discussed the do’s and don’ts of trick-or-treating in an effort to keep kids safe throughout the holiday. Hughes focused on safety while walking in the dark, not going in strangers’ homes and making sure candy is safe to eat. Continue reading

Dalton Students Enjoy Visit from Ms. Frizzle

Ms. Frizzle, played by former teacher Shell Underwood, speaks to City Park 3rd graders during Readers to Leaders.

Ms. Frizzle, played by former teacher Shell Underwood, speaks to City Park 3rd graders during Readers to Leaders.

City Park students’ eyes got big. They whispered to their friends. They waved.

They had spotted a celebrity in their own gym—they had spotted Ms. Frizzle.

Frizzle is a character from The Magic School Bus series, and she was accompanied by her lizard friend, Liz.

Frizzle came to City Park as part of Readers to Leaders—a program that instills a love of reading and learning in students.

Melissa Morrison, with AmeriCorps Vista and United Way (who helps organize and put on the program), said Readers to Leaders began in 2012.

“It’s an Archway Initiative to work with literacy programs,” Morrison said. “It’s to create a community of literacy.” Continue reading

United Way Builds Greenhouse at Blue Ridge

       build the greenhouse at Blue Ridge.

Brian Haynes, Zac Long, and James Dixon, members of the Young Leaders Society, build the greenhouse at Blue Ridge.

A section of land sitting in the corner of Blue Ridge Elementary School’s campus will soon look completely different.

The area will now feature a greenhouse, gardens, and eventually an orchard.

The local United Way Young Leaders Society contacted Blue Ridge to see if they could be of assistance on Make a Difference Day.

After brainstorming, Principal Dr. Lisa Goode had the perfect project—a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) greenhouse. Continue reading

DPS Celebrates School Bus Safety Week

BeLinda Parrish stand with Evelyn Borjas and her first place poster.

BeLinda Parrish stands with Evelyn Borjas and her first place poster.

During the week of October 20-24, schools in Dalton are celebrating School Bus Safety Week.

The theme for this year’s week is “Be Smart – Be Seen, I wait in a safe place”.

The week kicked off on a great note—Evelyn Borjas, a 4th grader at Roan, won first place in the state competition for the Georgia School Bus Safety Poster Contest. (Four DPS district division winners have ties to Roan—two are students at Roan, and two were former students.)

Borjas is the first state level winner that DPS has had since transportation director BeLinda Parrish has been with the district, which is 17 years.

“I’m so excited to know that we have a state winner for the first time,” Parrish said.

The posters were due at the first of October, and it wasn’t long until Parrish heard that Borjas had been crowned the victor.

“The posters we sent in were exceptional,” Parrish said. And of Borjas’s poster: “It’s so pretty it could be a stamp. She followed the directions perfectly.”

Borjas drew a photo of a school bus coming down the street with students standing on the sidewalk.

“The bus is going to pick up the students in a safe place,” said Borjas of her drawing. “They’re waiting in a safe place so the cars won’t run them over.”

Borjas gets $100 for her poster, and she said she is very happy that she won.

“I like drawing,” she said. “I’m so excited.”

Borjas’s poster will now go on to the national level where it will be judged in Kansas City, Missouri on November 8-11, 2014.

“I’m so proud, so excited,” said Parrish.

The School Bus Safety Week officially kicked off with Monday being Driver Appreciation Day.

Parrish said each of the schools do something special to honor their drivers.

“Dalton High gave them biscuits, and some gave bags of candy or gifts,” said Parrish.

On Tuesday, schools went through bus evacuation drills in the morning.

Safety Bear was also on hand making visits to the schools.

“We need the drivers to know we appreciate them,” Parrish said of the importance of the week. “It’s a difficult job. Sometimes they’re responsible for 70 kids. It’s a way to say, ‘Thank you’.”

The theme for 2015 will be “Bully Free Zone!”

DPS division winners for the 2014 Georgia School Bus Safety Poster Contest

Division I             Paola Galaviz      Roan

Division II           Evelyn Barjas      Roan

Division III           Maria Martinez  DMS

Division IV           Jamon Watson   DMS


By Lindsey Derrick, Dalton Public Schools Contributor

Haynes Speaks to Roan Fourth Graders

Cedric Haynes returned to Dalton to speak to the Roan 4the graders. Photo by Margaret Kolbas

Cedric Haynes returned to Dalton to speak to the Roan 4th graders.
Photo by Margaret Kolbas

The 4th graders at Roan Elementary were recently treated to a special science lesson—Cedric Haynes came to speak to the students and conduct experiments with them.

Haynes was the local weatherman for Dalton’s WDNN, and now currently works at KLTV in Tyler, Texas.

Haynes is a former student of Roan, and was excited to come back. Continue reading

City Park Using STEM/STEAM to Better Prepare Students for Future Jobs

Keontae Farrar works on a birdhouse in the City Park STEM lab.

Ke’ontae Farrar works on a birdhouse donated by Home Depot in the City Park STEM lab.

As more jobs become available in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas, more Dalton Public Schools are hard at work to equip their students with skills to eventually be qualified for those positions when they get older.

City Park Elementary is one of those schools, and has recently opened up their new STEM lab.

Students in grades K-5 get to use the STEM lab four days every five weeks.

STEM lab teacher Lisa Cushman said they spent the first lesson teaching students what STEM actually means. Later the students built ramps to test different levels of speed.

“The focus was on the engineering design process and learning to work together, while tying in science and math standards,” said Cushman. Continue reading