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

Park Creek Celebrates Hispanic Heritage

Erick Muñoz and Alma Fraire show students folklore dances during Park Creek's Hispanic Heritage Celebration.

Erick Muñoz and Alma Fraire show students folklore dances during Park Creek’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration.

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), the student body at Park Creek was treated to their own celebration.

The idea came from Park Creek teacher Alma Fraire with help from her 1st grade classroom.

“We were studying about ourselves at the beginning of the school year, and we realized that we had students from different countries- one Japanese, one Vietnamese, one Cuban, one Salvadorian, two Guatemalan, and 19 from various states in Mexico,” Fraire said. Continue reading

Roan Students Brave the Rain on Walk to School Day

On the morning of Roan Elementary’s Walk to School Day,

Roan assistant principal Charlie Tripp and Dalton Board of Education member Steve Laird walk

Roan assistant principal Charlie Tripp and Dalton Board of Education member Steve Laird walk students to school on Walk to School Day.

umbrellas were raised and rain boots were sloshing.

With storms covering the area during the morning hours, fewer students took part in the event—100-200 students usually walk, but this Walk to School had groups of students coming in with three or fewer walkers.

“If it wasn’t lightening or thundering, we were going to do it,” said Roan principal Cindy Parrott. “We usually have a great morning.”

Roan has been taking part in National Walk to School (part of the National Center for Safe Routes to School organization) for years and always has a good turnout of walkers.

There were five meeting points for the students—a driver took two adults to each point, and then the adults walked with the students to the Roan campus.

When the students who walked got inside the school, they received prizes such as stickers, pencils, and bracelets. Continue reading

Dalton Public Schools to Hold Annual Title I Meeting

Dalton Public Schools will hold its annual Title I meeting on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, at 4 p.m. The meeting will be in the board conference room at the Central Office, 300 W. Waugh Street.  All parents of children in all Dalton Public Schools are invited. Attendees will learn about Title I and how it helps students. The district’s Title I plan, program components, final CLIP, Title I budget and Parent Involvement Policy will also be reviewed.

The Civil War Comes to Brookwood

Instead of simply ending a unit on the Civil War, the 5th grade teachers at Brookwood decided to make the war come to life.

The grade hosted a Civil War day that featured different stations depicting different areas of the war—students got to look at relics from the war, taste food from the era, practice dancing from the period, see clothing worn from the time period, and practice marching and standing at attention.

This is the second year that Brookwood has designed this special day for their students. Continue reading