Monthly Archives: March 2012

Community Cats Making a Difference at Westwood School

Volunteer Katie Tatum works with first-grade students Jason Teeters (center) and Oscar Landaverde in a small reading group at Westwood School.

Katie Tatum loves Westwood School. So when the school started a volunteer program this year called Community Cats, she knew she wanted to be a part of it. The program provides volunteers who work with young students learning to read and write. “My mom taught in this school and I have two children who attend school here,” Tatum said. “My son is a great reader, and I wanted to help other children to enjoy reading and improve their skills.”

Tatum brings a natural enthusiasm to the classroom and the students love being a part of her group. First-grade teacher Ansley Harrison says Tatum and the other volunteers have been a huge help this year. “Mrs. Tatum comes every Wednesday morning and the kids can’t wait to work with her,” Harrison says. “She works with a small reading group of students while I’m providing individualized instruction to Continue reading

Two DHS Students Selected for Governor’s Honors

Dalton High School juniors Pratik Bhatter and Sarah Stinnett have been honored with selection to the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. Bhatter will study science and Stinnett will study math.

The Governor’s Honors Program, known as GHP, is a residential summer program for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors. A function of the Georgia Department of Education, it takes place on the campus of Valdosta State University (VSU).  The 2012 program will be the 49th summer, making it the longest continually running program of its kind in the nation.

“I am proud of Pratik and Sarah for their academic honor and the individual achievement this represents,” said Principal Debbie Freeman. “I’m equally proud of them for how well they represent themselves and Dalton High School in  our community.”

More than 2,900 students from across the state were interviewed and Continue reading

Park Creek Students Mix Learning and Fun

Park Creek student Abigail Castro uses a hand mixer to blend ingredients for a batch of cookies.

Cooking is fun and educational, says Kapua Keefe, a teacher at Park Creek School. Keefe, who teaches third and fourth-grade students, has found that her students really respond to learning academic skills through baking and preparing foods.

“Cooking provides a multi-faceted lesson for my students,” Keefe said. “I’ve been able to incorporate math, reading and social studies as well as independence and self-help. They’ve mastered skills like using a hand mixer, recognizing and measuring ingredients, counting, and reading in a left-to-right progression.”

Keefe’s class started with making cupcakes but has also prepared Jell-O, pudding, brownies, S’mores, parfaits, and even butter. Their favorite food remains cupcakes. While it’s obvious that cooking requires math and reading skills, the students have Continue reading

DPS Updates District and School Websites

Dalton Public Schools released its fully redesigned website ( on Monday, March 19. The new look is the first complete refresh of the district’s online presence since 2007.

Web visitors will experience a site that more effectively presents the most critical information requested by parents, community, employees and newcomers as determined by site usage information, focus groups, and user surveys. The former site was developed to present information for the community and for employees, while the new site is geared primarily to the community. Employee Continue reading

Park Creek Third Graders Study Economics with Market Day

Shown buying products available for sale during the Market Day Bazaar at Park Creek School are (from left to right): Joselin Tamay, Cuauhtemoc Chavez, Ladashja Roberts, and Abraham Carrillo

Third-grade students at Park Creek School recently experienced entrepreneurship and learned firsthand the importance of economics when the school held a Market Day Bazaar.

More than 100 students participated in the special event. Students were given the opportunity to earn Market Money – which was custom designed for Park Creek students – by demonstrating positive behavior at school. Working in collaboration, the students produced, advertised, and sold products they had created. Products available included snow globes, necklaces, cardholders, Continue reading

Dalton Board Members Honored at Reception

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In honor of School Board Appreciation Week in Georgia, March 12-16, current and former Dalton Board of Education members and superintendents were honored with a reception held at City Hall before the regular board meeting. More than 100 people gathered to support the work of the current Dalton Board of Education and those who previously served and helped establish the strong traditions of excellence within the district.

On hand for the celebration was Dalton Mayor David Pennington who presented a proclamation designating March 12 as Dalton Board of Education Appreciation Day. Each board member introduced his family who was in attendance and shared a few words acknowledging that public service is an honor but also a commitment from everyone involved including the person’s family. Also honored during the festivities were former Dalton Board of Education members JoAnne Shirley, Alice Squillario, and Randall Maret. Former Dalton Superintendent Frank Thomason was also recognized.

Kindergarten and Pre-K Registration Down in Dalton Public Schools

Though the lines started forming the night before for families wishing to register students for kindergarten in Dalton Public Schools for the 2012-13 school year, the overall total was slightly down from last year. A total of 228 students were registered for the upcoming kindergarten class which starts in August—30 fewer students than last year. The two-day registration was held on March 7-8. Registrations by Out-of-District or Out-of-Zone families accounted for another 63 applications. These applications will be reviewed to see if existing space is available. The first round of notifications for Out-of-District or Out-of-Zone students will be on April 27.

Registration for prekindergarten students concluded after the two-day registration on March 5-6 with 343 applications received for enrollment—30 fewer than last year.  A total of 719 students registered for Pre-K with Dalton City, Whitfield County, or the private providers over the two-day period, which is down approximately 14 percent from last year (which was an all-time high enrollment).