Author Archives: dpsschools

Dalton Staff Prepare for School Start

Employees from across Dalton Public Schools returned to work on Monday for pre-planning to kick off the 2015-16 school year. The day was filled with meetings, greetings and preparing classrooms and the school for students to return on Thursday, Aug. 6. Most school principals started the day off with staff meetings but gave their teachers time to meet with their grade level or teaching teams and start readying their rooms for students.

DMS Teacher Selected to Participate in PBS NewsHour Summer Program

DMSGinaGrayGina Gray, the journalism teacher at Dalton Middle School, has a passion for seeing her students understand the many career possibilities that are available in digital media and journalism. She works hard to provide engaging, real world projects for her students using digital video, photography and writing. Ms. Gray’s efforts have been recognized as she was the only teacher in Georgia selected to participate in the PBS NewsHour Teacher Workshop to be held in Washington, D.C. in July. In addition, her class will have opportunity to submit videos on current events and topics as part of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs.

Gray also received a grant for new equipment from Education Sports Entertainment (ESE) Networks, who partners with the Georgia Governor’s office, to provide funding to have instructional videos online for use by parents and teachers. With the ESE grant, Ms. Gray’s class received 2 Sony video-cameras, computer and webcasting software along with storage space on their network. These tools will allow her to provide more opportunities to video instruction at the school as well as provide live streaming of events and activities to parents and the community.

Gray was one of only 32 teachers selected nationwide and Dalton Middle was the only Georgia School selected to participate in the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program (@reportinglabs). The PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program connects middle and high school students to local PBS stations and news professionals in their community to produce original, student-generated video reports. The students who participate in the project learn how to think critically, problem-solve, synthesize information and investigate important topics. The annual teacher workshop is held in the nation’s capital. The selected teachers and program leader will work alongside public media mentors to produce original news stories. They will also help program leaders develop curriculum to engage young people in news and public affairs, and ensure that the youth voice is active in all conversations about the critical issues facing the nation, and spark a life-long interest in current events.

“Passionate educators are the glue that hold this program together,” said Leah Clapman, managing editor of education for the PBS NewsHour. “Every year we discover new ways to expand and improve SRL, with the most innovative and effective ideas coming straight from the teachers on the front lines.”

Gray says she’s excited to participate in the teacher workshop because she’s anxious to learn new techniques that she can share with her students. “The teacher workshop promises to be not only informative but an opportunity to network with fellow journalism teachers from across the country,” Gray said. “I’m excited to bring back some new ideas and activities that will help my students take their journalism skills to the next level.”

The Dalton Middle School Parents Teachers Organization (PTO) and the Dalton Education Foundation also provided grant funds to Gray to provide students with iPads and accessories that further the production abilities at the school. “My students were able to create over 70 videos for the student website last year,” Gray said. “The PBS program and the ESE grant will allow me to expand on a class that is already doing a great job of covering school activities and events. My students are doing incredible work, and I’m excited that they will have the opportunity to do even more next year.”

Summer PreK Students Learn About Recycling

SummerPrekRecyclingStudents in the rising Pre-Kindergarten Summer Transition program at Blue Ridge enjoyed having Liz Swafford, executive director of Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful and recycling and education program coordinator for Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, visit their classroom. Ms. Swafford wore her dress made entirely from recycled materials and taught the students how they could recycle, reuse and reduce trash in our community. Shown with Ms. Swafford are students Miranda Barajas and Leonardo Jarquin.

Napier Honored by Georgia Senate

BethelNapierState Senator Charlie Bethel recognized Dalton High Coach Bill Napier with a resolution approved by the Georgia Senate at the June meeting of the Dalton Board of Education. Senator Bethel sponsored the resolution to recognize Napier’s work as a teacher and coach as well as the influence he has had on thousands of young people over the course of his career. Napier has taught and coached for over 30 years in northwest Georgia, most recently with Dalton High School.

Dalton Board of Education Chairman Danny Crutchfield also expressed appreciation for Coach Napier’s work at Dalton High. “We are very proud that Coach Land brought Coach Napier to Dalton High as part of our team.” Crutchfield added.



Dalton Teacher Completes Industry Program to Help Students Prepare for Work

Dalton High teacher Barbara Brayford works with Phoenix Chemical shipping manager Richard Davis to learn how the chemicals get to their final destination.

Dalton High teacher Barbara Brayford works with Phoenix Chemical shipping manager Richard Davis to learn how the chemicals get to their final destination.

Barbara Brayford, an Economics and history teacher at Dalton High School, recently completed a “Teachers In Industry” Project with Phoenix Chemical Company, Inc. “Teachers in Industry” or TIP is a cooperative project of the Georgia Department of Education, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, and the Dalton Chamber of Commerce.  The objective of the program is for teachers to have on-site experience within industries in the area that may become future employers for their students.  Through this project, it is hoped that a support structure and partnership can be created among the local business and the local teacher.

“As a teacher of Economics, I was especially drawn to Phoenix Chemical Company, a privately owned business that started from scratch and has become a multimillion dollar international operation,” said Brayford. “It is a perfect example of entrepreneurship at work! I am excited about sharing this experience with my students. My goal is to educate them for life outside of school and spending time in a real working industry has been a valuable experience that I will share through a multitude of lessons and activities that will be supported by my new understanding of the business.”

“My time at Phoenix Chemical incorporated all facets of the industry,” said Brayford. “The first day tour by Kevin Wright was enough to completely overwhelm anyone. I was blown away by the diversity of operations. Over three days I was graciously allowed access to every department starting with the front offices and eventually working our way to the very back of the plant where trailers for transport are stored. Production meetings, inventory reports, shipping and receiving, chemical manufacturing and distribution, front office procedures of billing and posting, regulations, quality control, …. you name it, I got to see it and learn about it. They even found some little jobs I could do along the way.”

“All levels of skill and education are used within the industry and it was interesting to hear many of the employee’s stories,” said Brayford. “A few of the workers shared with me how they had started in lower level positions, but with experience and training were able to move into higher positions of responsibility and interest. Paramount to the success of an industry such as Phoenix Chemical is attention to details and compliance to safety regulations.

On my third day I spent some time with David Cook, a Dalton High School graduate now responsible for quality control and packaging. We discussed the importance of time management, organization, and awareness of details necessary in a business such as this. Government regulations and safety precautions must be followed to a tee. “

An important yet costly change for the company has been the new Global Harmony ruling that requires all labeling to include new international symbols and content listings. Brayford said that it was a perfect example of what economics students learn the role of government in business.

“My mentors, Kevin Wright, David Cook, and John Bryant, were gracious, patient, and extremely interesting,” added Brayford. “All of the employees were welcoming and kind. I am so thankful for this time and experience in what I refer to as “the real world.” I know my students and I know what they don’t know and that is how all these years of education is going to come together in “the real world.” Next year’s econ and history students are going to greatly benefit from this most interesting experience.”

Dalton Board to Hold Public Meeting on New 6-12 School

The Dalton Board of Education members, from left to right, are Chairman Danny Crutchfield, Vice Chairman Rick Fromm, Sherwood Jones, III, Steve Laird, Treasurer Tulley Johnson, and Superintendent Jim Hawkins.

The Dalton Board of Education members, from left to right, are Chairman Danny Crutchfield, Vice Chairman Rick Fromm, Sherwood Jones, III, Steve Laird, Treasurer Tulley Johnson, and Superintendent Jim Hawkins.

The first public presentation of the proposed secondary facilities project by Dalton Public Schools has been scheduled for Monday, April 13, at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall. A Dalton Board of Education member and Superintendent Jim Hawkins will make the presentation before the regular board meeting at which board members will take a tentative vote to move forward with building a new 6-12 school. The presentation is the first of many planned public forums the school district will host in an effort to inform and receive feedback from the Dalton community.

The board and district administrators have been working to find the best solution to meeting the facility needs of growing enrollment. The board appointed a study group in 2013 to review information on enrollment trends and projections as well as capacity of existing facilities. After six months, the study group could not make a recommendation but had two options for the board’s further review: build a new 6-12 school, or reconfigure the grades within the district to have five preK -4 schools, a 5-6 school, a 7-8 school, and two 9-12 schools, including a new 9-12.

The board took the study group’s work and expanded it further to reach a consensus to build a new 6-12 school that will house 1,400 students. The presentation will include the benefits of a new facility, estimated costs, financing options, financial impacts on the community, and more. The attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session at the end of the presentation.

“We encourage all Dalton residents to come out and learn more about the challenges facing the school district with our growing enrollment and the opportunity that building a new 6-12 school offers students,” said Danny Crutchfield, chairman of the Dalton Board of Education. “This is very important time in our district’s history and adding a new secondary school is a pivotal decision that deserves the best thinking of our local citizens. We strongly encourage the public to come and hear the facts from the board.”

This meeting will be the first in a number of public meetings, but one of the few where all five board members will be in attendance. “A board representative will co-present at all the public meetings but the public forums being held before the regular board meetings over the next three months will feature all five members,” added Crutchfield. “We are looking forward to having the opportunity to dialogue with our community about this critical decision.”

Dalton Middle has Successful Cougar Countdown

DMSCougarRussThough elementary students were off today in Dalton Public Schools, fifth graders from across the district enjoyed a sneak peek at Dalton Middle School during the annual Cougar Countdown. Students learned about middle school and met the sixth grade teachers. They also enjoyed participating in a pep rally and a mini-version of the annual Cougar Carnival, a mainstay at Dalton Middle.

Russ Southerland, assistant principal at Dalton Middle, and a team of staff from around the district coordinated the day that is designed to ease the transition to middle school for fifth graders. “It was a great day,” Southerland said. “We excited to have such a good turnout today.”