Friday, August 22, 2014

To Infinity and Beyond!

Surely, Buzz Lightyear would love this portable planetarium. Mrs. Suzanne Simmons' 4th grade class certainly did!

Last week, Dallas Elementary hosted the STARLAB. The STARLAB has been creating memories long before any other portable planetarium. It was first invented in the late 1980s, and has a long, colorful history.

More than a million students have gotten their first, and in many cases only, in depth look at the unspoiled night sky. The world has changed over the past 30 years, and so has the sky.

Light pollution is now a problem for virtually every student or amateur astronomer. It is rare to find students, at any grade level, who have regularly seen the milky way with their own eyes. Through the use of STARLAB, this is a reality.

Dallas Elementary Students Turn Pages Online

You've probably heard mention of the myOn reading program. But what is it?

myOn is the world's largest interactive digital library! Students can access it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, holidays too! It's available on your desktop, your laptop, your tablet -- anywhere access!

So why are we here at PCSD so excited about the myOn reading program? It is tailor-made for YOUR student! What if your child could read books that they understand about topics they are interested in? Now, what if they could get school credit for doing just that? They can!

Check it out...

Dallas Elementary's Chandler Jones, Alex Ojo and Gavin Griggs (from left to right) are turning the pages of their digital books in the media center.

So how do you get myOn?
Ready, Set, Read!!

Union Elementary Recognizes Summer Readers

The accolades continue to pour into my inbox about the great readers we have in our district!

Today, Union Elementary recognized 5 of its students for completing summer reading programs at their local libraries.

From left to right:
Ryann Martin (New Georgia Library), Carleigh Van Dyke (Dallas Library), Alyssa Willoughby (New Georgia Library),
Elaina Willoughby (New Georgia Library), Kevin Willoughby (New Georgia Library)

Each student received a "chip" for their house. Union Elementary is separated into three "houses" that compete against each other to earn chips. Students earn chips through exceptional behavior, attendance, and academics.


Union Elementary's New Cafeteria Mural

A Message from Union Elementary...

The staff, students and parents of Union Elementary would like to extend our greatest thanks and appreciation to West Ridge Church for transforming our cafeteria this summer! A group of volunteers from West Ridge, led by Pat and Beth Wilson, took a few ideas we gave them and turned those ideas into an extreme work of art that covers the entrance to, and most of the interior walls in our cafeteria. The mural is a total WOW factor when you enter the room and the looks on the faces of our staff, students and parents as they returned from summer were...priceless! The mural portrays Union's spirit of academic excellence, teamwork and high expectations for behavior through our "House" teams within our school.

The project, to completion, took most of four days and was done during the community makeover weekend in July by a team of 25-30 volunteers from the church.

We can never thank Pat, Beth and their team enough nor could we possibly repay them. We commend them on their commitment to giving back to our community and our schools through the talents God has blessed them with!

New Georgia Elementary Renovations

A few days ago, we shared pictures of the renovations done to South Paulding Middle School. Today, we spotlight: New Georgia Elementary School.

New Georgia is one of Paulding County's oldest schools. It was established in 1914, and originally only had 4 classrooms. It is now four times that size!

Like S. Paulding Middle, New Georgia got a facelift this past summer: new paint, new lighting, new HVAC systems.

Here's a look at the finished product:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Challenge Accepted"

No doubt, by now, you've heard of and seen videos of people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads. Here at PCSD, it's no different. Challenges have been issued. And challenges have been accepted.

It all started on Monday afternoon when Superintendent Cliff Cole took the plunge after being challenged by North Paulding student Bryce Ward. Mr. Cole accepted the challenge, and well, take a look at what happened:

And our principals are getting involved too:
Dallas Elementary's Blake Keown
Ragsdale Elementary's Ann Arnold

The point of the Ice Bucket Challenge is to raise awareness of ALS, right? So let's do that...

What is ALS?
ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord, and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. Patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS every year. That's 15 new cases a day. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. According to the ALS CARE Database, 60% of the people with ALS in the Database are men. 93% of patients in the Database are Caucasian.

Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. However, cases of the disease do occur in persons in the 20s and 30s. ALS is 20% more common in men than women. More research is needed to determine what genetics and/or environmental factors contribute to ALS, but it is known that military veterans (particularly those deployed during the Gulf War) are approximately twice as likely to develop the disease.

What You Should Know About ALS
  • ALS is not contagious.
  • It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more.  More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
  • ALS can strike anyone.
  • The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
  • There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health caregiving later in the disease.
Source for above information:

How You Can Help

Learn More About ALS

Get Involved

Donate to The ALS Association (yes, take the Ice Bucket Challenge!)

Monday, August 18, 2014

South Paulding Middle Gets a Facelift

Maybe you were busy hanging out by the beach while your kids ran around and splashed in the water and built sandcastles. Maybe you were carefully checking off each book that was on your child's summer reading list. Whatever it is your child was doing during his or her summer break, crews were hard at work renovating the interior, and parts of the exterior, of South Paulding Middle School.

Check out the final results!


The walls got a fresh coat of paint, and lighting fixtures inside the school were replaced. Old heating and air conditioning units were replaced with new, more efficient units.

New Georgia Elementary also had renovations completed over the summer.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Russom Readers Recognized

More Paulding County students are being recognized for reaching their summer reading goals!

Today, students from Russom Elementary who completed a summer reading program were celebrated in the Media Center.

Students were treated to a cupcake and juice, and were given a red wrist band to wear that proclaims "Readers are Leaders."


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Football?

The mercury isn't falling just yet, but it is almost time for Paulding County High Schools to kick off the 2014 football season! Soon you'll be feeling the cool breeze of the Fall, and our boys will be playing their hearts out on the field.

Today, the Paulding County Rotary Club hosted Paulding County's five high schools to kickoff the season at its 3rd Annual Pigskin Preview.

Coaches talked about their student-athletes, including what a success FCA summer camp was. Each school was represented by several athletes, their principal, and members of the coaching staff.

East Paulding High School's drum line provided pre-lunch entertainment
Hiram High School principal Jason Freeman opens the meeting

In his opening remarks, Hiram High School principal Jason Freeman talked about the impact the district's football coaches have on their student-athletes. From leading on the field to being father figures off the field, Freeman noted the community that surrounds each school's football program.
Coaches from each of the county's five schools briefly discussed their programs and goals for the upcoming season. They also introduced several players who joined them at the event:
Hiram High School represented by (from left to right):
Cody Woods (OL), Jeffrey Thompson (OL), Evan McGee (OL)
Paulding County High School represented by (from left to right):
Brandon Ballard (DT), Takorey Boykins (DE), Tre Lewis (QB)
South Paulding High School represented by (from left to right):
Jake Oglesby (QB), Trevon Simmons (SS), Brandon Sutherland (LT)
East Paulding High School represented by (from left to right):
Ethan Williams (QB, LB), Tae Ray (RB, DB), DJ Wakefield (WR, DB)
North Paulding High School represented by (from left to right):
Brad Swan (WR), Kyle Banks (QB), Tanner Sheffield (DT)
In his introductory speech, Hiram High School principal Jason Freeman quoted former University of Georgia defensive coordinator and Georgia Southern University head coach Erk Russell, "The brotherhood of football is the strongest brotherhood known to man as far as I'm concerned." As part of that brotherhood, the players at Hiram High School will honor the memory of Douglas County football player Zyrees Oliver. The 17-year-old Oliver collapsed after football practice on August 5th. He passed away yesterday. Our thoughts are with Oliver's family, teammates and friends during this difficult time.
If you plan to attend football games this season, you'll notice a few changes at two of our fields. Both North Paulding and South Paulding High School's football fields have been replaced with artificial turf. Construction is complete at South Paulding, and North Paulding will be done by the first game. East Paulding, Paulding County, and Hiram High School will all be getting new fields as well. Those are more time intensive projects since a track runs around those fields.
North Paulding's Athletic Complex

Workers installing the gravel around the field at North Paulding High School
Workers putting the final touches on the field at South Paulding High School
Everyone at the Paulding County Board of Education looks forward to a safe and successful season!
Team Websites:



Congratulations to McGarity's Summer Readers!

McGarity Elementary is the latest school to recognize its students' summer achievements.

Congratulations to these 9 students who reached their summer reading goals at one of Paulding County's public libraries!

McGarity presented each reader with a certificate and medal to recognize their accomplishment.

Back row (left to right): Zora Simpson, Kaylee Reed, Jason Horn, Sophia Horn, Calliope Horn, Aryanna Plakaris
Front row (left to right): Cheyenne Reed, Henry Horn, Claire Parker

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dallas Elementary Recognizes Summer Reading Participant

Dallas Elementary has recognized first grade student Zoey Trantham for participating in the Dallas Library's Summer Reading program.

Zoey received a certificate, medal and various items to enhance her reading pleasure from the school. The program's theme was Fizz, Boom, Read and boy! did Zoey accomplish this goal!

Congratulations Zoey!

Zoey Trantham with school principal, Blake Keown

Allgood Elementary Recognizes Summer Achievements

This morning, Allgood Elementary recognized its students who used their summer breaks to continue learning.

Five of Allgood's students participated in the S.T.E.M. Summer Day Camp on their summer break.

The S.T.E.M. camp was hosted by Kennesaw State University, thanks to a $25,000 grant from Georgia Power. Almost 100 Paulding County elementary school students participated in the free camp, which focused on the S.T.E.M. disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Additionally, seven students completed the summer reading program through the public libraries.

Students in each group were given an Allgood Elementary cinch sack and a $3 Book Fair coupon in recognition of their hard work.

Great job!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Richard Manous Sworn In to Board of Education

On August 7, 2014, Richard Manous was sworn in to the Paulding County Board of Education. If his name sounds familiar, it's because Mr. Manous is no stranger to the Board. Manous resigned earlier this year to run for Paulding County Commission's Post 3 seat in the GOP primary. However, he now returns to the Board to fill the position voters elected him to.

Richard Manous takes the oath of office

Superintendent Cliff Cole, Probate Court Judge Deborah Andersen, Board Member Richard Manous

Mr. Manous will serve out the remainder of his term, which expires on December 31, 2016. He will resume his position on the Board at its next meeting, Tuesday, August 12 at 6:30pm.