Archive for February, 2010

 

Wooten is Award Winning Science Teacher

Hunter Elementary teacher Carol Wooten received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Wooten is a fifth-grade teacher at Hunter Elementary, a magnet school with the gifted and talented program. She’s been working with WCPSS since 1998.

Winners of the Presidential Teaching Award receive $10,000 awards from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for a White House awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.

Click here to listen to Wooten is Award Winning Science Teacher

This is a 14 minute mp3 file.

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ParentVision: Applying for Pre-Kindergarten

Here’s a quick reminder of the opportunity to apply for the pre-kindergarten programs provided by Wake County SmartStart. WCPSS is a partner in these programs.

East Garner Magnet Middle Selected to Participate in START

Microsoft Corp. and the Corporation for National and Community Service recently announced six schools — from California, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia — that have been selected to participate in the Service & Technology Academic Resource Team (START). The initiative recognizes the leadership shown by students and teachers in schools across America who are working together in meaningful ways to revitalize learning, schools and communities through the use of technology.

East Garner Magnet Middle was selected on the basis of its Students Working to Advance Technology (SWAT) team. Students serving on the SWAT team teach fellow classmates about technology in computer labs, take part in community service projects including teaching library patrons to use Microsoft Office, design Web sites for teachers, assist teachers with Internet research, and videotape news broadcasts. Through the program, students are gaining technology training and leadership skills and valuable community service experience.

START redefines the role of the student in the classroom and creates a new kind of collaboration between students and teachers through technology-focused service-learning. The goal is to utilize the technology skills of students to partner with teachers and determine where technology best fits into the learning environment. The selected schools will receive grants and serve as national laboratory sites and as examples of how schools can integrate service-learning and technology into the classroom.

School Board Resolution Supports 2010 U.S. Census

At its February 16, 2010, meeting the Wake County Board of Education adopted a resolution encouraging Wake County citizens to fully participate in this year’s census. Local census office manager William Baiocchi and partnership specialist Christine Mackey, both of the U.S. Census Bureau, were on hand to receive the resolution and reiterate the importance of a “complete count.” The resolution reads:

WHEREAS, 2010 is the year of the twenty-third Census of the United States; and

WHEREAS, a census is required by the Constitution of the United States of America, and is used for the apportionment of representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and the distribution of federal services and resources; and

WHEREAS, data from the U.S. Census is used at the local level for major planning efforts including schools, hospitals, and roads, and for the fair apportionment of legislative and municipal voting districts; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Census workers are sworn to protect the confidentiality of individuals’ information; and

WHEREAS, the 2010 U.S. Census questionnaire is one of the shortest in history and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Wake County Board of Education expresses its full support of the U.S. Census and strongly encourages Wake County citizens to promptly complete and return their census questionnaires on Census Day, April 1, 2010; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Wake County Board of Education directs the staff and administration of the Wake County Public School System to continue its efforts, in concert with the other municipalities and agencies within Wake County, to support the 2010 U.S. Census.

Adopted this the 16th day of February, 2010.

Ron Margiotta
Chair, Wake County Board of Education

Del Burns
Superintendent, Wake County Public School System

Dr. Burns Reports: February 16, 2010

In speaking to the Wake County Board of Education, Superintendent Burns offered congratulations to principals, teachers, schools, and staff for their accomplishments during the last two weeks. Dr. Burns also announced his resignation effective June 30.

Click here to listen to Dr. Burns Reports

This is a six-minute MP3 file.

Burns Announces Resignation

During this afternoon’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Del Burns submitted his resignation to the board, effective June 30, 2010. Below is the statement Burns read to the board in announcing his decision.

More than 33 years ago my career as an educator began at Aldert Root Elementary School. And since that time, I’ve served in a number of positions: as an elementary and high school special education teacher; as an assistant principal and as an elementary principal in magnet schools; as the principal of two high schools; as associate superintendent, deputy superintendent, and now as superintendent-all in the Wake County Public School System.

In each role, I have worked to the best of my ability for all children, supporting a strong school system, not just a system of schools.

I was proud that day in 1976 when I first became an employee. To this point I have always considered myself fortunate to be a part of the Wake County Public School System.

With that said, based upon personal and obligatory considerations, it is clear to me that I cannot, in all good conscience, continue to serve as superintendent.

Therefore, out of respect for the Board, out of respect for its direction and its decisions, I provide to the Chair written notice that effective June 30, 2010, I resign my position.

Lateral Entry Information Fair Pre-Registration Open

The Wake County Public Schools System will hold its Lateral Entry Information Fair on Monday, March 15, 2010, at Wake Technical Community College from 4 pm – 6:15 pm.

If your skills match one of our critical needs areas ( relevant degree or 24 semester hours of coursework from a regionally accredited college or university;passed the a relevant Praxis II subject area test and have a 2.5 g.p.a.), we invite you come explore our teaching opportunities.

Online pre-registration is open and mandatory. Fulls details are available here.

Schools Getting into the Olympics Spirit

With the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver this past week, many of our schools are integrating Olympics-themed lessons into the curriculum.

Following are a few examples of Olympics-related activities and lessons taking place in Wake County schools:

North Ridge Elementary School, Cathy Benton Lowry, Physical Education Teacher

Students at North Ridge are “traveling” to the Olympics during PE. After a brief discussion about the Olympics, students participated in a number of activities including speed skating (on paper plates around the center circle), bobsledding (scooter boards on a course), Alpine skiing (skier jumps down a course), and ice hockey (hockey sticks, yarn balls and goals

The school is also doing a school-wide Olympic Truce. Ms. Lowry is doing it with all grade levels and the other specialists are choosing specific grades. The Canadian first lady started the program (on the official Olympic website) where teachers can get ideas of how to spread the concept of peace/truce across the curriculum. Ms. Lowry’s students are pledging to keep a North Ridge Olympic Truce throughout the Winter Olympics by making good choices, no arguments, settling differences of opinion through “rock-paper-scissors” and keeping their names off the school’s Positive Behavior Support minor incident clipboards. The upper grades are focusing on the concept of world-wide peace. Students have discussed how an Olympic Truce was called during the ancient games and how it is still observed at the modern Olympics

The Olympic theme will carry into Ms. Lowry’s next unit for third-fifth grades called the PE Central Challenge where students can achieve Bronze, Silver or Gold level by achieving four to six individual and group challenges. Third-graders earn certificates and fourth- and fifth-graders can earn beautiful enameled pins in addition to the certificates at each level.

Heritage Middle School, Debbie Glaberman, Health and PE Teacher

Ms. Glaberman is taking a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary approach with her students. Prior to the winter break, she had her seventh-graders complete a family tree with the goal of encouraging inter-generational discussions among the students and their family members. Now, using the information the students learned through the genealogy project, students have been assigned to countries for the Olympics activities that they will be focusing on throughout the duration of the Olympics. They began with a torch run on Saturday, Feb. 6 that started outside on the school’s track and went inside the school to the media center where a large torch is lit and on display. The media specialist has pulled books about different winter sports for the students to read. Over the next few weeks, students will be competing in activities simulating the bobsled, the luge, figure skating, and cross country skiing, to name a few. The lesson will end with a Closing Ceremony that will focus on different cultures and diversity, highlighting the foods and customs of all the countries involved. Medals will also be presented at this time.

Millbrook High School, Michael Kirst, Social Studies Teacher

Students in Mr. Kirst’s social studies classes will be creating Greek Olympics-themed commemorative plates. The purpose of the project is to not only teach the students about the early years of the Olympics, but to also provide them with an understanding of the Greek culture while studying the governments of Ancient Greece, Rome and China. By researching a topic on the Greek Olympics, students will be able to appreciate the purpose and meaning of the Olympic Games.

The commemorative plates will cover Olympic-related topics such as:

Sparta (Original Participants)

Athens (Original Participants)

Corinth (Original Participants)

Argos (Original Participants)

Megara (Original Participants)

Olympia (Birthplace of Olympics)

Zeus (Inspired Creation of Olympics)

Sacred Truce (Greek City-States Agreement)

Pentathlon (Original Event)

Race for Hoplites (Original Event)

Pankration (Original Event)

Short Sprint (Original Event)

Wrestling (Original Event)

Boxing (Original Event)

Long Jump (Original Event)

Javelin (Original Event)

Discus (Original Event)

Chariot Racing (Original Event)

Marathon

Training of Olympic Athletes

Olympic Judges

Rewards for Victors

Brentwood Magnet School of Engineering Celebrates National Engineers Week

Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering is celebrating National Engineers Week, February 14-20, with several activities planned throughout the week. Brentwood began offering an engineering magnet theme this school year. The school has partnered with NC State University’s College of Engineering and is using the Engineering is Elementary program developed by the Museum of Science in Boston.

Engineering themes have been adapted for the different grade levels and have been integrated throughout the curriculum.

Following is a list of projects students will be working on during National Engineers Week:

On Tuesday, kindergarten students will design protection for Humpty Dumpty when he falls, and first-graders will design strong houses for the Three Little Pigs.

On Thursday, second-graders will construct insect habitats, while third-graders build bridges to help improve traffic patterns.The bridges will be tested for strength.

On Friday, fourth-graders will create vehicles to improve efficiency, and fifth-graders will design free-standing catapults.

The students will collaborate on teams and engage in the engineering design process: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve.

Students Thank Bus Drivers

The seven Wake County Public School System bus drivers that serve Brier Creek Elementary were congratulated by NC Superintendent of Education June Atkinson and offered breakfast, songs and poems from students, faculty and the PTA.

The Thursday morning event at Brier Creek began Atkinson’s Love the Bus events highlighting the safety of the school bus transportation system and recognizing the many dedicated bus drivers who take our students to and from school safely.

In North Carolina, more than 14,000 yellow buses transport nearly 795,000 students while more than 26 million students travel in 480,000 buses nationwide.

“It is no surprise that, according to the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Transportation and many other authorities, school buses are the safest form of transportation for getting children to and from school,” says Atkinson. “Research also has shown that students are as much as 13 times safer in a school bus than in other modes of travel. In addition, by eliminating the need to drive students to and from school individually, buses save families time, mileage on their vehicles and money in fuel costs while also helping the environment.”

At Brier Creek students sang and read poems to the bus drivers and Atkinson. Felisa Ellison, one of the drivers, said the students made it a fun morning.

Click here to listen to Students Thank Bus Drivers

This is a 7.5 minute mp3 file.

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