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Sunday, July 28, 2013  |   The Newnan Times-Herald — 1C

Back to School

Contact information To contact Coweta County School System administration or Board of Education members, go to www.cowetaschools.org and click on “system directory” under District Information on the upper left-hand side of the website. www.times-herald.com/special

What you need to know about

REGISTRATION By Celia Shortt celia@newnan.com

Photo by Jeffrey Leo.

Tim Thrower prepares a school bus for the new school year.

BUSES & TRANSPORTATION Coweta County School System’s transportation department is urging Cowetans to leave home early on Aug. 6, the first day of school, and to expect a higher volume of traffic. Students who will ride the bus on the first day of school are advised to be at their neighborhood bus stop no later than 6:45 a.m. on Aug. 6, and for the first full week of school (August 6-10). Parents should expect a longer wait for the bus during that time, too. Bus ridership is impossible to predict on the first day of school, but regular morning pick-up times will become predictable as routes are established. Bus pick-up sites have remained largely unchanged since last school year. Generally, if a home is on a street or cul-de-sac of 2/10th’s of a mile or less in length, students should wait for the bus on the nearest street corner. If a subdivision street or other neighborhood street is longer than 2/10ths of a mile long, bus stops are generally 1/10th of a mile apart based on ridership. If parents are unsure about pick-up sites for the school bus, or have other questions, they can call the transportation department at 770-254-2820. Representatives of the transportation department will also be in schools during school orientation times on Monday, Aug. 5 and the first day of school on Aug. 6. Parents who will drive children to school are also advised to leave home and arrive at school earlier than usual on the first day. Coweta County school operations times are: Elementary schools – 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Middle schools – 8:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. High schools – 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Central Educational Center – 8:15 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. (first and second blocks); 12:30 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. (third and fourth blocks). Parents can expect longer lines for student drop-off on the first days and should plan accordingly. Every school has separate drop-off areas for bus traffic and car traffic, and car drivers should be extra caution to stay away from bus zones on the first days of school. “It always takes the first day or two for

Photo By Jeffrey Leo.

Coweta County School buses are ready and waiting for the school year to start.

everyone to get used to school traffic,” said school system transportation manager Judy Gresham. “We ask that everyone keep in mind that buses will be on the road again on Aug. 6, making stops in the morning and dropping students off in the afternoons. Everyone should leave a little earlier for work and school, drive safely, and be mindful of buses and children.” Gresham has a few “first-day” safety tips for parents who drive children to school: • Everyone has a responsibility for school bus safety. • The most dangerous time for children who ride school buses is when they are loading and unloading on the road. • Expect the unexpected – slow down, stay alert, and be prepared to stop quickly around school buses and in school zones. • All motorists much watch for buses on the road, and must stop when the school bus loads or unloads students and signals for traffic to stop. • Remind students when crossing the street to stop and look for cars and trucks and look to their bus driver for clearance. • Make sure the child’s teacher is made aware of their mode of transportation and their destination in the afternoon. • Accompany very young children to

the bus stop, and meet them on their return. Bus route lists will be available for the first day of school before the start of the new year. Routes are listed by school. Each street served by a school bus is listed under the elementary, middle or high school zone alphabetically, with the morning and afternoon bus routes and bus numbers. Typically, school enrollment and bus ridership grow over the first weeks of school. The department will address problems such as crowding on some buses, double bus routes and route changes as quickly as possible. Coweta County Schools ask parents to be patient during the first weeks of school as these changes are made. Routes and assigned buses are subject to change after the first full week of school following Aug. 6, depending on school growth and ridership patterns. The Coweta County School System provides the option of bus service to all Coweta County students. In all, Coweta school buses transport about 13,000 of Coweta County’s 24,000 students each day, covering about 12,000 miles daily.

ORIENTATION By Celia Shortt celia@newnan.com

If a child is starting at a new school because he or she is new to Coweta County or from advancing to a new grade level, there is some important information about school orientation parents should know.

Parents and students can visit school on Monday, Aug. 5, the day before classes start. Teachers may be at the school, but will not be available for informal conferences. Orientation times on Monday, Aug. 5: Middle Schools: 10 a.m. to

noon (all middle schools) Elementary Schools: noon to 2 p.m. (all elementary schools) High Schools: 3 to 5 p.m. (all high schools) Representatives from the school system’s transportation department will be at orienta-

tion to answer any questions about bus schedules. Also there, will be representatives from the after-school program. Parents who want to sign up their children for the tuition-based after school program can do so at that time. That program does run on a space-available basis.

To keep from falling behind in the 2013-14 school year, students who are new to Coweta County need to register for school before the school year starts on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Parents can register their children at the school system’s Central Registration Center, located at 167 Werz Industrial Drive in Newnan. It is open Monday through Friday and can be contacted at 770-254-5551. Students already enrolled in a Coweta County school — including in pre-Kindergarten class during the 2012-13 school year — do not need to register again. Parents can call the Central Registration Center at 770-254-5551 to get more information. New students do not need to be present to register. Other information about the registration process can be found online at www.cowetaschools.org/ registration. “Please check the website and come prepared,” said Phil Kline, Technology Services Coordinator for the Coweta County School System. “It will make your process easier and ensure that your student will be in their seat when school starts.” Kline said that the goal of everyone is to make sure that every individual student is sitting in their seat on the first day of school. “It’s an all hands task at this point, being focused on that first day,” he said. “Everything is flowing pretty good. We have a very good communication process, and that is good in getting us ready for that first day.” According to Georgia law, students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1 to enroll in Kindergarten and 6 years old by Sept. 1 to enroll in first grade. Students must attend the school for which their home is districted. To find the correct elementary, middle, or high school for an address, contact the Coweta County School System Transportation Department at 770-254-2820. To enroll a new student in school, parents will need to provide the following items: 1. Birth Certificate – A state-issued, certified copy is required (hospital certificates are not accepted). 2. Social Security Card 3. Proof of Residence – two items from the following list are required for address verification: a. property tax records that indicate the location of the residence; b. mortgage documents or a security deed which indicates the location of the residence; c. apartment or home lease or rent receipt indicating the current address; d. current electrical bill or application for electrical service showing the current address (please bring the entire bill, to show electrical service and address); e. voter precinct ID card or other voter documentation indicating current address. 4. State ID or Drivers License – Must be current (not expired). Students may only be registered by a biological parent or legal guardian. Proof of custody or guardianship is required if the registering adult is not the birth parent. 5. Custody papers (if relevant) - If parents are divorced they must provide a copy of

Photo by Jeffrey Leo

Linda

Benoist

LPN

g i v e s J a c k s o n B a s i n ge r h i s immunizations at the Coweta Count y Heal t h Dep ar t ment . Jackson is nervous and excited about starting Pre-K in August.

custody papers. Legal guardians will also have to provide a copy of custody papers, and must live in the appropriate school district. 6. Last Report Card/Withdrawal/Transfer Form with Grades – This information is required at registration to facilitate records requests and class placement. 7. Immunization Certificate – Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) immunization certificate form 3231 or a signed 30-day waiver. 8. Hearing-Dental-Vision Certificate on Georgia Form 3300 or a signed 120-day waiver. 9. Authorization for release of Individual Educational Plan (IEP) or student records – This is required if a student is receiving Special Education or Gifted services. If an IEP or other information that establishes eligibility for services is not presented at the time of registration, services in the Coweta County School System may be delayed until the records are received by the school. 10. Emergency contact information – Students must have a contact name and number on file at the school by the first day of attendance. Immunization and HearingDental-Vision certificates can be obtained from the Coweta County Health Department (770-254-7400) or a family physician. Students who are transferring from another school in Georgia should have the certificates from their previous school available when registering. If they do not, short-term waivers can be requested to allow parents time to get them. Students, however, may be withdrawn if the certificates are not filed by the end of the waiver period. Coweta County high schools operate on a block schedule system, allowing students to complete a full course earning one Carnegie Unit in one semester. Any missed classes during the semester will then result in significant lapses in instructional time, which can seriously jeopardize a student’s success. Therefore, on-time and consistent attendance at every grade level is important in a child’s education. All parents are urged to make sure their child begins class when the school starts on Aug. 6.

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2C— The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, July 28, 2013

BACK TO SCHOOL

Teachers at Arnall Middle prepare for first day Photos By Celia Shortt Left photo; Donna Work,

on right, prepares her classroom at Arnall Middle School for the 2013-14 school year. Work teaches eighth grade English and language ar t s. Her niece, Gabrielle Bryson, on right, helps.

Right photo: Lisa Hearn,

a new teacher at Arnall Middle School, spends her first day getting her classroom ready for the 2013-14 school year. Hearn will be teaching sixth grade social studies.

Dress code guidelines for Coweta County School System E a c h s c h o ol i n C owe t a County is responsible for setting and enforcing a dress code for its students. Parents and students should consult their school’s student handbook or call the principal for information regarding specific dress code requirements in their school. However, the following standards are generally common to each school:

Elementary School Dress Standards Students should wear clothing that is clean and suitable for school activities, keeping in mind weather conditions and good taste. Shoes must be worn at all times. Pants are to be worn at the waist and fastened securely. The following are not to be worn at school: 1. Halter-tops, tank tops, fishnet tops & midriff blouses 2. Excessively large or baggy clothing 3. Tops and dresses with spaghetti straps 4. Muscle shirts 5. Shirts that advertise alcohol, tobacco, or drugs 6. Short shorts and skirts (Your index finger should touch the hem of the shorts). 7. Shorts covered by a full-length shirt 8. Bicycle pants or shorts 9. Clothing with open holes above the knee 10. Clothing that is suggestive, advocates disobedience to society or causes a possible disruption to the school 11. Clothing or attire with statements or symbols which might be deemed offensive to

others, violent or of a threat ening nature 12. Shoes with cleats and/or wheels (heelys) 13. Hardware chains 14. Caps, hats, visors, any other headgear, and sunglasses 15. If a student chooses to wear shorts or a skirt, the shorts or skirt must be of appropriate length. The appropriate measurement will be determined when the student is standing erect, hands by his/her side, fingertips not extending below the hem of the clothing, maintaining modesty at all times. Biker shorts, spandex apparel, excessively form-fitting shirts, shorts, pants, or skirts are not allowed. The principal or other duly authorized school official shall determine if a student’s attire or grooming meets reasonable and appropriate guidelines.

Middle School Dress Standards In the interest of having a safe, orderly school, which minimizes distractions and maximizes the learning environment, a dress code has been established for all middle school students in t he Coweta County School System. Every middle school student is expected to dress and be groomed in accordance with acceptable standards of cleanliness and modesty. Students may wear dresses, blouses, shirts, or any other types of clothing appropriate to the sex of the individual that does not violate the dress code. The dress standard is as follows:

1. If a student chooses to wear shorts or a skirt, the shorts or skirt must be of appropriate length. The appropriate measurement will be determined when the student is standing erect, hands by his/her side, fingertips not extending below the hem of the clothing, maintaining modesty at all times. Biker shorts, spandex apparel, excessively form-fitting shirts, shorts, pants, or skirts are not allowed. 2. All shirts, blouses, and dresses must have sleeves. Shirts and blouses must not be excessively long and should not be a safety concern or a disruption. If a shirt is too long, it must be tucked in. Clothing should not expose areas of stomach, side or back. Oversized clothing is not allowed. 3. Pa nts must be appro priately sized for width and hem med to a sa fe leng t h . Underwear should not be visible. Pants size should not hinder ability to move about easily and safely. Pants must be fastened securely at the waist. Pants may not have holes above the knees. Overalls or coveralls must be worn properly. 4. No items of clothing are allowed that may be affiliated with gang activity, as defined by administration a nd law enforcement. 5. No “ha rdwa re cha ins” may be worn as belts, wallet chains, or jewelry. No chains of this type are allowed on school campus or at any school function. No hats, bandanas, or headbands may be worn or displayed. 6. No items may be worn with inappropriate pictures,

symbols, or lettering. This includes but is not limited to depictions of alcohol, drugs, or weapons. Statements that might be deemed offensive to others are prohibited. No writing is allowed on the seat of pants or skirts. 7. Pajamas, lounge pants, and/or house shoes or slippers may not be worn to school. 8. Shoes with wheels may not be worn to school. Other shoes that may present a safety hazard should not be worn. In an effort to address concerns for student safety and welfare, to create a learning environment with minimal distractions, and to reinforce the values of modesty and civility, the administration will be responsible for enforcing this dress code fairly and reasonably. Violations are determined at the discretion of the administration. If students are in violation of the dress code, they will be given the opportunity to correct the violation. If they fail to correct the violation, they may be asked to call home for appropriate clothing and/or may receive disciplinary consequences as determined by the administrative staff.

High School Dress Standards

intent to thwart self-expression or exercise un-reasonable control over students. However, current trends seem to favor certain modes of dress that are inappropriate for school, causing distractions to the learning environment, and sometimes putting the students in situations not best for them. The dress standard is as follows: All shirts and dresses must have sleeves. Tank tops, tube tops, and shirts without sleeves are not acceptable. Students will be permitted to wear shorts, dresses, and skirts, provided they reach the end of the fingertips or longer. (Splits in skirts/dresses/shorts must be below the fingertips.) Miniskirts, mini-dresses, and short shorts are not permitted. Overalls may be worn with both straps fastened and on the shoulders. A shirt must be worn under overalls. Pants must be worn properly at the hips. Chains or sharp objects are not permitted. Low cut, see-through, strapless, or backless dresses/shirts may not be worn. No student should dress in such a way that his/her underwear is partially or totally exposed. The waist and top

portions of boxer shorts and briefs, bra straps and bra sides should not show. No student may wear any jewelry, clothing, or carry backpacks that display or suggest alcohol, drugs, tobacco, weaponry, profanity, vulgarity, sexual innuendo or scatological humor. No student may wear any jewelr y, clothing, or carr y backpacks that display or suggest anything inflammatory or degrading to a particular race, creed or culture. No student will wear trench coats. No student may wear clothes with holes above the knees, in the crotch, or under the buttocks. Hats, headbands, bandannas, sunglasses, stocking caps, hoods, picks/combs, and other headgear are not permitted. Blouses, dresses, or skirts which expose the areas of the stomach, side, or back are not permitted. Excessively form-fitting or loose-fitting clothing is not permitted. A ny clot h i ng /jewelr y or i mproperly wor n clot h i ng deemed gang-related by the administration will not be permitted.

Everyone in Coweta County high schools is expected to dress and be groomed in accordance with acceptable standards of cleanliness, good taste and appropriateness. The established standard has been set to discourage clothing that may be a distraction to the learning environment and possible safety of students. It is not our

After school pre-registration scheduled Aug. 2 and 5 Coweta County School System’s after school program will begin its fall registration at all elementary schools on Friday, Aug. 2 and Monday, Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. After school program site coordinators will be available at each school to help with registration and answer any questions parents may have about the program. The registration fee is $20 and must be received with the enrollment form. The parent/guardian registering a child in the after school program will be responsible for all payments. Tuition for the Coweta County after school program is $12 per day. However, tuition payments made by Friday prior to the week of

attendance are only $9 per day reserved. The after school program is a service of the Coweta County School System available for children in Pre-K through the fifth grade at all the county’s 19 elementary schools. The hours of the program are from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on days schools are in session. Ch i ld ren i n t he Cowet a County School System grades PreK-5 that are able to meaningfully participate may enroll in this program as long as they have been properly registered, tuition paid and abide by all school, Board of Education, and after school program rules, policies and procedures. According to Alan Wood,

director of the after school program, children will be provided with a safe and planned program offering structured homework time as well as activities related to play and artwork. In addition, afternoon snacks will be provided for the children each day and events will be planned during the year to highlight a number of seasonal traditions that children enjoy. “We want parents to know that their children will be taken care of in an environment that provides meaningful development and conf idence building opportunities,” said Wood. “This is our mission and focus.

Our commitment is to provide children with responsive attentiveness in a value added program that complements both the school and the home.” Qualifications of after school program care may include local school site coordinator efforts to make reasonable accommodations and to offer provisional enrollment to determine if a child initially enrolled can have meaningful participation in the program. Accommodations that would alter or place an undue burden on the after school program may be an exception to this effort.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013  |   The Newnan Times-Herald — 3C

BACK TO SCHOOL

Schools undergo renovations to prepare for school year By Celia Shortt celia@newnan.com

Some of Atkinson Elementary’s new kitchen equipment.

Photo By Celia Shortt

The new floors at Arbor Springs Elementary School.

New counters and cabinets at Atkinson Elementary.

In preparation for the 201314 school yea r i n Coweta County, several school facilities are being renovated and improved. Elm Street Elementary and Atkinson Elementary underwent significant renovations, including new cafeteria kitchens and general upgrades to the wiring, lighting, HVAC, ceilings and flooring. This year, the school system st a r ted a mu lt i-ye a r renovation project to East Coweta High School. Work this summer included adding parking areas and repaving, renovating the school’s old f ield house and building a new one. Future work includes new sewerage, general upgrades to the classrooms and facilities, and adding classrooms. “East Coweta High School is under way,” said Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker. “It’s going to be a noticeable cha nge when people arrive back.” E l m St re et E lement a r y teacher Heather Greene is excited about the improvements and what they mean for t he students. Some of the new technology for Elm Street includes new teacher computers, iPad minis and nooks. “ I t ’s e x c i t i n g b e c a u s e everyone - teachers and students - have been ta lk ing about this and preparing for it for a while,” said Greene. “I’m most excited about the fact that it isn’t just cosmetic, but the improvements will help us with what we a re doing in teaching.” Greene has been at Elm Street for the past five years, teaching third grade. This year, she moves to fifth grade and will be teaching reading, language arts, writing and social studies. The Coweta County Board of Education has a scheduled maintenance and renovation schedule for all the elementary, middle and high schools in its school system.

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Photos By Celia Shortt

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4C — The Newnan Times-Herald   |  Sunday, July 28, 2013

BACK TO SCHOOL

Even well-prepared students can suffer from test anxiety By Cheryl R. Varnadoe Georgia Cooperative Extension Service

Test anxiety is one of the most common forms of stress faced by young people. Even when they know the information that will be on the test, stress can cause changes in the body and brain that make it hard to think clearly. St re s s c au se s t he body to go into a “fight or f light” response, which moves blood back toward the brain stem. This moves blood away from the thinking part of the brain, potentially causing the test taker to forget what they studied. Testing worry also competes for the brain’s working memory, which is used for performance. It is hard to determine why test a n x iet y a ffects some youths more than others. However, most students cited the pressure to excel, qualifying for gifted programs, achieving scholarships and academic awards, and the desire to be seen as intelligent as causes of test anxiety. To tackle this problem, follow the steps below when preparing for a test. Step 1: Allow plenty of time to study. Cramming or staying up the night before a test is a sure tickets to disas-

ter. Waiting until the last minute to study increases stress hormones and can actually decrease memory. Studying boosts confidence and also lowers the risk of panicking on testing day. Write out a study schedule for tests, and remember to allow plenty of time for fun, breaks and rest. Step 2: Consider studying with someone else. If you study better with a “study buddy” or someone who can help with motivation, or if you have trouble with any of the subjects you have been asked to learn, choose a study partner. Studying with another person can relieve some anxiety and can make the task a team effort. If you study best by yourself, it is still OK to have a friend or fellow student study with you in case of stress. Step 3: Organize the materials. Make sure you have everything needed to study. If textbooks or notes are not clear, ask your teacher for other suggestions. Library books, websites or magazine articles might be helpful as well. Step 4: Choose snacks and drinks that are healthy brain foods. Don’t drink too much coffee, tea or soft drinks. Even though it can perk you up

temporarily, the sugar and caffeine will eventually cause you to crash. They can also cause you to think less clearly. Junk foods that are full of sugar and carbohydrates can have the same effect. Make sure to have healthy drinks and snacks on hand for studying and testing time. Ste p 5 : L e a r n how to reduce stress. Find a quick relaxation technique that helps you calm down. Most stress occurs during the first few minutes of a test. If this happens, it helps to spend a few minutes relaxing before tackling the test. Try breathing, writing down your concerns, stretching, yoga, listening to music, imagery, meditation, squeezing a stress ball — whatever is allowed in the testing space. If you prefer to get up and move to burn off stress, find a more physical activity such as line dancing, juggling, walking or any other kind of exercise. Step 6: Reward yourself. Before starting, plan on how you will reward yourself for all your hard work studying and testing. If you followed all these steps, you deserve a reward, no matter what how you did on the test … but you probably did just fine.

Ways to save money when buying supplies With a new school comes new classes, new teachers, and new school supplies. Most parents want to get the most for their money, especially if they have several kids in school. The experts at Living on the Cheap have compiled ways to help parents save on back-to-school shopping in addition to using coupons or buying the generic brands. Living on the Cheap is a consumer news website that provides useful tools and tips for living well on less. Ten ways to save money on back-to-school shopping: 1. Reuse and repurpose supplies - School supply lists don’t vary much from year to year. Print the list and see what you already have on hand. If you have supplies left over from last year, reuse them. Or personalize plain home-office supplies with stickers, photos or paint. 2. Set a budget and make a list - Before you shop, sit down with your kids to set a budget and make a list. Give each child a certain amount of money for school supplies and clothing, and tell her she can keep whatever is left. You’d be surprised how attractive last year’s backpack and discount clothing start to look. Including your children in the process will provide a valuable lesson in responsibility. 3. Clip coupons with the kids - Sale items matched with coupons save the most money. They can also be a test of patience, because the brand, size, type and quantity of the sale item and the coupon need to match. That’s where kids can help. Show them how to find the match-ups. Keep an eye on the weekly newspaper coupons and check Living On The Cheap’s page for printable school supply coupons each week. Shop at stores that accept competitor coupons to save yourself driving around. 4. Shop during tax-free days - Sales tax holidays are right around the corner. August is the most popular month for states to of fer ta x-free shopping tied to back-to-school shopping. Check out Living on the Cheap’s list of sales tax holidays for 2013. 5. Find consignment sales Consignment sales offer a great way to save money on kids’ clothes, letting you replenish their closets with gently used, good quality clothes without paying full price for items they will quickly outgrow. In addition to brick-and-mortar consignment shops, your town may have one-time events that set up in churches or other locations for a weekend. Before you shop, clean out your kids’ old clothes and bring them in for credit toward your purchase. 6. Host a clothing swap - Contact friends from the neighborhood, church, school or moms’ clubs who have children in a range of ages. Set up a time to meet, bring outgrown clothes and start swapping. Create a Facebook event to

spread the word.

is cheaper 14 days later, 7. Remember thrift shops some stores let you bring in - Don’t forget stores like the receipt and collect the Goodwill, Savers and Salvation difference. Army. The merchandise rotates 9. Create a shopping team frequently, so one day you may and buy in bulk - Get together find nothing, but the next day with other parents to create you might find a gold mine of a back-to-school shopping adorable clothes. Plus, these team. Plan a fun day for the organizations donate money kids while the parents devise to nonprofit agencies in your a strategy. You may even find community. it makes sense to buy in bulk 8. Don’t skip big-name at warehouse stores and split stores - Just because the the costs. original price is high, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal at places like Children’s Pl a c e , G y m b o r e e , C r a z y 8, Macy’s or Kohl’s. You will never pay full price if you sign up for email lists to get advance notice of sales, follow the stores on Facebook or Twitter, look for discount codes online, clip coupons or use store cash. If you find an item that you’ve purchased

10. Wait to buy - If your kid is begging for that absolutelycan’t-live-without item and it’s not within your budget, wait a few weeks. That item might be replaced by the next big thing or it might go on sale. Also, check with the school and other parents to find out if you really need everything on the list the first day because it is likely to be cheaper after school starts.

Some of the equipment in the robotics lab - (on left) A KUKA robotic arm, donated by Grenzebach, an industry in town. On the right is a Labvolt Robotic Arm.

The Marine Advanced Technolog y

Education Remote Operated Vehicle - An underwater robot designed by Scott Brown’s students. They beat out Mississippi State University for a design award on it.

CEC poised to start second year of 8th-grade college, career academy By Celia Shortt celia@newnan.com

The 2013-14 school year marks the second year of the eighth grade college and career academy at the Central Education Center (CEC) in Newnan. The purpose of this academy is for eighth-graders to experience and determine what is out there for career options. “Research tells us that students in middle school are having more serious conversations about careers,” said Mark Whitlock, CEO of the CEC. “We need to find more realistic ways for them to make those choices.” Sixty students - 10 from each middle school in Coweta County - are chosen by a lottery to attend. Throughout the school year, each student receives his or her core academic classes and technical classes, called connections. These connections include instruction in forensics, construction, aviation, computer science, and robotics. Each student is able to take four different connections in the school year. “I enjoy their enthusiasm,” said Scott G. Brown, a CEC teacher who teaches the eighth grade robotics class. “You’re getting students from middle school. Students who have never done anything like this before. It’s a like a brand new world to them.” In addition to eighth-grade robotics, Brown teaches pre-

Photos By Celia Shortt

Some of the equipment in the robotics lab - A trainer used with the

RAMP (Remote Automated Management Project). It is the same as the ones KIA uses in its factories.

engineering, robotics and drafting to high school students at the CEC. “I hope they find a career path, that they find what they want to do with their life - whether they are an eighth-grader or a high school student,” he added. Last year, 380 CEC students had apprenticeships and internships from 225 different employers, and 206 students were dual enrolled in West Georgia Technical College programs. “The practical advantage of

the CEC is that students can touch a career,” said Whitlock. “Our values say we want to change the high school experience. We start asking ourselves how to not only prepare them, but how can we make them succeed in college and career while in high school.” The CEC is a charter college and career academy, started in 2000, located on Martin Luther King Drive in Newnan. Its 14th year of high school operations begins on Aug. 6.

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• Newnan Crossing Elementary • Welch Elementary • White Oak Elementary • Poplar Road Elementary

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106 Bailey Station Circle Sharpsburg, GA 30277 770-304-8857 • Thomas Crossroads Elem. • Willis Road Elementary • Cannongate Elementary • Trinity Christian

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Sunday, July 28, 2013  |   The Newnan Times-Herald — 5C

BACK TO SCHOOL

60 minutes a day? How to carve out time to ‘get moving!’ with your children By Merritt Melancon

University of Georgia Georgia Cooperative Extension Service

Between homework, housework, school schedules and work schedules, it can be hard to fit in the 60 minutes of daily physical activity that children need to grow into healthy adults. Parents of young children who cannot play outside unsupervised may f ind it especially challenging. Often keeping children active mea ns getting the whole family moving, which can be hard but definitely worth it. “When I get home, I really have to make myself make time to be active,” said Lori Purcell Bledsoe, a Georgia 4-H program coordinator who has a 2 and a 5-year-old. “I am lucky to have children who enjoy being outside, but some days I don’t even get to change clothes before we are on the swing set. But it’s what’s best for them, and it’s what’s best for me … Playing and enjoying yourself is important for all of you and helps reduce the stress of having such a hectic life.” Playtime is not only important for children physically, but also mentally — it helps them develop decision-making skills and helps them focus and sit still when they’re working on school work or on other quiet activities, said Diane Bales, a child development specialist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “It’s not an extra,” Bales said. “It’s part of what’s important for their physical and mental development.” Being active doesn’t mean having to go on power walks or playing organized sports. “For kids it’s not working out,” Bales said. “When we talk about children, we don’t talk about exercise; we talk about active play. Exercise implies it’s something outside of what we normally do, when playing is just what children do. They’re naturally active.” Anything that keeps a child’s attention and gets them moving is the “right type” of activity for them, Bledsoe said. Also, try not to say things like “it’s too hot outside,” which just makes them think about being hot. Sweating is good for all healthy people. Just be sure to offer plenty of water to keep children well-hydrated.

Just dance

Video games that require players to mimic dance moves a nd provide a ready-made soundtrack are a good way to start the party, but any upbeat music will work. If children are having a hard time getting their groove on, try a line dance — like the ChaCha Slide or the Hokey Pokey. These are great for young or shy children because the song itself gives the instructions for the dance, Bledsoe said. Encourage children who are reluctant to start out by watching. When they see the rest of the family having fun, they may decide to join in.

Take it outside Another trick for sneaking in more activity is to move dayto-day activities outside. It’s important for families to eat dinner together, but that dinner doesn’t necessarily have to be around a kitchen table. A picnic dinner eaten at a nearby playground or pool gets everyone fed and gives children a few extra minutes of running around time. This is a good way to carve out some unstructured playtime into your child’s day. Bledsoe suggests keeping it simple, like sandwiches or maybe a rotisserie chicken with fruit slices, carrot sticks and milk.

Keep it simple Remember that the recommended 60 minutes per day doesn’t have to happen all at once. There are plenty of other games and activities that parents and children can play together, too. Simple things like a quick dog walk or a 15 minute game of hide-and-seek or tag can add up quickly. It’s just about training yourself to look for opportunities to move during your daily routine and then taking advantage of them. Here are a few more ways to stay active as a family from LetsMove.gov. Give ch i ld ren toys t h at encourage physical activity like balls, kites and jump ropes. Limit TV time and keep the TV out of a child’s bedroom. If possible, walk to school a few days a week. Get in the habit of taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk around the block after a meal. Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials. For more tips on how to keep children active, visit www. LetsMove.gov.

Prepare students to make better school lunch choices by starting at home By Erica P. Techo Georgia Cooperative Extension Service

Last August, Georgia students returned to school and found some familiar friends missing from their cafeterias — sodium, fat and sugar. This school year, processed grains continue their exit. In the first overhaul of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s federal school lunch menu requirements in 15 years, the USDA requires foods in every compartment of those old plastic lunch trays to get a healthy update. Schools must offer a greater variety and number of vegetables, fruits and whole grains and serve fewer fatty foods, such as fries and pizza. For the 2012-2013 school year, half of the offered grains were whole grains. By July 2014, all grain options will be whole grains. School nutrition directors also reduced the amount of sodium in meals and reduced the number of grain-based desserts on the menus, which is good news for the 74 percent of Georgia students who eat school lunch, said Connie Crawley, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension nutrition and health specialist. School lunches will have specific reduced sodium requirements in 2014 as the start of a 10-year initiative. By 2023, elementary school lunches will have 640 mg or less of sodium, and high schools will have 740 mg or less. “The issue is, ‘Will the kids

consume the foods on the new menus?’ Frankly, I think the acceptance of the new menus will probably be slow at first,” Crawley said. “Younger kids who do not know the old menus may eventua lly accept the new patterns better when they become the norm over a number of years.” Crawley said new menus may face initial resistance, but acceptance will grow over time. Positive reinforcement f rom pa rent s a nd teacher s — a nd providing healthy students healthy food to consume a t m e a l s a nd snack on when they are home — will ease the transition, Crawley said. One of t he cha nges t hat students may notice this year is a switch from the customa r y cook ie or ca ke square to a serving of fruit or yogurt for dessert. “Grain-based desserts will only be offered twice a week. These will have to be trans fat-free, which means they must be made without shortening,” Crawley said. “The 2010 Dietary Guidelines stated that these are a major source of extra calories for children and adults, so this is a good change.” Any milk that was not low fat or non-fat was ousted last year. Fat-free milks can be unf lavored or flavored, but low-fat milks must be unflavored. Lac-

tose free or lactose-reduced milk are listed as “acceptable substitutions” for children if needed due to lactose intolerance. Fruit juice qualifies as an offering of fruit under the new guidelines, but Crawley said it does not provide the benefits that whole fruit offers. “[100 percent] fruit juice, however, will be an option at school,” Crawley said. “I hope this changes over time. Children need more fiber from fruit, and juice has none.” When it comes to drink options, water should be the first choice, she said. “The main beverage for everyone — ch i ld ren and adults — should be plain water f irst,” Crawley said. “Again, this is something kids have to learn to prefer. If every beverage they ever drink is colored and sweet, that is what they will want.” Most dietitians and pediatricians do not recommend juice, sports drinks, energy drinks or flavored milks for children. While lunchroom fare is getting healthier, many schools still have snack machines or other vending operations that offer students a junk food fix. According to a study by the National School Health Policies a nd P rog ra m s St udy, a majority of schools have at least one source of competi-

tive food, including 43 percent of elementary schools, 74 percent of middle schools and 98 percent of high schools. Crawley suggests parents and parent organizations work with school principals to decide what foods should be offered in vending machines, school snack bars or other sources outside of the school meal program. “This again is a matter where schools and parents must cooperate for the benefit of the children/teens…There are healthier vending machines that can be installed that have fruits, dried fruits, whole grain crackers, yogurt and nuts,” Crawley said. Offer i ng hea lt hy sn ack s at home can encourage good choices from vending machines, Crawley said. Packing healthier snacks to take to school and not providing money for vending machine foods can also decrease vending machine use. “It takes making better food choices both at home and at school so kids get used to the flavors of healthier foods. This is a huge undertaking, but it is going to save our children's lives,” Crawley said. “If we continue the way we are currently feeding our children, they are going to be suffering from serious health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in their 20s and 30s.” (Erica Techo, a communications intern with UGA Extension, is studying English and Political Science at the University of Georgia.)

Proper handwashing still one of the best defenses against germs Handwashing is one healthy habit that can have an immediate impact on your child's health — preventing seasonal colds and the flu, keeping food safe and minimizing days out from school. “Proper handwashing is one of the best ways to fight infectious diseases such as the flu as well as foodborne illnesses,” said Judy Harrison, a University of Georgia Extension Specialist with the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Parents should encourage regular handwashing at home and school should to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16 percent and reduce deaths from diarrheal disease by up to 50 percent. Wash Your Paws, Georgia! is a hand-

washing education program developed by the UGA Extension. The program teaches proper technique and helps educate families, educators and children. UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agents and Georgia 4-H Agents have implemented the program across the state. The program has helped teach students the importance of thorough handwashing, reaching more than 10,000 students in classrooms and at club meetings. Outside of classroom lessons, more than 10,000 posters have been distributed throughout the state to spread the word. Handwashing technique is important, Harrison said, and the CDC and the National Sanitation Foundation recommend a six-step process: Step 1: Wet hands with warm water Step 2: Apply soap to hands

Step 3: Rub hands together, cleaning between fingers for at least 20 seconds Step 4: Pay special attention to cleaning around fingernails Step 5: Rinse the germs away Step 6: Dry hands on a paper towel or using a hot air dryer, if one is available “Handwashing is the best defense, but if you don’t have access to soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used,” Harrison said. The CDC suggests using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent of alcohol. Because not everyone keeps their hands clean, it is important to avoid touching your eyes, (Erica Techo, a communications intern with UGA Extension, is studying English and Political Science at the University of Georgia.)

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One of the best ways to sneak in 20 or 30 minutes of activity into a child’s day is to crank up the stereo and let them dance while dinner is cooking. “If parents are acting silly (Merritt Melancon is a news and having fun, then the kids are more apt to mimic them editor with the University of and have a good time being Georgia College of Agricultural silly, too,” Bledsoe said. and Environmental Sciences.)

UGA Extension helps families make the most of every school year Through Cooperative Extension offices in almost every county, the University of Georgia helps Georgians become healthier, more financially independent and more environmentally responsible. Congress established the Cooperative Extension Service in 1914 to deliver information from land-grant colleges and universities to all Americans. UGA Extension continues to fulfill that basic mission, and one of the most important parts is helping our schools improve student achievement. UGA Extension is an educational network that combines the expertise and resources of federal, state and local governments to improve people's lives. We extend the reach of the University of Georgia to connect you with knowledge, research and resources in the areas of youth, family and agricultural needs. Whether you’d like to build a safer environment for your children, deal with the stresses of daily school life, teach your children how to avoid chronic diseases like diabetes with healthy food or train food handlers in your cafeteria, UGA Extension is the place to start. In this day and time of information overload and easy

access to the Internet, you should always remember to fact-check sources. As UGA Extension professionals, we are required to base our solutions to client issues on proven research, not home remedies and hearsay. Whether recommending the safest method possible to control fire ants, or showing homeowners how to test their home for radon, you can trust our information. And when it comes to your child, the Georgia 4-H program is the place to go to find caring adults to help your child develop his or her leadership potential. (Judy Ashley is the University of Georgia county Extension coordinator in Walton County.)

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Back To School 2013