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  • Attendance Update-Get Ready for December!

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 11/20/2014



    As we get ready to break for the Thanksgiving holiday season, I would like to thank you for supporting Mary Lin and what we are about.

    I also want to bring to your attention the number of students who have missed five or more days of school this school year. Parents, we have 83 students who have missed five (5) or more days of school so far this year. This is over 13% of our students.

    We simply need to do better. Please understand that I am not asking you to send your children to school sick. I am asking you NOT to plan vacations during school days. These are flat-out unexcused absences.

    Let's get ready to move our trend line in the upward trajectory in December. Last year, our attendance took a dramatic dip in December. Our motto for December is, "Every child each day present and accounted for at Mary Lin."

    Thanks for your help!

    Dr. Mitchell 


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    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 11/14/2014

    Don’t miss Friday’s “Paper Gate” discussion at our monthly community coffee gathering in the media center.  In a sincere attempt to avoid impeachment, I will have a clear explanation of what happened and discuss with you a plan to avoid a similar shortfall in the future.  I can’t wait to hear your suggestions and concerns.

    Everyone is welcome, babies, grandparents, people with treats to shareJ

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  • Traffic and Walking Routes Beginning in January

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 11/11/2014

     Hi! This information will be posted in the Rocket and on our website under Headlines. The students will also receive a hard copy on Thursday. Thanks, Dr. Mitchell


    Mary Lin Elementary


    January 2015

     Click here for traffic plan PDF


    Beginning January 6, 2015, the entrance to the school, traffic circle and parking lot will be fenced off for renovation. The carpool driveway will move to the north side of the school at the former back parking lot entrance, which has been expanded to a two-lane driveway. The main entrance to the school will be at the back of the building near the cafeteria, new addition and new traffic circle. Please take time to review the new traffic plan and FAQs provided below. If you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Mitchell at (404) 802-8850. Map:Traffic Plan MLES(Rev1).pdf


    How will carpool work?

    During active carpool, traffic flow will continue to proceed south, up Candler Park Drive, from North Avenue. Carpool traffic will turn RIGHT ONLY into the new school driveway (which was fenced off and widened during construction). This new two-lane driveway is for MOTOR VEHICLES ONLY--no pedestrian or bike traffic is permitted. Carpool traffic will exit the driveway turning RIGHT ONLY onto Candler Park Drive toward McLendon Avenue. NO LEFT TURNS PERMITTED INTO OR OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY during active carpool. We all must adhere to this rule for the safety of our students and families. Please do not walk or bike across the driveway during active carpool. Carpool is typically from 7:30 to 8:00 in the morning and 2:10-2:45 in the afternoon.


    Will I still be able to walk my child (ren) to school? 

    Yes. Please review the direction you typically walk or bike to school to determine which school entrance you should use. Please be careful not to walk or bike across the new driveway during active carpool times.


    Walkers coming from Candler Park Drive/McLendon Ave:

    A fenced construction walkway will allow foot traffic along Candler Park Drive in front of the former school entrance/renovation site. The existing crosswalk will remain active with a crossing guard to assist pedestrians from the golf course side of Candler Park Drive as well as walkers along Candler Park Drive. Walkers will enter the FRONT of the building facing Candler Park Drive through the double doors at the stairwell or through the new wide staircase leading up to the auditorium doors. NOTE: Bikers must use back entrance.


    Walkers coming from Freedom PATH Trail/North Ave/Oakdale:

    Walkers and bikers coming from the Freedom PATH Trail will follow the trail leading to the BACK parking lot/cafeteria entrance. This will prevent foot and bike traffic from crossing the carpool driveway. Only school buses and motor vehicles are allowed in the carpool driveway. No pedestrian or bike traffic is allowed to enter the driveway.


    Where will visitors and parents be able to park?

    The upper back parking lot is reserved for teachers and staff only. The front lower parking lot adjacent to the driveway is for staff, parents and visitors. Parents may park in the lower/front lot after 8:00 in the morning. There will be limited parking on Candler Park Drive on either side of the street from the school to North Avenue. Please respect no parking signs.


    Will the bike racks be relocated?

    Yes. The bike racks will be relocated to the back of the school. All bike traffic must use the PATH trail that leads into the back parking lot. Bike traffic is not permitted in the driveway or in the construction safety sidewalk, as the sidewalk will be narrow.


    Will I be able to walk my dog to school?

    For the safety of our students, families and our four legged friends, dogs will not be allowed in the narrow construction safety fence walkway or on school property.


    Where do I enter the school building now that the old entrance is under construction?

    The main entrance will be located at the back of the school near the cafeteria and new addition. You can enter from the back parking lot or walking trail. There are two additional entrances along the front of the school facing Candler Park Drive: 1) at the stairwell doors and 2) at the auditorium doors located at the top of the new large staircase. The two front entrances will be locked at 8:00am so late arrivals and all visitors must enter the main entrance in the back of the building.


    Where will the school office be located?

    You can access the school office through the new main entrance at the back of the school near the cafeteria and new addition. As before, visitors must check-in at the school office. Please request any transportation changes to the school office prior to 1:30pm. Transportation requests made after 1:30pm may not be communicated to the student in a timely manner.


    How will afternoon dismissal work for buses, carpool, and walkers? 

    Buses will be loaded at the back of the building. Carpool students will wait in the cafeteria until called. Walkers will be picked up from their teachers in a designated area of the back parking lot.


    Thank you for taking the time to review these changes to our school’s traffic flow. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we move through this next phase of construction. The safety of our students, families and staff is a top priority. It may be necessary to make adjustments to the traffic flow throughout each phase of construction.















    Revised: 11/11/2014

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  • It's no Secret...

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 11/8/2014
    Happy weekend!
    In an effort to be transparent with the community, I want you to know that it not a secret that there are a few vocal parents who do not want me to lead Mary Lin anymore. This small parent group meets with my supervisor monthly since last spring and discusses the things that are going wrong with my leadership and the school. A few weeks later, I receive feedback about these meetings. This is no way for me to be an effective leader. I have recently requested that these parent meetings cease after November. If this small, yet vocal group of parents still has issues, then they will have to bring it down to the school level and give me a fair chance of resolving the issues and complaints.
    I would like to think that the majority of the parents and teachers are on board with what is happening at Mary Lin. I am strongly encouraging you to steer the unhappy parents my way so that I could work on their concerns in a timely manner. With over 630 students and over 1,000 parents, I know that it is unreasonable for everyone to be on board with what we are doing at Mary Lin.
    Facebook threads of complaints do nothing to solve issues or concerns. I am looking for people to step-up and direct these unhappy parents my way so that I can address their concerns in a timely manner.
    Unless I am missing something, we have the majority of the stakeholders with us. Remember, the best is yet to come.
    Thanks for all you do,
    Dr. Mitchell
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  • Paper Update

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 11/5/2014


    Please allow me to clarify the recent requests you are receiving from teachers to donate copy paper. Yes, the school does have paper. Most schools ask for parents to donate copy paper in the beginning of the year. 

    We waited until now to put this "wish list" item out to the community so that the teachers would have an adequate supply of paper in the second semester.

    This year, the school purchased math workbooks for all K-5 students at a cost of $8,400. Coach math books were purchased for grades K, 1, 2, 3 and 5. Go Math! was purchased for grade 4. This money would have been used to purchase copy paper for the teachers.

    Please note that parents are not required to donate copy paper. This is merely a "wish list" request that is analogous to donating paper towels or Clorox Wipes to the classroom.

    We already received our first donation of copy paper. In fact, most of the parents I have spoken with were glad to help. This is truly not a major issue.

    Thanks for all you do!

     Dr. Mitchell 


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  • CAAS School-by-School Comparison

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 11/3/2014

    Please use the link below to access the CAAS data for the district, cluster and school. This will become a bit more interesting and telling after we take the CAAS again in January.  


    School-by-School CAAS Reading Comparison (NCE Score)


    Mary Lin


    Springdale Park





    Grade 1




    Grade 2




    Grade 3




    Grade 4




    Grade 5





    School-by-School CAAS Math Comparison (NCE Score)


    Mary Lin


    Springdale Park





    Grade 1




    Grade 2




    Grade 3




    Grade 4




    Grade 5





    Although Mary Lin is behind Morningside and Springdale Park in most areas, there are no areas that are above a ten point difference in our scores. In fact, most areas are within a five point differential. I am committed to decreasing the gaps presented above, and so are the Mary Lin teachers.

    The two biggest areas that jump out are third grade math and fourth grade math in terms of the gap that we have between Morningside and Springdale Park. Our third grade team has doubled their efforts to integrate social studies throughout reading, thus freeing-up time to teach math problem solving toward the end of each day. This means that our third grade students are being taught math twice per day. Ms. Gosha, Early Intervention teacher is also working daily with some third grade students.

    Our fourth grade math program is anchored by Ms. Bringslid coming into each fourth grade math class, thus lowering the teacher to student ratio. Ms. Bringslid also plans math lessons with the fourth grade team and analyzes math data with the fourth grade team. The aforementioned is the cornerstone to the differentiated math instruction that is taking place in fourth grade.  

    Thanks for all you do! Dr. Mitchell

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  • Writing is on at Mary Lin!

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 10/31/2014

     Greetings! Check out Mrs. W's fourth grade class bring it in writing! Dr. Mitchell


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  • Cluster Planning Survey

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 10/24/2014

    The district is asking for input from parents about the cluster planning process. Please take a moment to complete the survey below. To date, about 480 total stakeholders have taken this survey, yet we have over 50,000 families in the district.


    This feedback will help the Superintendent make some key decisions about our cluster. The survey closes on October 31. Thanks, Brian


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  • Staffing Update 10/2/14 (Revised 10/3/14)

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 10/2/2014

    Please welcome two new staff members to Mary Lin. Jeanette Norwood is our new Special Education teacher. Mrs. Norwood will be splitting time daily with Mary Lin and Springdale Park Elementary.

    Sandra Drummond is our new cafeteria monitor! Ms. Drummond is off and running in the cafeteria, so please be sure to stop-in to say hi to her the next time you visit the cafeteria!

    Both Mrs. Norwood and Mrs. Drummond are excellent additions to Mary Lin! Welcome!
    10/3/14-We just found out that Danielle Rogers, Special Education para is being promoted to Special Education teacher at King Middle School. Way to go, Danielle!  
    Dr. Mitchell 
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  • Mary Lin Attendance

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 9/26/2014

     Mary Lin Community,

    Below is a graph of our attendance rates per month last year. December and March are two months that jump out as areas where we need to improve our attendance rates. Please understand that I am not asking you to send your children to school sick. I am asking you not to plan vacations during school days. Thanks, Dr. Mitchell


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