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  • May 9 Coffee Information

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 4/18/2014


    SAVE THE DATE AND TIME: Principal Coffee - Friday, May 9, 2014, 8:05am


    If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. - Tom Stoppard


    Greetings Mary Lin Parents!


    When many of us reflect on our times in elementary school, we recall projects and assignments as well as programs and events.  Some of us remember classroom or grade level experiences from overnight trips to Spelling Bees.  Others reminisce about special Fall or Spring events like Costume Parties and Field Day.  These co-curricular experiences are the very things that we carry with us so that we never grow old.


    Our website proudly proclaims that Mary Lin is a school where we “bring it every day!!!”  One of the ways that we will bring it next year is by deepening and expanding the experiences we offer before, during, and after school to enrich the lives of our students.


    I invite you to join me at our upcoming coffee at 8:05am on Friday, May 9, 2014.  Principal Mentor, Dr. Tony Lamair Burks II and I will facilitate an interactive brainstorming session to generate ideas about the kinds of experiences to consider for the 2014-2015 school year. 


    If you are unable to attend this upcoming coffee you may still share your brainstorming ideas through our online survey. You may want to type your responses to these two survey questions in advance and then cut-and-paste them into the online survey.  The two questions are:


    ·       When thinking about your time at our school, what specific events, programs, and opportunities are important for our children to experience?

    ·       When thinking about your time at our school, what specific events, programs, and opportunities should we stop offering to our children?


    The link will be active from 8:05am on May 9 to 8:05am on May 14.  Dr. Burks and I will compile the ideas from the coffee and the survey.  We will share our coffee and survey findings at 8:05am on Friday, May 16, 2014.  We will also use this time to develop at least two possible proposals for deepening and expanding the experiences we offer before, during, and after school to enrich the lives of our students.

    Dr. Mitchell

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  • WOW!

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 4/16/2014 2:00:00 PM

    WOW! Ashley and I just got finished selecting the tiles, paint color and the color of the carpets for the addition and renovated classrooms and hallways! Mary Lin is going to look beautiful! We will figure out a way to get these selections loaded to the website soon! Dr. Mitchell

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  • Long Term Substitutes

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 4/16/2014 10:00:00 AM

    Hi! Did you know that we currently have three long-term substitutes in the building? They are Emily Fuller, for Mrs. Derrico, Brittany Cooper, for Mrs. Green and Sue Blouin, for Mrs. J. Rogers. All are doing a fine job and need a shout-out on my blog! Also, Emily Fuller was the long term substitute for Mrs. Rosenbleeth! Way to go, ladies! Dr. Mitchell

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  • Update on the Continuous Improvement Plan

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 4/15/2014

    Greetings! Click here for Mary Lin's Continuous Improvement Plan. Below is an update on the status of monitoring the plan. Thanks! Dr. Mitchell


    Goal 1:    Increase the students exceeding expectations in the area of math on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT).

    Measureable Goal:   Increase the students exceeding expectations in the area of math as follows: Grade 3-from 69% to 75%, Grade 4-from 55% to 65%, Grade 5-from 36% to 65%.

    According to our winter CAAS data, third grade is projected to have 67% of students exceed expectations on the CRCT, fourth grade is projected to have 60% of students exceed standards on the CRCT and fifth grade is expected to have 59% of students exceed standards on the CRCT.

    The administration continues to observe classroom instruction, specifically looking for teachers to be using the required problem of the day and emphasizing real world experiences with geometry and measurement.

    Teachers use the Challenge Day/Gifted Day as their Home Challenge Day where students are intentionally grouped for additional math practice. This takes place one day per week.

    Teachers continuously use data to differentiate their instruction and group students for math instruction.

    Teachers follow the state’s scope and sequence for teaching the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.

    Teachers implement specific interventions for students falling below the 25th percentile in math on the Easy CBM screener and the students’ progress is monitored.

    Focus Area:      Implementation of School Wide Assessments for Tier 1

    Goal 2:  Provide professional development for all classroom teachers and special education teachers in the area of math.

    Measureable Goal:  All math teachers will engage in math-centered professional development.

    Dr. Lynn Hart has met with each grade level and Special Education teachers for one full day emphasizing best teaching practices for geometry and measurement.

    Several teachers attended math training provided by Metro RESA. The training focused on the Common Core Standards.



    Focus Area: Response to Intervention

    Goal 3:    Implement a consistent Response to Intervention (RTI) plan by providing assessment and support to students on all tiers of the Pyramid of Intervention.

    Measureable Goal:  98% of students will meet or exceed expectations on the Criterion Reference Competency Test in reading and mathematics.


    To date, two universal screener windows have been opened to screen all of our students in reading and math. Any students falling below the 25th percentile is required to have a research-based intervention put into place by the classroom teacher. The classroom teacher is responsible for monitoring the success of the intervention through the progress monitoring process. The administration is responsible for assuring that all students falling below the 25th percentile have an intervention in place and that the intervention is being monitored. The third universal screener window will open on April 28.


    All teachers were trained on how to use Easy CBM in August and September. Teachers were trained on how to use Easy CBM screeners and progress monitoring tools. Easy CBM is Mary Lin’s universal screener and progress monitoring tool.


    Teachers and the administration meet frequently to discuss which interventions to implement for students who fall below the 25th percentile, such as PALS math and PALS Reading.


    Focus Area: Student, Parent and Community Engagement

    Goal 4:    Continue to sustain a positive relationship with the PTA, Foundation and Local School Council. Increase the percentage of PTA memberships.

    Measureable Goal:  Increase the percentage of PTA memberships from 85% to 95% by the end of the year. Meet monthly with the Local School Council


    The administration meets monthly with the Local School Council and the PTA. We currently have 492 PTA members.


    Focus Area: Safe and Supportive Learning Environment

    Goal 5:    To create and sustain a positive school culture that promotes academic excellence for all students. 

    Measureable Goal:  Decrease students referred to Tier Two and Tier Three for Behavior from 10% to 5%.  This percentage is based upon last year’s referrals.


    The administration has suspended two students to date. We have decreased the number of Tier Two and Tier Three behavior referrals to 5%.


    Teachers and Administrators will respond to parent emails and phone calls within a 24 hour time period. This has been monitored by the number of complaints the front office has received. 


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  • Opening Ceremonies Parade and Other Upcoming Student Activities

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 4/14/2014

    Get Ready!

    Our Opening Ceremonies Parade is scheduled for Friday, May 2. The students will march up Candler Park Drive and use the park entrance to assemble on the park grounds. We will follow-up the parade with the staff versus the fifth grade students in a game of kickball and relay races!
    More information soon!
    We will be hosting our band, orchestra and chorus concerts in the gym on the following evenings:
    May 7      Orchestra concert
    May 12    Band concert
    May 21    Chorus concert
    See you at all three events! Times are forthcoming.
    Dr. Mitchell
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  • 2012-2013 CRCT Scale Score Comparison

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 4/8/2014

    Happy Spring Break! Below is a link to a workbook that compares Mary Lin to similar schools based on last year's CRCT. The scale score was used to create the comparisons, as it allows the raw scores of the CRCT results to be compared. Dr. Mitchell

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  • Teacher of the Year

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 4/4/2014
    Greetings! I am proud to announce that Francheska Starks, third grade teacher, is Mary Lin's teacher of the year for 2014-2015! Way to go, Francheska! Dr. Mitchell
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  • Being on Time for the CRCT

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 3/27/2014


    Due to construction, we have relaxed our tardy policy to reflect 8:30. Please note, school still starts at 8:00, we just record tardy students after 8:30. It is important to note that all third through fifth grade students are expected to be at school by 8:00 during the CRCT. The CRCT will be administered from April 23 to April 29. Testing will begin promptly after morning announcements. Thanking you in advance, Dr. Mitchell
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  • Georgia Assessment of Performance on School Standards

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 3/21/2014
    On March 6th, all APS principals were given an opportunity to sign up for an instructional audit. Because we are always looking for areas to grow, I volunteered Mary Lin for this experience. Next Wednesday, 3/26 and Thursday, 3/27 we will have a seven person team comprised of principals, district instructional personnel and other administrators visiting our classrooms. This is called a Georgia Assessment of Performance on School Standards or GAPSS Analysis. Though there are several types of GAPSS analyses, ours is voluntary. The audit team will be observing classrooms, analyzing school data, and interviewing a number of teachers, parents and students while they are here. We are looking forward to hearing the feedback the team will provide. We do not yet know the timeline or format of the report, but we will provide this information as soon as we know. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks! Dr. Mitchell
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  • Auditorium Closing Monday, 3/24

    Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL at 3/18/2014


    Well, construction has thrown us a curveball. Team Hogan will begin heavy digging to lay the footings around the auditorium early next week. Since the digging will be taking place so closely to the auditorium foundation, the Fire Marshall has ordered the auditorium closed for the rest of the year. This will impact band, the Fifth Grade Closing Ceremony, after school clubs, Ms. Snyder's Gifted classes and the PTA events that are scheduled for the students. Band will be relocated to the gym beginning Wednesday, March 26.
    The administration will be working closely with the staff and PTA to relocate the aforementioned programs. All will go well with this change!
    Thanks, Dr. Mitchell
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