S.O.A.R Weekly

Freedom Park Newsletter August 20th

Countdown to Total Eclipse

Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. This is a half day at our school. Students will be dismissed at 12:15. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk. NASA created this website to provide a guide to this amazing event. Here you will find activities, events, broadcasts, and resources from NASA and our partners across the nation. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

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Recipe Contest - Recipes Due Aug. 28th

I got us all into something, oops. I wrote a letter to the school nutrition department at Richmond Co. Schools discussing National Sandwich Month (Aug) and about healthy delicious sandwich recipes for our students. They responded loud and clear with the following contest. Me and my big mouth! I am happy because its for our kids. Please work with your kiddos to create a healthy sandwich recipe so we can knock out the competition and have a collection of FPS sandwich recipes. Please get them in ASAP because its only through the end of the month. You recipe can be placed on the Richmond Co. Schools Lunch Menu. The following is Richmond Co. School Nutrition response to my letter:
Dear Dr. Singh,
In response to your National Sandwich Month suggestions, there will be an “entrée recipe challenge” this month. I would love for your students to possibly submit healthy “sandwich recipes”. I have attached the current recipe competition information and for next year maybe we will be able to expand on more of your wonderful ideas. I truly appreciate your support and participation in our nutrition program!

Attendance Matters

Attendance is starting to be an issue at Freedom Park. There are several tardy students, early pick ups, and students who are missing the entire day. Here are several things to consider when you are trying to decide whether or not to keep your student home. This information is not meant to scare anyone, I just want everyone to be aware of the issues frequent absences can cause.

  • Think about how hard it is for you to get caught up when you miss a day of work. It is so much harder for our students because the class just keeps moving.
  • It drops our school ratings for the state as a quality school.
  • Its add extra stress to the teacher as he/she has to ensure that she catches the student up while continuing to teach the other students.
  • Learning is a progressive activity. Students who miss more days are less likely to be successful academically: https://getschooled.com/dashboard/tool/343-attendance-counts
  • School is becoming more interactive as far as group discussions, collaborations, and projects. This is very stressful and sometimes impossible for a student to makeup.
  • PreK and kindergarten is more important than ever. These grades are the foundation. Students who miss more days in primary school are less likely to be successful in upper elementary and beyond.
  • Students who develop an "on the job" attitude toward school are more successful in college and in their future careers because they have developed a habit of being responsible for showing up.

Finally, please be aware of Richmond County's attendance policy and Georgia law's regarding attendance. This is never fun to enforce, but it is required.

Richmond Co. Attendance Policy: https://www.rcboe.org/Page/28771

Georgia Attendance Law: https://www.rcboe.org/Page/28769

Did you know?

At 5 unexcused absences, students are legally defined as truant. The school is required to:

  1. Make Social Worker referral.
  2. Notify the School’s Attendance Point of Contact.
  3. Mail certified letter to parents of students ages 6-16 years,
  4. Email copy of letter to School Social Worker.

At 10 unexcused absences, the school is required to:

  1. School Social Worker makes home visit(s).
  2. School Social Worker will contact the Truancy Officer at their discretion.
  3. Preparations begin for juvenile court.

Please let us know if your student is experiencing a sever illness. Mainly, because we love them and want to do whatever we can to help. But also, as you can see, absences are a serious matter. There are programs in place to help students who need to be absent frequently due to long term illnesses.

Follow Us on Social Media

We have several active social media pages. The pages are a great place to have discussions and provide instant information regarding school updates.

Twitter: Freedom Park School

Instagram: Freedom Park School

Facebook: Freedom Park School and Freedom Park School PTA

Remind Updates (for school updates): https://www.remind.com/join/f83ec

Remind Bus Arrival and Departure (for updates of arrival and departure of buses daily). We will text when each bus arrives and departs the school. This service is to ensure parents aren't waiting at bus stops for long periods and know when their student left the school https://www.remind.com/join/2269b

Help w/ Intake, Lunch. and Dismissal - Call 706/ 796-8428

We need your help. As you can imagine, the morning intake, lunch, and dismissal are some of the busiest times of the day. How can you help? If you can help at any of these times, please call the front office.

Morning (8:20-9:00)

  • Help ensure cars do not park or drop off students in the bus loading area.
  • Help ensure students are walked across the street safely (parents should not be letting students out to walk across the parking lot).
  • Welcoming students to school in a cheerful manner (high fives, encouraging words, etc).
  • Cafeteria helper (breakfast).
  • Help students in the morning car line and ensure parents pull as far up as possible to get parents off the street.
  • Help teachers get students started (unpacking, passing out items, collecting items, etc.).
  • Hall monitor.

Lunch (anytime between 10:55 and 1:20)

  • Managing lines and tables.
  • Helping students open items.
  • Any other assistance teachers or food nutrition needs.

Dismissal (3:30 - 4:30)
  • Help ensure cars do not park or drop off students in the bus loading area.
  • Help ensure students are walked across the street safely (parents should not be letting students out to walk across the parking lot).
  • Help students in the afternoon car line and ensure parents pull as far up as possible to get parents off the street.
  • Help teachers get students ready for dismissal (packed, passing out items, etc.).
  • Help teachers get students to designated dismissal area.
  • Hall monitor.

How Are We Doing?

We want to hear from you. What are some things you love about Freedom Park? What are some opportunities for improvement? Did you see something that you thought would be really great for our kids? Complete the survey to let us know: https://s.surveyplanet.com/BkuUBM9I-x

Important Updates - Student Safety


For the safety of our students, the front door will be locked from 3:50-4:00. At this time, the entire student body is moving around the building to their dismissal location. Adding more people in the foyer area (adults standing waiting on their students with or without other small children) increases the traffic and is a safety hazard for our current and future Eagles. The door will be unlocked at 4:00 pm so that you may pick up your students. Please do not stand in our hallways and grab your students out of line. Just a reminder, when you pick your student up early it is considered a tardy. In addition, they are missing the last few minutes of their class.

What if I hate the long lines for pick up?

It is best to wait until a little after 4 pm. You will be amazed at how easy it is if you arrive at 4:05. There is plenty of parking, you are not technically late, and there are no lines. Try it and let me know what you think.

Intake/Drop Off

Please do not drop your student off before 8:20. There are no staff members on duty before this time to care for your student. This is a serious issue and a safety concern.

Options for Dismissal

Following the rules for dismissal makes for a safe and orderly dismissal. It also gives us an opportunity to model appropriate behavior in social settings for our students. The following are options for dismissal of our precious Eagles.

Car Rider

Students are lined up by grade level at the rear of the school. Students are escorted to their parents car by an adult.


Walk Ups are held in the large gym. Parents wait outside until the doors are open at 4pm (usually about 2 min before 4pm). Parents walk in and get their student. Please do not park in the bus loading zone. Also, if you wait until a little after 4pm, this is probably your best option if you don't like long lines.


Students who are old enough to walk home alone and/or walk home with a sibling (please follow Garrison Command orders concerning walking siblings home) are held in the art room until they are dismissed.

Teen Center

Students who attend the teen center walk to the teen center after dismissal. Our students love this option. Please check it out if you have not already done so.


Students who receive after school care through CYS are held in the large gym. CYS representatives escort them to the center.

Benchmark Testing

We are completing the beginning of the year benchmark. This information helps us to understand where the students are academically. It helps us to identify areas that need attention as well as areas to accelerate learning. Please stay tuned for information from your student's teacher(s) regarding how you can help your student.

IB Update

Freedom Park School is in the candidacy phase for full implementation of the IB MYP Program.

What is International Baccalaureate (IB)?

International Baccalaureate (IB) is an education that challenges students to excel academically and solve problems from a global perspective. It encourage personal growth and understanding as a member of the worldwide community. It focuses on developing the student using the IB Learner Profiles.

What are the learner profiles?

The IB Learner Profiles are as follows: inquires, thinkers, knowledgeable, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk takers, balanced, and reflective.

What is the MYP Programme?

The program includes: rigorous learning objectives, student centered teaching, international perspectives, whole child development, sustaining learning in more than one language, learning how to learn, and evaluating information critically especially in unfamiliar situations.

This Week's Update

The IB Committee is developing an IB student handbook that will contain all policy, assessment philosophy, and school procedures. Freedom Park educators are continuing to receive professional development in this area. They are also writing cross curriculum units to support the development of the IB profiles in our students.

How can I learn more?

Please visit http://www.ibo.org/

Future Eagles - Eaglets

At Freedom Park we understand 90% of children's critical brain development occurs by age 5. Children who are read to, sung to, and talked to from a young age develop larger vocabularies, become better readers, and are more likely to succeed in school. Start early to ensure your students success. Freedom Park would like to partner with you to prepare your child for early success regardless of where you choose for them to attend school. This program is for preschool aged children 2-5 years of age. Best of all, its free. Check out Smarty Ants, your kids will love it! https://static1.squarespace.com/static/587fbed9414fb56f5c146008/t/594adc69c534a51027f697c8/1498078317065/Smarty+Ants_Flyer.pdf

Golden Apple

The Golden Apple Award honors those who believe in the true spirit of teaching by making classrooms a fun and safe place of learning. Do you know a teacher who has left a lasting impression in your family? Help us acknowledge those who are rarely recognized. If you know an outstanding teacher who deserves recognition for their efforts in the classroom, we want to know. Nominate your teacher hero at: http://wjbf.com/golden-apple-nomination-form/

Teacher of the Year - Ms. Sandra Owens

Please join Freedom Park in congratulating the teacher of the year for 2017-2018, Ms. Sandra Owens. Ms. Owens is a 4th grade teacher at The Park. She is dedicated to ensuring her students are not only prepared for fifth grade, but also develop into life long learners. Congratulations Ms. Owens!