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June 24, 2005

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Posted by Tim Tyson at 01:00 PM

June 20, 2005

PE Takes Home the Gold, Fourth Annual Film Festival, 2005

This movie took home an "Oscar" from the Fourth Annual Mabry Film Festival.
The movie was produced by 7th grade PE students and has a very important message.

PE Movie

Click on the picture to play this movie.

High speed internet access required.
Quicktime required.

Get Quicktime (free download)

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:06 PM

8th Grade Independent Films, Fourth Annual Film Festival, 2005

Each of these two films took home "Oscars" during the Fourth Annual Mabry Film Festival.
They were submitted by 2 different groups of 8th grade students.

Testament to the Human Spirit Right to Vote

Click on either picture to play that movie.

High speed internet access required.
Quicktime required.

Get Quicktime (free download)

Posted by Tim Tyson at 02:59 PM

7th Grade Independent Films, Fourth Annual Film Festival, 2005

Both of these films took home "Oscars" during the Fourth Annual Mabry Film Festival.
They were submitted by 2 different groups of 7th grade students.
Each of these movies has a brief introduction by some of the students involved in producing the movie.

Animal Antics Antarctica

Click on either picture to play that movie.

High speed internet access required.
Quicktime required.

Get Quicktime (free download)

Posted by Tim Tyson at 02:40 PM

June 17, 2005

Fourth Annual Mabry Film Festival, Best Picture Category, 2005

Mabry's Fourth Annual Film Festival
2005 Theme: Celebrate Achievement
Best Picture Category

2005 Best Picture Category

High speed internet access required.
Quicktime required.

Get Quicktime (free download)

Posted by Tim Tyson at 08:52 PM

Power to Learn

Naturally, we have some thoughts about the Power to Learn laptop initiative for Cobb County students.

.
Clicking on the picture above will download a PDF document we at Mabry have prepared for you. Please print and distribute it to help inform our community about The Power to Learn. 
 
Click above to play.
(Quicktime required Windows/Mac)
Get Quicktime (free download)

Posted by Tim Tyson at 07:58 PM

Creating a New iParent Account

iParent Instructions for Creating a NEW Account

If you have had an account in the past, continue to use that account. All of your students will be listed for access. Accounts are established for families, not individual students

  1. Type in the web address: www.cobbk12.org (site best viewed using Internet Explorer)
  2. Click on PICASSO
  3. Click on login under iParent (You may want to bookmark this site for future access.) Choose I haven't registered yet
  4. Enter district # 0633
  5. Enter access key exactly as written with NO SPACES
  6. Enter birth date of your oldest child currently enrolled in the school district
  7. Create your own user name (at least 6 characters)
  8. Create your password
  9. Answer password hint questions
  10. Log in

You should see a screen with all of your students listed. You will have the option to view attendance information, grade information, and the current schedule. These choices are listed on the LEFT of the screen. Information is available only for middle and high school students.

Be sure to always log out! (on the left)

After the above steps have been completed, you will need to do the following when you log in again:

  1. Enter web address
  2. Click on PICASSO then iParent
  3. At log in screen, enter district # 0633, user name and password
  4. Click log in

If you need assistance, you may contact the Cobb County School District's Technology Customer Care Center via e-mail at iparent@cobbk12.org

8/20/2004

Posted by Tim Tyson at 04:52 PM

How to Subscribe to MabryOnline.org through RSS

If you feel clueless as to what this is all about, you should first read:

  1. this general overview of our site, and then
  2. read this easy-to-understand post on blogs and RSS,

and then, come back and read this page.

As with most things in this world, there are many ways to go about setting up RSS feeds. Select from the list below the way you wish to use.

If you are a Mac user and are unsure if you have OS 10.4 installed on your machine, simply click on the blue apple in the top left corner of your machine and click on "About This Mac." If, under the bold Mac OS X, you see, "Version 10.4" or higher you can use Safari!

Posted by Tim Tyson at 04:00 PM

technology@mabry.cool

Hosted by Blake and Katie, these movies talk about the many ways we use technology at mabry.cool. Click on any of the movie icons below to watch that section of the movie. This project is aired from time to time on CobbEdTV.

00-&-01-Pic-4 02-Blogs-1 02-Blogs-1 04-Tyson-1 05-Way-Beyond-Blogs-3 02-Blogs-1 07-Film-Festival-1 08-Even-More-1 09-Top-Secret-1 10-Moms-And-Dads-1 11-Ipod-1 12-Splost-&-Ending-1

High speed internet access required.
Quicktime required.

Get Quicktime (free download)

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:59 PM

See the New Construction

Time for a construction update... The building is completely a mess right now, but things are starting to look like what they will actually be. I just walked around the building and snapped a few pictures to show you what things look like today. Hold your mouse over a picture for a second. Tah-dah! The name of the picture appears. Click on any picture to open a larger version of it.

Counselors' Area These are pictures of the new counselors', bookkeeper's, and attendance clerk's office space. The old counselors' area was completed redesigned. The construction crews gutted the entire area and are restructuring its shape and function. Counselors' AreaThe entrance to this area is now recessed. I think we will find the new space much more useful.

When you first enter, you walk into a reception area that will be used by our attendance clerk. The new space will also feature a nice, large, new conference room and a careers development lab.

This is a picture of the inside of the new teacher workroom that once was the main commons area. These areas in each pod will have a nice, large conference table. Teachers' WorkroomNow parents and teachers will have a more comfortable space in which to conduct conferences and hold grade-level meetings. The outside walls will be lined with new lockers for students. We are hopeful that we may have almost enough lockers for one locker per child! I was amazed at how quickly this space went up.

New Storage Area Believe it or not, in the picture on the right hand side, you are looking at what once was the lunchroom serving line. This area will now provide each grade level with critically needed storage space for supplies, materials, books, etc. In the past, Mabry has had such severely limited storage space that our PTSA bookstore had to be in the girls' bathroom!

Entrance into New Building In this picture on the left, you can see where carpet once was. This was an 8th grade classroom which has now been relocated to another area in the former commons. In fact, immediately after school was out, I went down to the eighth grade commons. The walls had already been partially removed. I looked over and saw, through the studs, Mrs. Stephens sitting at her desk working away on this little piece of now-removed carpet. This former classroom is now a hallway into the new building. A similar situation exists in the 7th grade as well, where a classroom was relocated to open a hallway into the new building.

8th Grade Science Building Pictured on the right is a view from mid-way down the new 8th grade science annex. In this space are 4 state-of-the-art middle school science labs. The brick wall that you see on the right was once the outside of the building. The brick wall contrasts nicely with the white walls and the new color-coded striping painted in all of the new areas.

New Science Lab On the left is the interior of a new science lab. We just aren't going to know what to do with all of this space. Kidding! Truly these rooms are remarkable when compared to our former science labs. While they are empty they almost feel as large as our old commons areas. (Well, OK, I'm getting a little carried away.) But you are going to be seriously impressed with our new labs. They are spacious and well-equiped. We have such excellent science teachers at Mabry. They have been drooling over these new classrooms for 2 years. Now, this year, they will have access to them!

Outdoor Patio On the right hand side is a picture of a new outdoor sitting area. These tables have been moved around our property several time over the last few years. Now they have a new home where teachers can take classes outdoors to read or work on projects.

The Outdoor Deck The picture on the left shows the area behind the school that we are calling the Mabry Deck. Since we will not have a commons area, we will be holding "Block Parties" out on the Mabry Deck for 8th grade students who deserve recognition for appropriate behavior and hard work. This will be a fun area that will have multi-purpose use.

New Band Room The new performing arts center being built in Atlanta can't be nearly as nice as our new band room. This space is huge! The new band room will be well-suited for our excellent Mabry band program. The walls and ceiling are treated with acoustic tiles. The new space includes storage rooms for instruments, a small-group rehearsal studio, practice rooms, and a new band office.

The Mabry Cafe The Mabry Café and new kitchen are a welcomed new addition to our school. In the past all of our food was prepared in the "old kitchen" and had to be trucked down to the serving lines in each commons. Keeping the food fresh and hot was an enormous challenge. Now, with our new facilities, the food is continuously being prepared immediately behind the serving lines and then served up steaming and fresh.

Covered Play Area Yes, I know it's hard to believe. But this is a picture of our covered play area. The construction crews assure me they will have it all cleaned up in time for school. Right now this space is being used for all of our construction supplies. It's, well, it's just a mess right now...

New Chorus Room This room is probably a little confused. Originally, it was the chorus room at Mabry. But years ago, when our orchestra program began to grow, the chorus room became the orchestra room. In the last several years the chorus room has seemed to wander around the building in search of a home. Well, the original chorus room is now going to be the chorus room once again. As part of the construction, this wall was removed to enlarge the space.

Repaving the Bus Area They have been threatening to do it for months now. Today it finally began. The back bus parking area is being ground up and hauled away. As part of the SPLOST project the back and front entrances to the school will be completely redone. The front entrance to the school will be widened. A new left turn lane exit will be added in an effort to make exiting the parking lot a little bit faster.

New Business Lab This is a picture of what was once the old kitchen. The space was completely gutted. You can see the newly constructed teacher office space, storage, rooms for the different curriculum-related modules. The Business Lab will have a wonderful new space.

Well, as you can see, a great deal of work has being going on at Mabry for the last 2 years, about $8.8 million in SPOLST money. Your tax dollars have been hard at work for our students. The project is now in its final stages and is projected to be ready for the beginning of school. We appreciate everyone's patience with this process. When it is completed, which is now in the near future, our school will have a wonderful facility to help us maximize student achievement.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:58 PM

Searching MabryOnline

Hopefully our website, which is really a collection of nearly 100 blogs, will become a huge repository of information about our school. In time, finding information quickly will become complex. Therefore, we are adding search capacity to MabryOnline.org.

Our site contains several areas:

To search this Main Welcome Page, you have three options:

The above search features only apply to this main welcome section of MabryOnline.org. For example, you would not yield a result from Dr. Tyson's blog using the search options above. These options only search this Main Welcome Page. If you wish to search any other section of our site, Dr. Tyson's blog for example, you must first navigate to that section (blog) and use the search field located on his main page. Each blog contains a search field specific to that blog.

Don't forget to use your browser's Find command (usually located under the [Edit] menu) to do a quick keyword search on a specific page. For example: an archive link will contain a large number of complete posts. Use your browser's Find command on that large page to instantly find a keyword that may be buried deep into the page.

Click here to go to the search page. In the future, you may find the search page on the bottom, right hand corner of the main page.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:57 PM

Mabry Dress Code, 2006 - 2007

Plans for a wonderful 2005-2006 school year are already in the works. As you and your students relax over the summer and then begin back-to-school shopping, the following information should assist you in our efforts to promote the most effective learning environment for our middle school students.

In middle school, students are making the transition from childhood to young adulthood. Hair styles and clothing should not draw undue attention so as to distract from learning. We want to have a dress code that is conducive to the formality of the school learning environment. Our primary focus is maximizing student academic achievement.

Unacceptable attire:

I appreciate your cooperation and support of the Mabry Middle School dress code. Again, middle school students can so easily be distracted from learning. Our focus in every regard must be academic performance.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:57 PM

Overview Information About Our New Website

MabryOnline is our new web presence. The site is really a collection of nearly 100 blogs designed with a front end that appears to be a web page. We have done this in the hope that our staff will more easily be able to keep information on the site current. Posting to a blog is substantially easier than having a web master who knows a lot about html, xhtml, css, asp, js, and blah, blah, blah. We don't. And even if we did, then the webmaster has to track everyone down to get their information to post it.

So, what is a blog? The term is an abbreviation for weblog and can be most easily understood as an online journal. Teachers post journal entries (or posts) to their site (or blog). The teacher assigns each post to a category that s/he has already created. When the post is published on the site, it is automatically linked to the category (listed in the sidebar on the right), to the date it was posted (via a little calendar in the sidebar on the right), and also is placed in a monthly archive (which, you guessed it, is also listed by month in the sidebar on the right).

Finding information in a teachers site could not be any easier. To read everything that has been posted to this blog about the Film Festival, simply click on the name of that category in the sidebar on the right. To read everything related to the Beginning of the Year, click...you have the idea. You could also go to the archive links for July and August to read things that were posted in those months which might relate to the beginning of the year.

Aside from having a powerful organizational structure for content management, a blog also has a very powerful search feature. Each teacher's site (or blog) has a "Search this site:" area in the sidebar on the right side. Simply type in the string for which you wish to search, and the script will bring up everything in the teacher's site that matches your search parameter--powerful, fast access to content.

Every time the site is updated, the blogging system is programed to update the syndication files. You can setup an RSS/Atom feed reader to automatically notify you when new content has been posted to the site. Most feed readers provide you with a quick summary of the new information, which, if you find relevant to your need, can serve as a link to the entire post of new information.

We will find that RSS/Atom feed readers are going to have a huge impact on learning and research. Rather than going out to find current, relevant information, you can set up a RSS/Atom feed reader to have the most current information about a research topic come to you. Software is now coming available that will even automatically annotate in a bibliography the source from the major online libraries . This is cutting edge and very powerful! The digital divide between those who know information literacy skills and those who do not is going to grow exponentially in the next few years. And who thinks students do not need laptops?!

And don't miss the Calendar link that appears at the top of the "front end" pages. We will keep it current with important school-wide or grade-level wide information such as testing dates, picture days, holidays, early dismissal days, etc. You can read more about how to subscribe to this calendar (Mac users only) and how to view the online version of the calendar (Mac and Windows users) by .

Hopefully you will find our new site helpful. Visit us often.

Articles on the Wikipedia:




Other Excellent Resources
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Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:57 PM

Student Letters About the Fourth Annual Film Festival

When I talk with students about the film festival several themes repeatedly come up:

I frequently receive letters from students. They are excellent writers, expressing themselves very well. I wanted to share with you a small number of the letters I received about the Fourth Annual Mabry Film Festival. When you read these letters, you get a glimpse into how meaningful this activity is for our students and how truly special our students are.
_____

Dear Dr. Tyson,

I believe the Fourth Annual Mabry Oscar Night was a great success. The movies were great, and they really stress the importance of technology at Mabry. Everyone I talked to seemed really impresses with the final products of groups of middle schoolers with some technology and a lot of determination.

Holding the Oscars in the gym was a great idea. At first, I was a little skeptical, but in the end, I liked the gym better than the theater. With everyone in the gym, more people were able to see the great movies coming from Mabry’s talented, well-rounded students.

Sincerely,
Cassaundra
_____

Dear Dr. Tyson,

I think having an Oscars each year is a really good idea. It is fun to go to a big thing like this, when you get to see productions made by other students. The best thing about it, though, is that so many people get to see what you created. After all the hours working on this, people get to see how long and how hard you worked on it.

I worked on the Antarctica I-movie with Will, Anna, and Katie. We were nominated for two categories, and we won an Oscar for the seventh grade independent film. I was very excited when we won, because of all I had learned, and everything people have seen that I did.

Sincerely,
Matthew

_____

Dear Dr. Tyson,

Last night was such an exciting night, and my friends and I winning an Oscar definitely made the evening a memorable night. Some movies made us laugh, and others made us cry, but overall, all of the nominated movies made us think. What is achievement?

All the movies were amazing, but one movie really touched me, 7A’s film. It was sort of a reality check for me. Everyday we go through life and take the gifts we have been given for granted. People don’t realize what adversity we all have to overcome. Casey is such a kind person, and I know that I will always have a friend in her. She has inspired many, including me, to love life and to always do your best.

Sincerely,
Lauren

_____

Dear Dr. Tyson,

Last night, half of the school dressed formally to attend the Fourth Annual Mabry Oscars. Some had come just to view the movies, while others, including myself, wanted to bring the golden statue home. Awards were given to groups, independents, and grade level teams. Every Oscar decision was well made.

None of the movies were humorous; they focused more on making a point. Many were touching while some received standing ovations. I believe that every deserving team won an award last night, especially 7A’s I-movie. My team immediately congratulated them.

The best part of the night was when my team won. The wait for the winners seemed to last forever. But then Antarctica was announced. Our team went through quite a bit together, and winning made everything the better. We were all excited, though the announcements of retirees dampened the mood. Otherwise, it was a wonderful evening.

Sincerely,
Anna

_____

Dear Dr. Tyson,

This year’s Film Festival was an important opportunity for me to experience. I loved each movie for different reasons. Some made me laugh, others made me cry, others made me think, and still others truly touched my heart. The emcees were amazing. I loved the humor and acting. Each one was great.

I loved dressing up and receiving “Oscars.” The only thing I did not like was how long it was, and how late into the night it was. I think there was an excellent script, but I think the show should have been started earlier.

I loved your dedications to our retiring teachers! This was so sad, because I loved each one of them. I also enjoyed the Jekyll re-cap video. I appreciate everything you have done for technology, the Film Festival, and everything you do. This was the best night of my life!

Thank you so much Dr. Tyson for every single thing you do for Mabry Middle School and for me.

Sincerely,
Samantha

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:57 PM

PTSA Officers for 2005 - 2006

Co-Presidents:


Vice President Of Volunteers:


Vice President Of Membership:


Secretary
:


Treasurer:

Parliamentarian:

For more information from the PTSA, visit their website at: [insert website here]

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:56 PM

Technology Partnerships

The Annual Mabry Film Festival is the highlight of the school year, a time when students are bursting with the excitement of showing off their work and hoping to win an Apple iBook computer. About 1,000 people attend this formal-attire event replete with the spot lights in the sky and the red carpet entrance. Oscar-like trophies are awarded in categories like Best Picture, Best Cinematography, etc. Pre-event parties are held in the covered play area by each movie-making team.

We have been successful in keeping tickets for this event at a minimal charge so as many students as possible can attend this huge celebration. Help Mabry promote and support the Annual Mabry Film Festival event while also increasing student access to technology at school. Join one of the groups below. While membership has its privileges, your tax deductible contribution will benefit our students!

Actor’s Guild – Donations from $25

Director's Chair -Donations from $100

Producer's Portfolio -Donations from $250

Critic's Choice -Donations from $500

Mabry iMovie Academy -Donations from $1000

*The same trophy facsimile awarded each category.

Mabry's Technology Wish List Items

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:56 PM

Present Partners

Mabry has numerous "unofficial" business partnerships. However, the businesses listed below have gone through the "official" Partners in Education signing ceremony with Dr. Tyson.

Apple Computer
Apple Computer

Kroger

Kroger

Knowledge Points

Knowledge Points

Southern Polytechnic State University

Southern Polytechnic State University

The Education Technology Center at Kennesaw State University

We value our business partners both "official" and informal.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:55 PM

Partners in Education

Truly, it takes a village to raise a child. The entire community must come together to provide the best resources from a diverse community of interests to meet the challenges the future holds by educating our children today. Certainly the future isn't what it used to be.

The Cobb County Chamber of Commerce understood this and started the Partners in Education program many years ago. The program connects public schools in the county with business partners. The partnership is designed to promote the mutual goals shared by the schools and the business community.

Additionally, Mabry has participated in the "Principal for a Day" program. Dr. Tyson has had the pleasure each year of hosting a business leader as his shadow for a day. This program affords our business community with the opportunity to see firsthand the wonderful things that go on at Mabry Middle School as well as the challenges we face with profoundly limited resources.

At Mabry we have enjoyed some significant and meaningful partnerships with our business community. Dr. Tyson has presented the Fish! employee motivation presentation for local businesses in the county. He has also presented about the educational programs in the Cobb County School District to East Cobb business leaders. Dr. Tyson was also the keynote speaker at Kennesaw State University's Georgia Movie Academy awards night.

Additionally, Mabry has promoted the reading of USAToday with our reading and research emphasis and held live internet video conferences with the editors of that paper in New York. Our students have performed at Apple's Atlanta Executive Offices. Mabry has provided the county technology integration specialists with training for the new laptop initiative. We have publicized any number of businesses, business people, and community organizations for their significant donations to our film festival. Our students have even made promotional DVDs for local real estate agents.

And certainly businesses have made significant contributions to Mabry Middle School. The Lindblad Expedition Company has made a substantial library of video footage of exotic habitats available to our students for their Life Science study. Apple has provided our staff, parents, and students with an invaluable amount of training in movie-making for instructional achievement. Dr. Michael Murphy, Dean of the College of Computer Sciences at Southern Polytechnic State University, has made a substantial contribution to Mabry's long-range technology plan. He has also been very active on our School Council through the years. Dr. Traci Redish, from the Education Technology Center at Kennesaw State University, another Partner in Education, has also served on our school council. A number of other local businesses have made contributions to our school.

The bottom line of the Partners in Education program: it can be what ever the school principal and business agree would be mutually beneficial. Everyone wins, especially the children in Cobb County. I invite you to consider partnering with Mabry Middle School. Feel free to contact Dr. Tyson to discuss any ideas you may have.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:55 PM

Tips for Helping Your Child Succeed in Middle School

From our counselors...

Middle School is a time of growth and transition, a time when students move from childhood to adolescence and toward a greater level of independence and self-reliance. They want their parent’s help, support, and approval, but may not want to be seen in public with them. They want to be different from their parents, but not too different from their friends. In this time of life that often seems like controlled chaos, there are many things you can do to assist your child with his or her success in school.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:54 PM

SPLOST

Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax

SPLOST II passed on September 16, 2003, and construction began at Mabry in December, 2003. Your tax dollars funded the following items at Mabry Middle School:

Demolition & Reconstruction in the Building
Counselors Office Img 7324

Img 7327

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:53 PM

Subscribe to Mabry's School Calendar

If you are a Mac user using OS 10.x, you can subscribe to the Mabry School Calendar. Simply click on the link below and the Mabry School Calendar will automatically appear on your iCal program. Each time the school updates the calendar, those updates will automatically appear on your iCal calendar! It's easy. Try it! Simply click on the link below.

Mac Users Click Here To Subscribe

If you are a Windows user, you can view the school calendar on the internet. Simply click on the link below. Mac users can also visit this link.

Click Here To View the Calendar on the Internet

P.S. We've had our first parent subscribe to the calendar on his new Mac. He's new to using the Mac and said, "It couldn't be any easier!"

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:53 PM

Summer Reading List

IMPORTANT UPDATE: (posted on June 7th)

Dear Mabry Parents and Students,

The required summer reading for Mabry students is:

You will only need to complete written work for the above required readings.

You are also to read both a nonfiction book and a fiction book from the list for your grade level. If you can not find any of the books on the reading list, you may substitute a nonfiction book and a fiction book of your choice. Please be sure that you and your parents feel your reading choice is appropriate for you. Keep track of your reading so we can count it toward your 25 book reading requirement.

We are sorry for the confusion and inconvenience you have had in trying to locate the books on the summer reading list. Next year we will be certain that all of the books on the reading list are more easily accessable to you. I appreciate your understanding.

Sincerely,
Dr. Tyson

posted on: June 1, 2005

Improving reading and writing are important goals at Mabry. Research has shown that the amount and quality of student reading and writing is a major factor in student achievement. Georgia and Cobb County require all middle school students read at least 25 books for 2005-2006. The 3 books you read this summer will count as part of this requirement. All written work for the required summer reading assignments will be collected during the first week of school in August. Writing pieces should be neat, legible (you may write in cursive or use word processing), and stapled together. Be sure to put your name on your work.

A copy of this information was sent home at the end of the school year. The required reading for each grade level is linked to Amazon.com for your convenience. However, this is just one of the assigned readings. Don't forget to download the PDFs for the other readings and assignments.


Rising 6th Grade


"The Cay" (THEODORE TAYLOR)

6Th Summer Reading 1-1 6th Summer Reading 2

These are both PDFs, so you will need Adobe Acrobat, which is free. Most computers already have this software.


Rising 7th Grade


"The Tiger Rising" (KATE DICAMILLO)

7Th Summer Reading 1 7th Summer Reading 2

These are both PDFs, so you will need Adobe Acrobat, which is free. Most computers already have this software.


Rising 8th Grade


"The Pearl" (John Steinbeck)

8th Summer Reading 1 8th Summer Reading 2

These are both PDFs, so you will need Adobe Acrobat, which is free. Most computers already have this software.

Also, let me take a moment to recommend the Media Center Blog to you. Bookmark it, or, better yet, subscribe to it's RSS feed! This same information is located on the Media Center blog as Word documents, not PDFs. So, if you are having difficulties downloading the pdfs, you can use this link to download Word documents.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:52 PM

Join the Parent Portal

We are inviting our parents to join the Cobb County School District Parent Portal program. This program is an integral part of our student information system, SchoolMax. By joining this program, you will have instant, online access to your child’s attendance, tardies, and discipline. You will also have access to grading data for each class in which your child is enrolled, with assignments updated on a regular basis.

By implementing this new Parent Portal program, we hope to provide you with access to timely information. This initiative has proven to be an efficient communication tool for parents and the Cobb County School District.

In order to participate, you must enroll in the program, if you have not already done so. Please review the information included with this packet. The completed form must be returned to school in person. We will then enroll you in the program and provide the web address, a user name, and a temporary password to you. If you have used iParent in the past, you will not need to register again. The system is set up by families, not by individual students. You can use one account to access information on your middle and high school students.

We hope you find this program beneficial.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:50 PM

Shopping for School

Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future you will have just arrived at a link to an e-commerce site that will allow you to make all of your school-related purchases online. At Mabry's suggestion, the county is in the process of securing a service provider for this very purpose. We have volunteered to pilot the program here at Mabry. Once the vendor has been selected by the Board, we will provide you with additional information.

Having an online payment system will not replace the traditional means of sending money to school for purchases. The e-commerce solution will just provide those who would find it more convenient to purchase yearbooks, lunches, make payments for fieldtrips, etc. online, the opportunity to do so. At the present time, only school lunches can be purchased online.

School Lunches You may now purchase your school lunches online. Just click on this link to do so.

Student lunches (2004 - 2005 prices):

School Store
The school store, which is run by the Mabry PTSA, buys in quantity and passes savings on to you.

Yearbook
Mabry's yearbooks are in color and sell for $35.00.

Special discounts for early purchase

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:49 PM

Under the Hood

Click to see an enlarged version of the Mabryonline.Org Visual Outline
We are in the process of rebuilding our entire web presence from the ground up. The basic setup of the site is now complete, but the website is really more of an always-growing content management system. Once the school year begins, we will be adding content and links rather quickly as we make our website as helpful and informative as possible. We hope that navigating the site is relatively intuitive and simple. Clicking on the visual outline to the left will bring up an enlarged copy. Clicking here will download an 8.5 x 11 printable pdf of the visual map.

One of the key features of the website is that the overwhelming majority of it is built from blogs. Additionally, each of the teachers at Mabry has his/her own blog which links from our site through the top navigation bar. We strongly encourage you to syndicate each of your student's teachers' blogs as well as Dr. Tyson's, the counselors, and the Media Center's blogs. Syndication is really very simple and brings the most currently posted information directly to your computer rather than your having to go to each blog to see if new information has been posted.

We regret that we are unable to provide individual technical assistance in setting up this syndication for you. Everyone has different hardware, software, and levels of expertise. However, setup is really fairly simple--hence, it's name: RSS (Really Simple Syndication). In an evening meeting at the beginning of the year, Dr. Tyson will provide parents with an overview of how to set up your RSS feeds. He has also posted a link on the main web page (which you can also access by clicking here) which gives some guidance on how to do this.

And if all of this is completely new and a bit overwhelming to you, can can start by clicking here to read an easy-to-understand overview of a typical window on our site. This post explains what each section of the window is and how it works.

We hope you find our new site and your student's teachers' blogs an easy and effective way to know what is going on at Mabry Middle School. If you wish to continue reading more information about the site, click here.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:48 PM

June 16, 2005

Third Annual Mabry Film Festival, Best Picture Category, 2004

Mabry's Fourth Annual Film Festival
2004 Theme: Imagine...
Best Picture Category
(Because of its sensitive nature, some of this content is unsuitable for young children or victims of child abuse.)

2004 Best Picture Category

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Posted by Tim Tyson at 04:00 PM

Third Annual Mabry Film Festival, 2004

Watch three of the movies from our third Film Festival. The movie on the left was created by two 8th grade students as the opening movie to introduce the envelopes which contained the evening's winners. Ivor joined our bookkeeper, who present the envelopes, on the stage.

The movie on the right was produced by a group of 8th grade girls. The movie on the bottom was produced by a group of 8th grade students. We were unable to have our Mabry Symphony perform, so they created this.

Click on a movie to watch it.

2004, Envelopes Movie 2004, Inde Movie
2004, Overture Movie

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Posted by Tim Tyson at 04:00 PM

Not Business As Usual

Normally, things at school slow down after school is out. Not so this summer! If you have driven by the school lately, you have noticed that the construction crews have begun digging up the front parking lot.

The inside of the building is just not safe for guests as so much demolition and construction work is underway. Dust and dirt abound. Our poor custodians are not even attempting to work until "the dust settles." Access to the building is significantly restricted during this time.

When everything is finished, our facility will be incredible! Keep up to date by checking the See the School link on the main page!

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:56 PM

Student Achievement Data from May, 2005

Our school mission is to maximize student achievement in a culture of caring. Mabry Middle School has a rich tradition of academic excellence spanning more than 25 years. Our students are successful because students, parents, and teachers partner together to ensure academic success.

The Georgia CRCTs, a criterion reference test based on the state curriculum, are one of the more important measures of student academic success in middle school. Mabry students do very well on these tests.

To read the charts more easily, click on any of the charts below to have them enlarge in a new window.

A score of 300 is considered "On Grade Level." A score of 350 or higher is considered "Above Grade Level."

2005 Crct.001-7 2005 Crct.002-3 2005 Crct.003-1
2005 Crct1A.002-2 2005 Crct2A.004-1 2005 Crct3A.006-1

The Georgia Writing Assessment is given to every 8th grade student in the state. Mabry students score very well on this measure of writing skill.

2005 Data 001 2005 Data 002-2 2005 Data 003-2

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:53 PM

June 15, 2005

Congratulations, Brandon!

Again this year we had an anonymous donor give a 12" Apple iBook to the school for the Fourth Annual Film Festival. The judges* for the festival event select one movie, out of all of the movies that qualified for the Film Festival, as the movie to be awarded the computer. Each team then decides who on their movie-making team will win the computer if their movie is selected by the judges.

Celebrate the Human Spirit, the movie submitted by the 7A team, was selected by the judges. The 7A team chose Brandon to be the recipient of the computer. I was very excited and pleased today to present Brandon with his computer, a carrying case, and a backpack for the computer. The 7A movie was deeply moving and completely professional in every respect. In fact, I have been approached by 2 organizations who wish to use these student's work in presentations around the world.

I can't wait to see the incredible work Brandon will produce with this amazing tool! You can hear Brandon speak about his movie and then watch the movie, Celebrate the Human Spirit, by clicking here.

Brandon
(Click to enlarge)

The Annual Mabry Film Festival is one of the many highly engaging instructional activities here at Mabry Middle School. Our students create compelling, significant, meaningful work in which they take great pride. We then share their work initially at our annual Oscars-like Film Festival awards ceremony. Professional DVDs are made available of our students' work. And finally, we share their work with everyone in the world through the internet. We just couldn't be any more proud of our students!

*We had about 20 judges this year, including technology integration specialists, members from the Georgia Film Commissioner's office, members of the Georgia Department of Education, University Technology Specialists, Teacher Technology Trainers, executives from Apple Corporate Offices, a technology support specialist from a metro school district, and an attorney. Each judge found the quality of our students' work exemplary.

posted by: Dr. Tyson

Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:55 PM

June 14, 2005

What You Will Need for Registration

For complete, accurate, up-to-the-minute information about what you will need to register at any school in the Coob County School District, please click on the image below.

Enrollment

Posted by Tim Tyson at 05:50 PM

June 03, 2005

Second Annual Mabry Film Festival, 2003

Watch three of the movies from our second Film Festival. The movie on the left was created by 6th grade students and won Best Picture for 2003. The movie on the right won numerous other categories. The movie on the bottom was produced by our Physical Education department by 8th grade students. All are excellent and extremely compelling. Click on a movie to watch it.

2003, 6C Movie 2003, 7C Movie
2003, PE Movie

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Posted by Tim Tyson at 03:59 PM

June 02, 2005

Support Our Students

This movie, produced in 2003, gives an excellent overview of the Mabry Annual Film Festival and how you can help support technology at Mabry Middle School.

Click her to watch this movie.

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Posted by Tim Tyson at 04:00 PM

The Written History of Mabry Middle School

Mabry Middle School opened in November of 1978 after many construction delays. The students began school in August of 1978 attending Walton High School from 1:00 – 5:30 PM each day. (The Walton building could not accommodate both high school students and middle schools students at the same time!) After the Thanksgiving holiday, the students began attendance at the new, beautiful, and state of the art middle school. This original design supported the middle school philosophy of a team approach.

Mabry Middle School was named after Robert Watson Mabry. Mr. Mabry was born in 1795 in Virginia. In the early 1800’s he moved to Washington-Wilkes County, Georgia, where he was a plantation overseer and schoolmaster at the Select School for Girls. In 1833 Mr. Mabry drew land in the Cherokee Lottery and moved his family by covered wagon to the newly created Cobb County. Their first night in Cobb County was spent beside Mabry Rock located on what is presently called Woodstock Road. Shortly after their arrival in Cobb County, Mr. Mabry and his wife worked together and built a log cabin, raised four children, and were instrumental in building community. This was to be the Mabry home for the remainder of the Mr. and Mrs. Mabry’s lives. The descendants of Robert Watson Mabry’s family still refer to him as a Schoolmaster, Planter, Gentleman, and especially a Pioneer Cobb County Settler.

We are pleased that one of current teachers, Mrs. Julie Stephens is in fact a direct descendant of Mr. Robert Watson Mabry! In her staff biography she speaks briefly of her family. She and her family still live on part of the original family farm!

At present, the philosophy has not changed for Mabry. The school still believes in a team approach to meet the needs of early adolescent students similar to Mr. and Mrs. Mabry’s team approach when settling in Cobb County. However, the vision has evolved to meet the ever-changing world in which students must live. Novel ideas permeate the climate as students prepare for a more advanced future. The students are pioneers in applying technology, tackling advanced math courses and beginning foreign languages. Certainly one could surmise that the students at Mabry are pioneers much like the building namesake Robert Watson Mabry.

Posted by Tim Tyson at 10:08 AM

June 01, 2005

History of Mabry Middle School

These are pictures of Mabry Middle School when construction first began. The school first opened its doors in 1978.

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In 2003, the old Home Economics room was cleared out as Mabry no longer had an allotment for that exploratory class. The old exploratory office was removed to create the open space pictured below. Dr. Tyson secured a grant for the new Fitness Center which now occupies this space.

Empty Weightroom

The pictures below were taken during the renovation and construction project which began in 2004. The picture of the blue skylight was caused by the blue tarp used to cover the skylight as it was replaced. The theater, pictured with the old original yellow seats, is shown before the theater renovation project.

2Guyslookingatdirt-1 Hills And Dirt Hillside
Metalstuff-1 Pit Sciencehallway-1
Blue Skylight Old Theater Seats Cafeteria-3
Schoolmap-1

Below are pictures of the newly completed construction. These pictures were taken at the beginning of the 2005 - 2006 school year.

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Posted by Tim Tyson at 05:06 PM

Making Learning Irresitable for Over 25 Years.
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