Milestones Assessment exam under way in area schools; some opting out


By Kristen Oliver

Regional staff

The word “assessment” might make students, parents and even some teachers nervous.

With the new Georgia Milestones Assessment System underway this year, many parents and students may wonder what the end-of-the-year tests mean and how they can prepare for them.

The Georgia Milestones is designed to give students information about their own achievement. It’s also an “accountability tool” for parents and the public to measure the quality of local schools.

The assessment is also a way for the state to consolidate its accountability measures.

“We test so much,” said Melissa Fincher, deputy superintendent for assessment and accountability. Fincher spoke at a symposium Jan. 9 hosted by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. “One of the things we want to do is eliminate assessments.”

The milestones not only consolidate assessments, but they will replace the high school graduation test as well.

Continue reading Milestones Assessment exam under way in area schools; some opting out

Jackson County Schools still studying transportation options for next year


Jackson County Schools has carefully evaluated the quality of student transportation services and, in an effort to continually improve in all areas of the school system, several plans have been under consideration.

The goal is reduction of student route times, elimination of elementary students from riding with middle and high school students, creation of a consistent morning and afternoon driver for all students and reduction of the conflict between afternoon extra-curricular events and valuable instructional time.

Three plans were evaluated to also determine budget impact. Presently, Jackson County Schools spends approximately $3 million for student transportation, while receiving less than $900,000 in state transportation funding.

Continue reading Jackson County Schools still studying transportation options for next year

Mill Creek 5K Color Run for Relay For Life is April 26


April-26-Color-RunRegister by Friday to be guaranteed a T-shirt in the Mill Creek 5K Color Run and Fun Run/Walk benefiting Gwinnett County Relay For Life.

Both events will be held on Sunday, April 26, at Mill Creek High School. Registration is $25 for the 5K Color Run which begins at 3 p.m. The Color Fun Run/Walk, which begins at 2 p.m., has a $15 registration fee. Register through and see for instructions if you do not already have an account on or email If you cannot participate, you can still make a donation.

Sign-in on race day is from noon to 2:30 p.m. and T-shirts will be available there.

Princess Tea at Mill Creek High is Saturday


The Princess Tea is this coming Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Mill Creek High School.  Great for little princesses and young princes, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty will join the cast of Dorothy in Wonderland to host the event. There will be snacks and crafts and every child gets their picture made with their favorite character. The cost is only $5 per child (parents are welcome to stay for the event and do not have to pay). Tickets are available online at

Immediately following the event, kids and parents can attend Dorothy in Wonderland and see the characters they just ‘partied’ with onstage. Advance tickets for Dorothy in Wonderland and $5 online at and $7 at the door.

Registration for W-BCT summer drama camp for kids starts May 4


Summer is almost here, and Winder-Barrow Community Theatre Summer Drama Camps will be held in June at the Winder Cultural Arts Center.  The dates of Drama Camp are June 8-12 and June 22-26.

Each child can attend one session of camp, and the cost is $35 for the week.  Children ages 5-9 will attend in the morning session, and children ages 10-14 will attend in the afternoons.  Five-year-olds must have completed kindergarten to attend.

Signup for drama camp must be done in person at Pam Veader’s State Farm Insurance Office at 41 S. Center St., in Winder starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 4.  There are only 30 slots per session, and the slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Continue reading Registration for W-BCT summer drama camp for kids starts May 4