Bus Trip 20

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20th Bus Trip Across Georgia

How Good Was It?

This unique event has gotten better through the years since that first trip in 1993.  To this day, many people can't wait to get on board to celebrate the great things our public schools are doing and to snare (and share) the many best practices they experience along the way.  Does the annual Bus Trip Across Georgia have impact?  From the many participant comments (below) we receive after each trip and the notes from our visited schools (left side), definitely.  Resolve now to join us on Bus Trip 21, coming Fall 2013!

Headlines Along the Way:

Georgia Public Broadcasting - Southern Education Desk - GPEE Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia
Gainesville Times - Education Tour Visits World Language Academy
Athens Banner-Herald - Barrow Elementary in Spotlight as Education Tour Rolls Through Athens
Rockdale Citizen - Bus Trip Makes Stop at Magnet School
Gainesville Times - Lanier Tech Tour Touts Technology
Forsyth News - Schools Honored for Technology
Walton Tribune - Bus Tour Brings State Leaders to Loganville


After each stop, we ask our participants to immediately record their reflections.  What was good?  Not so good? What lessons did they learn?  What are they taking home that might them, their schools or school systems better?  The responses are interesting and informative.

Sharing is what the annual Bus Trip Across Georgia is all about... read on!

World Language Academy, Flowery Branch, Hall County Schools

In the modern world, nothing matters more than communication and understanding.  WLA is amazing for its achievements in both.  Not only is it creating a generation of bilingual students able to cut across language barriers, it is also creating a generation of students who are well-spoken, not afraid to communicate, and versed in cultural understanding.  Truly outstanding! (See photos)

Westside Middle School, Winder, Barrow County Schools

This school was amazing!  I came away wanting to know how I can go about getting such a grant and establishing the kind of resources (eg - Australian astrophysicist that they use.  Who do I call? ...  Wow!  Those kids were amazing!  The music class was incredible.  The iPad usage was efficient and the kids were completely engaged but not distracted.  This school was an incredible visit! (See photos)

Barrow Elementary School, Athens, Clarke County Schools

This was my favorite visit so far.  I was amazed that all of the students were actively learning and putting to use various programs and applications for projects and daily classroom tasks.  I was very impressed with students using and working together on Google documents, animations, etc.  Students were engaged in learning... I was very proud of the way they incorporated technology even under only a one year process of being on this campus.  By allowing 2nd graders to use Netbooks and kindergarten classes to use laptops, showed me that students can achieve anything and technology can help! (See photos)

Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, Conyers, Rockdale County Schools

Wow!  The research conducted by the students is breathtaking! The students were veryengaged and used the technology to fully understand the concepts being taught.  The expectations of excellence are truly displayed and enable the students to be sucessful... Hearing a junior student explain to me how he wishes to go to college and get a major in architecture and a minor in musical instrumentation to be able to design a concert hall where anyone inside can hear the music the same way blew me away! (See photos)

Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, Marietta, Marietta City Schools

The kids were extremely engaged and very well spoken.  The teachers seemed very passionate and organized.  I was especially impressed with the use of community partnerships...  This school was incredible! It was a true example of setting high expectations, giving students valuable tools and experiences, and watching the children rise up to the occasion. (See photos)

Loganville High School, Loganville, Walton County

I was really impressed with Loganville H.S. and all of their extracurricular classes, as well as AP classes.  I look forward to more great results from them in the future... The school is fairly new to integrating technology into the classrooms.  The school is still overall a great school.  With time and dedication, this school will exceed their goals. (See photos)

Kelly Mill Elementary School, Cumming, Forsyth County Schools

I want to work there!  There was so much engagement and organized chaos with the technology.  The teachers and students were both excited... This is a phenomenal school!  As a technology lover, it is such a dream to see students using technology to learn.  I love how the learning is still the focus and the technology is simply a strategy used. (See photos)

South Forsyth High School, Cumming, Forsyth County Schools

In the variety of classes, there was an obvious intent to reach and actively engage all students.  Technology was just a way to do that... Very impressive!  Seems all students found their place in this school.  Probably one of the most important things a high school can do is connect with its students.  Lots of school pride! (See photos)

Technical College System of Georgia

A trademark of the Bus Trip Across Georgia is the variety of schools and education programs displayed to participants.  This year, two technical colleges were stops:
Gwinnett Technical College:  This was an eye-opening experience.  I was amazed to see the technology that is available for students today.  It made me feel very encouraged about the future of the job market and how competitive students from Georgia can be.  It showed me how many options will be available to my students when they graduate and that was very exciting. (See photos)

Lanier Technical College:  With this kind of post high school option, why are we still programming ourselves to expect college for everyone? (See photos)

Overall Reflections/Evaluations

So, how was the overall excperience?  Was the time required a good investment?  Would riders do it again?  Would they recommend others apply for a seat?  Here's what Bus trip 20 participants had to say:

I loved this trip!  This opened my eyes to what schools can look like if best practices are put into place.  I'm leaving with many take-aways that I can't wait to implement! It was great to see a variety of schools that are making an extraordinary difference in students' lives.  I had a blast!

Trip One (October 22-23)...        (See photos)

Trip Two (October 29-30)...        (See photos)