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Saturday February 6th, 2016 6:15PM

WLA is first stop on annual Ga. Partnership bus tour

By B.J. Williams News Director
OAKWOOD - The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education began its annual bus trip across the state Monday, and the first stop on the 2012 tour was Hall County's World Language Academy.

The 20th Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia included community, business, government and education leaders from all over the state, according to Bill Maddox with the Georgia Partnership.

He said the purpose of the annual trip is two-fold: to celebrate and recognize achievements in area schools and to share the practices the schools have implemented.

Maddox said one aspect of the tour that is relatively new is the inclusion of future Georgia teachers.

"They can see practices that are working and that's what they take back," said Maddox. "You can see many of them taking notes, taking photographs, and they just think this is the greatest thing that's ever happened."

True to Maddox's words, all of the participants, future teachers and leaders alike, took time to dance and sing with the children, as well as listen to them read.

The theme of this year's tour is "Georgia's Public Schools: Using Technology, Creating Pathways for Student Success." Even kindergarten students demonstrated proficiency with the Promethean board during Monday's tour.

A number of 5th graders at World Language Academy (WLA) acted as tour guides for the visitors. Both Alex Rodriguez and Isaac Torentino thought that the adults were impressed by the fact that all students at WLA are taught in all subject areas in English, Spanish and Chinese.

"It's good for little kids to know more than just two different languages," said Rodriguez. "When they're older, they can have a good job and communicate with other people and travel the world."

Torentino said he really enjoyed showing off his school to the tour participants.

"It's really fun! I love doing this," he said.

Other schools in the north Georgia area will also be part of the tour in days to come. Westside Middle School in Barrow County and Gwinnett Technical College were on the Monday tour, while Kelly Mill Elementary and South Forsyth High School in Forsyth County and Lanier Technical College in Oakwood will be on the tour next week.
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