Thursday, March 8, 2001

PeachStar Partnership to Provide Teacher Training

An innovative distance-learning program will allow teachers in the state s 181st school district to study for add-on certification in special education without ever setting foot on a college campus. The school district, which comprises the residential schools of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), and PeachStar have partnered to create the course in an effort to meet the DJJ s growing demand for certified special education teachers.

The course is designed for teachers employed by the DJJ who currently hold teaching certificates in areas other than special education. A series of 10 self-paced course modules delivers instruction via the Internet, CD-ROM and video. Participants access and complete course assignments in their own work place or in their homes. The flexible format minimizes disruption to teachers work and personal lives, and makes it more convenient to advance professionally without compromising one s current work status.

The DJJ conceived the idea as an efficient way to meet critical staffing shortages. The DJJ, recognizing the value of a well-trained, supported work force, assumes the financial responsibility for the teacher s enrollment. The DJJ also provides computer workstations, resource libraries, instructors and mentors for those enrolled in the course. The GAPSC has granted the DJJ the authority to issue certification to those who satisfy all requirements.

PeachStar will produce the course modules with the assistance of Denzil Edge, Ph.D. and Cindy Mercer, Ph.D., nationally recognized experts in special education teacher training and distance education from the University of Louisville. Clayton College & State University will host the online content.

PeachStar and the DJJ hope this pioneering program will pave the way for similar educational opportunities for all of Georgia s teachers.

Wednesday, March 7, 2001

PBS Kids Ready To Learn at GPB

PBS KIDS Ready to Learn created especially for families and child care providers - helps those who care for young children encourage a child's natural curiosity and love of learning.

Ready to Learn combines television designed to teach with community outreach and innovative educational materials. This exciting blend of television services builds on wonderful PBS programs families know and trust - such as Sesame Street, Mister Rogers Neighborhood and Reading Rainbow through

* A daily broadcast of 6.5 hours of quality children's educational television per day on Georgia Public Television;
* Breaks between the shows to deliver non-commercial, educational messages to help young people build the skills they need to become successful learners;
* Educational outreach, such as workshops and newsletters throughout the State of Georgia;
* Partnerships with national and local community organizations such as child care centers, schools, colleges, libraries, resource and referral agencies, family childcare organizations, and governmental agencies.

Together, these resources help families, teachers and caregivers across the state use public television to help meet the national education goal that all children will begin school "Ready to Learn."

What's on GPTV Ready to Learn Programming

GPTV is television parents trust, and quality children s programming is at the heart of Ready to Learn. Each day, PBS offers a great variety of award-winning television for children ages 2-12. Each show on GPTV is built around a curriculum ? TV that entertains and teaches, too!

Ready to Learn Outreach

We develop and deliver local workshops, special events, curriculum guides and newsletters to take the learning from the TV set into homes, family child care settings, schools, after-school programs and child care centers. Ready to Learn teaches families and caregivers how to get the most from the TV they watch.

In collaboration with community partners, GPTV distributes high-quality children's books each month to families and early childhood organizations who might not otherwise have access to them, enabling them to build a library of selected children's literature.

For further information about Ready to Learn, contact:
Kathy McCollister
Ready to Learn Coordinator

The Fourth Year of ICLE at GPB

PeachStar Education Services once again is producing and broadcasting continuing education seminars for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) in Georgia. The PeachStar/ICLE partnership began in 1996. This partnership allows ICLE to provide the State Bar of Georgia required courses over a statewide satellite link. Since its inception, more than 5,000 Bar members have attended this distance-learning program. By using the teleconference format, all participants receive the same information simultaneously. Participants can phone in questions to the presenters and receive answers on air during the program. This type of interaction between presenter and participants is vital to engaging the attendees and providing them with a useful experience.

When ICLE changed to the teleconference format, they chose 31 sites around Georgia to host participants. This is a significant increase over the old style conference offered at only a few of the larger cities around the state. ICLE selected these sites so that no Bar member would travel more than 30 minutes to participate in the training. Because of the close proximity of the sites, participants in rural areas receive training with minimal time away from their practices, which means less lost revenue.

In addition to the satellite-based conference, ICLE contracted with Georgia Net to provide conference web casting beginning in January 2001. PeachStar provides the satellite signal to Georgia Net which then broadcasts the proceeding electronically over the Internet. With this new format, ICLE will reach even more participants, and further decrease time away from the office for attorneys.

PeachStar provides similar services to governmental and business groups. If your school or agency is interested in learning more about how PeachStar can serve your distance learning needs, please call us at (404) 685-2550.

Thursday, March 1, 2001

PeachStar to Help Train School Councils

Georgia s schools will have well-trained councils to guide them in their school improvement efforts, thanks to an exciting new partnership between PeachStar and the Georgia School Council Institute.

The Georgia School Council Institute and PeachStar are developing a comprehensive training program that will be delivered into local schools via the PeachStar Satellite Network during the month of July 2001. The training covers everything a council member needs to know to serve effectively, from the proper way to conduct a meeting and the legal requirements of a council, to understanding statistical measures of school performance and developing plans that address issues.

The A+ Education Reform Act of 2000 mandated the creation of school councils to "bring communities and schools closer together in the spirit of cooperation to solve difficult education problems, improve academic achievement, provide support for teachers and administrators, and bring parents into the school-based decision-making process." Every public school in Georgia must form a school counsel comprising the school principal, 2 parents, 2 teachers, and 2 local business professionals. The law also requires each council member to complete a training program prior to commencing service.

PeachStar is proud to play such an important role in transforming all Georgia schools into outstanding centers of learning. To learn more about this project or the Georgia School Council Institute, please call Shelia G. King, executive director of the Institute, at 678-560-1301, or visit their web site at