Wanderlust for Learning @ the Woods

Spring has sprung on our beautiful campus and so has our ongoing commitment to learning here, there, and everywhere.  Wood Acres believes in learning, learning deeply, and learning in and out of the campus.  While the classroom is a pivotal place for student learning, it is also a pivotal place for our engaged students to share what they learn outside the classroom- at home, in their communities, through travel, extended family, and from each other.  Embracing these less structured “Ah Ha” moments creates learning that is Velcro… it sticks to the mind and heart of each student. 

Wood Acres embraces the premise that education is not just preparation for life – education is life.  While our youngest students travel by foot throughout our acres of campus that alert their senses to changing seasons and natural growth, our graduating eighth graders embark on their capstone learning adventure to Spain. While staying with welcoming Spanish families, they attend university classes in language and culture as well as learn through their maturing senses the cadence, rhythm, and wonders of another country.  Truly this is learning that “sticks” for a lifetime!

In between, our students are afforded experiential learning opportunities through local field trips, trips within Georgia, as well as overnight adventures on carefully crafted trips to Jekyll Island, Camp Widjiwagan in Tennessee, Marine Lab in the Florida Keys, and an in-depth study of the triumvirate of democracy in Washington DC. 

How fitting that on the plaza in front of Turner Hall on the Wood Acres campus is a colorful compass rose reminding our whole school community that learning here, there and everywhere gives direction to our lives, our dreams, and our futures.  Have suitcase… will travel… and LEARN!

Future Forward

… And the beat goes on!

The 2022-2023 academic year is upon us, Wood Acres’ 53rd year of continuous teaching,
learning, and caring! Milestones are important and valued as they cause us to pause, look back, reminisce, and smile. Over 25,000 lucky children have experienced that TLC at the Woods either during the 53 school years or almost 50 years of summer camp experiences! This unique school nestled in its own little valley certainly has made a huge positive impact on children’s lives in Cobb County and neighboring counties as well.

The blessing of 50+ years has Wood Acres woven into the fiber of a geographic area that has
changed and grown as decades of families who once attended Wood Acres now bring their own children here each day. Within these 50+ years we have shared so many joys and some painful sadness. We have laughed until our cheeks hurt and cried along with students and families struggling with life. We have built new structures and repaired the old. We have celebrated more birthdays and life celebrations than we can count. We have savored the joys of the toddler who can now skip, the Grammar School child who now reads confidently, and the middle schooler who can teach his/her own parents the intricacies of advanced math and scientific principles. We have weathered challenges in the field of education and in the health arena of the last few years. We have proudly watched as our graduates soar in high school and seek amazing careers in so many challenging and exciting fields.

But reminiscing is just not enough. “Don’t look back too much. You are not going that way!” is a wise and clever proverb. As long as families yearn for the best for their children and seek a special place for them to learn and thrive in a safe warm environment and will partner with their child through all the formative years, The Wood Acres School will be here! The road less traveled is and always has been and will be the education journey for us. Thank you for joining us as we travel together, as we learn together, and as we revel in the joys of childhood and the dreams of happiness that knows no bounds.

That IS the Wood Acres way!

Whether new or legacy families, we cannot wait to welcome you “home!

Judy Thigpen

A year for health, hope and happiness

If you know me at all, you know how I love quotes, especially ones that capture the moment, the time during which you found it.  This one by “Anonymous” has been with me for decades, having hung in my home office, my school office and even on my washer at home.

“Education is not preparation for life.  Education is life!”

Interpreted many ways, it certainly fits the unprecedented times in which we have been living the last few years.  There has been no rulebook to guide us or conflicting sources to inform us.  Yet in this special enclave called Wood Acres we have adeptly managed to live up to the quote and even soar in our united ability of faculty, staff, and families to stay true to education and continued life for our students.  It has been no small task.  It has been fraught with worry and challenges.  Yet here we are…embracing our students learning each and every day while challenging them to grow and glow in spite of the world around them!  Well done one and all.

Let us to continue to proactively plan for their futures, live for the present moments that make us so proud, and hope fervently for a healthier, happier, safer tomorrow for everyone!

Judy Thigpen

We did it!

Not a creature will be stirring on the Wood Acres campus as we begin our annual two-week winter break.  But we also reached an amazing milestone, too!

With detailed planning and work this past summer, amazing team effort from our dedicated faculty and staff, and the strong partnership with our Wood Acres families we had a full, robust, exciting teaching and learning environment with REAL face time on campus each and every day. 

Wood Acres School safely and proudly began this academic year as was always planned in mid-August and now we look forward to our awesome students returning in the new year!

Very few schools can boast that accomplishment amidst the strain, pain, worry, and challenges of this pandemic.  Wood Acres is so proud of this amazing milestone and we hope you are, too.

With annual legacy family re-enrollment coming up in late January and prospective family enrollment soon after that in February be sure to join us as we continue to put safety, security, and your children FIRST.

Wood Acres is a school for all seasons AND all the right reasons!

#woodacresistheplacetobe in 2021-2022, too!

Week 4 Update

Hello from Mrs. Leagan.

My school week is just about over and my holiday weekend will begin in just a few minutes. This morning, I spent time grading the pop quizzes and assessments that your student took yesterday, and I can say that practicing, listening, and paying attention does make progress. I am very happy and proud of all that my students achieved this past week and I am looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen in the weeks to come.

On Tuesday, we are welcoming Colette Clemmons and Paige Shaver to our 2nd grade class. All of us are very excited to have new friends join us. Please make sure you find the new class list in your student’s red homework folder so you can contact our classmates whenever needed.

Please note that Parent-Teacher Conferences are Monday, September 28 and Tuesday, September 29.  I would love to talk in person but that is not an option right now. However, we can Zoom together or talk on the phone one of these two days or when your schedule allows about half an hour or so to chat about your awesome student. Please let me know when and how you would like to talk about your student’s progress in 2nd grade. Thank you.

That’s all for now. My family is waiting for me so I will see your student Tuesday morning. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.

Yours truly,
Mrs. Leagan
2nd grade teacher

Welcome to the 2’s!

Hi All!

Welcome to the 2’s at Wood Acres and our class blog! Here you will find newsletters, updates, and pictures from our class throughout the year. We are so grateful to be back in school with your children and are looking forward to a wonderful year full of leaning and growth!

Thank you and welcome!
Mrs. Fay, Mrs. Biter, and Mrs. Jones

Golly It Would Be!

Dear Parents,

I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome back! It was such a nice feeling to come back and see that I was missed by your amazing kiddos! What a wonderful and busy week of learning we had. 

We bid a farewell to Oswald, as the kids completed their workbook on his fascinating odd animals and said hello to a new friend, a dog named Golly! Golly loves rummaging for food in garbage cans and he’s always hoping to find something in Cass’s leftovers, silly dog! Boy, he sure sounds like my dog, Guinness! With the introduction of Golly, the class has been learning to write upper and lower case G’s, as well as learning the /g/ sound. They’ve come up with some clever words for our board: goodness, gardenias, green, gold and my favorite guacamole! On Thursday we constructed green garbage cans with Golly and on Friday we spent time finding pictures that start with the /g/ sound to fill our garbage cans. We also made hats with big floppy ears so that we could all look like Golly for a day!

 The class has also been really focused on math this week, as we continue learning about geometry. I worked on introducing solid figures such as rectangular prisms, cones, cylinders, cubes, and spheres into the lesson, as well as talking about the plane shapes that come from each of these. We also learned that most of these plane figures contain corners and sides, except of course the circle! I had the children play a quick game with me where we each walked in a line down the sides of the classroom, and when we bumped into one another, well, there’s your corner! They had a good laugh over that activity.

Speaking of spheres, we had our second social studies lesson about the seven continents and the Earth’s oceans. I used a flashlight and our globe to explain how when it’s daytime in Marietta, it’s nighttime in Tokyo, Japan. As I rotated the Earth with the flashlight starting where we live, I walked the children through a 24 hour day! They were in complete aww. I also taught the class about maps and compasses. We continued the lesson by learning each direction (Never Eat Soggy Waffles, right!)  The best part was having the kids all use a real compass as we went on a walk around campus! Did you know Wood Acres has a giant compass rose in the quad? It was a fun learning excursion and we all took turns guessing what direction our compass would say as we rounded each building. 

Last week in Art we finished up our spaceships! We thought it would be a great addition to our geometry lesson too!  We also completed our owls out of newspaper, our seahorses, and of course our cities! We have been extremely busy in Art these past three weeks! This week began our three week Music rotation. The kids felt right at home with Mr. G! They have been actively dancing and singing with him!

In other exciting news, our class completed putting together their Mr. Potato Head which meant everyone got to enjoy a ring pop for Fabulous Fun Friday! We use the Mr. Potato Head to encourage the class to always do their best and to stay as focused as possible when at our specials each week. After each special class a new piece is added and when completed, Ms. Steele and I come up with something exciting and fun! Who knows what they could earn next?!

Before I go, there are a few important reminders:

We will officially kick off our mystery reader program on Shutterfly!  This is such a fun way to surprise your child and read their favorite book to their friends as well. You can sign up for a time slot (Friday’s from 8:50 a.m.-9a.m.) on Shutterfly. Please be sure to sign up only one time so that everyone has a chance. I have only put a schedule up until December. We hope to see you each week for this special treat on Zoom!

Our VIP schedule will also be up on our Shutterfly account! Our very first VIP will start the week of September 14th!

I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to speak with each of you about your child’s journey in learning at Wood Acres during conferences. I will be setting up a time for each of you. We can talk through, Zoom, Facetime, or phone call. The choice is yours. Please let me know which you would prefer!

And last, but certainly not least, the word of the week is: GLADIOLAS! This is a tricky one 😉

With love,
Ms. Porto and Ms. Steele

Colors here, colors there, colors are everywhere!

Wood Acres Parents,

We have completed another groovy week at the WA! Mrs. Patel and I are enjoying your amazing children and are learning something new about them each day.
This week we will meet Dilly Gator who is a part of our Investigator Club reading series. Dilly Gator is known for starting the club so that she and her friends could solve problems and explore together.

This week our theme is “Colors”. The children will be working together on mixing two colors to create one through painting. We will play “I Spy” color game and sort colors by using color counting bears. We will read “Go away Big Green Monster”, “Pinkalicious”, “Purplicious” and “Gilbert the Orange Fish”. What a bright and colorful week it’s going to be with your little ones!

In the Investigator Club, we will be working on the following subjects;
: Art – Art clues
The objective is to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences.
: Math/readiness – All Sorts of Colors
The objective is to identify primary colors, mix colors and participate in an investigation, think about it, and discuss what happened.
: Alphabet Knowledge – Dilly’s Alphabet song
The objective is to recite letters of the alphabet.
: Phonological Awareness – Environmental Sounds
The objective is to identify environmental sounds.
: Language/Social and Emotional – Introduce the Lap book: Dilly and the Investigator Club
The objective is to share and take turns listening and speaking.

Friendly reminder;

Parent orientation is this Tuesday at 6:30 pm. Please copy and paste the link into your search bar. This link below will give you access directly to our orientation night. We have also provided you with a meeting ID number and password incase you may need it use it.


Meeting ID: 758 1373 7182 Passcode: 8msEkW

If you have any question or concerns please feel free to reach out to me or Mrs. Patel. We look forward to seeing you at orientation. Have a safe and healthy week.

Ms. Orsano & Mrs. Patel

Sunny Saturday Salutations

Hello Everybody,
 First, I want to say it’s been a pleasure teaching your student every day in school. I can definitely see learning happening and smiling behind our masks. Next, I want to tell you how much I appreciate you tuning in for our first Zoom Parent Night. Believe me, I would much rather bring us all together for many reasons but this is the way it has to be for now. Last, if you ever have any questions about curriculum, upcoming events, or clarification regarding school work,please do not hesitate to ask me. I want to make sure you and your student have a wonderful time in 2nd grade. 

Even though we went through the blue packet covering all topics, I want to let you know that we are making sure everybody is safe in both classrooms. Yesterday, we had our first fire drill along with a tornado drill and stranger safety drill. These drills are practiced every month and in every grade. I want your student to know that he or she is safe whenever we are together. Also, I want you to know that when your student enters either classroom, he or she is greeted by a teacher and a squirt of hand-sanitizer. Throughout the day, we are washing our hands, cleaning our desks, doorknobs, and all flat surfaces. We are wearing masks all the time but some students are chewing on their own. Please make sure you are washing your student’s mask and the back-up that your student gets from a teacher on a regular basis. If you come across any children’s masks that would work for our students, I would greatly appreciate any donation you can contribute to our collection. Thank you. 

When I am teaching, I wear a clear shield because I want my student to see my lips especially when we are learning the phonetics of our alphabet. When your student is talking, reading, or repeating a letter, your student will pull down their mask briefly, so I can see the tongue and lips moving properly for each sound. Not only are we working on the phonetics of a letter, we are now reviewing how the letters in the alphabet are formed. Because it’s been awhile since we learned how to print letters, we will practice each letter every day until we complete all 26 letters. Hopefully, this daily practice will encourage better handwriting and proper letter formation which will eventually lead to the start of cursive in 2021.  

This past week, we had new students join both 2nd grade classes and we will have more in the near future. We are so excited to welcome Charley, Cole, and Levi to Wood Acres, 2nd grade, and we look forward to getting to know you better. Thanks again for your patience and understanding as we tackle the drop-off and pick up times during car-line. I know with time, these issues will ease up and work out just fine. 
Take care and I hope you enjoy the last weekend of August.

Your 2nd grade teacher,
Cheryl Leagan
The Wood Acres School