2018-2019 Foundation Highlights

Professional Learning

Complete Reading Series Training

By the end of the 2018-19 school year, the MLEF will have funded the completion of this series for the following teachers: Seay, Evans, Tolmach, Phalen, Gosha, Bellard and Howard as well as instructional coach Denise Bringslid. The following teachers have already completed the series in prior years thanks to the funding of the MLEF: Gabbert, Nail, Bonilla, Ashley, Derrico, Baldwin, Gurthie, Tabor, Rice, Watkins, Pursley, Arillo and Patterson. It is Ms. Briscoe's goal that any teacher who comes to Lin who is not already trained in the CRS receives the training during their first or second year at Lin.

Greg Tang's Reasoning, Rigor & Results

Four teachers who had not yet attended a Greg tang conference attended this local one day workshop on developing reasoning skills and computational fluency through word problems. 

Teach Like a Champion Ratio Conference

Ms. Bringslid, Ms. Howard, Ms. Shumacher, Ms. Gabbert and Ms. Gosha attended this conference led by renowned educator Doug Lemov who believes that teaching, like any other highly skilled profession, requires rigorous practice and performance standards. This particular conference focused on increasing the "think ratio" of your classroom and aiming to 100% of your students are engaged in every lesson.

National Arts Educators Conference 

The MLEF was thrilled to send Ms. Sullivan to this conference in Boston so she could engage with her peers and learn best practices from leaders in the field of arts education. 

The Reading Strategies Webinar

Tolmach, Armstead, Arillo, Barnhart and others attended this webinar on reading strategies including determining 'just right' goals in reading through formative assessment, using strategies to support goals over time; supporting readers through coaching, prompting and feedback and managing a class with varied reading goals.

Get Your Teach On Conference 

Ms. Guthrie, Ms. Graves and Ms. Tolmach attending this conference focused on inspiring educators to "create magic in your classrooms to increase student engagement and change the game of education." Any student in Ms. Graves class knows she was inspired by this conference to create a Superbowl Learning Day they will never forget!

Math PLUS Conference

Ms. Gosha and Ms. Evans will attend this conference in July. Led by staff favorite Greg Tang, this conference is sure to inspire as Greg Tang's team of extraordinary speakers will share daily routines and activities that will help Mary Lin students achieve fluency and automaticity, but will also explore challenging problems that encourage mastery and help develop advanced thinking for older and/or gifted students."

Curriculum Enrichment / Resources

Saxon Phonics

This is the 3rd year the MLEF has funded the Saxon Phonics, an incremental approach to phonics instruction, reading, spelling, and writing. Saxon phonics is a complete research based curriculum with solid methodology that is known for quality of instruction, supporting materials and ease of use. Saxon Phonics prepares children to be successful, independent readers and spellers. Supported by research on effective reading instruction, Saxon Phonic's programs are appropriate for all children, including those with learning difficulties. 


Handwriting Without Tears

This is the 3rd year the MLEF has funded the use of Handwriting Without Tears which is as popular with the students as it is the teachers. HWT provides developmentally appropriate, multi-sensory handwriting instruction for K–5 students with innovative, easy to use and tear-proof materials and strategies.


Write Score (Grades 3-5)

Write Score has helped us take a big jump in improving our writing in grades 3-5.  Teachers are given fun, engaging, colorful lesson plans that they can use to help students understand, analyze, and practice the writing process.  Students are given the chance to take practice assessments before on a computer, and receive detailed feedback in less than two weeks.  The teachers can easily see individual student’s writing and feedback as well as identify areas of strength and weakness for his/her own class.  

TenMarks Subscription for Grades 3-5. 

Our teachers love this rigorous online practice tool for kids who need to hone certain skills.

Scholastic Reading Assessment Kits

These kits allow teachers in every grade to assess students individually and dig much deeper than a STAR report can to show exactly where the learning gaps are for struggling students. This precise information can then be used to structure lesson plans, classwork and tutorial sessions to efficiently advance a student's learning in the needed area. 

Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative Annual Site License

With this site-license, teachers have access to hundreds of MARS Performance Tasks, videos and resources outlining how to build classroom climates for mathematical learning, formative re-engagement lessons, problems of the month, and primary performance assessments.

Sets of Recommended Novels for 4th and 5th Grade "Literacy Circles"

Small group literature circles are used to engage students in a deeper love of reading as they are asked not just to read and retell a book but discuss, analyze, write and apply the Common Core standards toward a book with their peers. With the proper texts, these discussions should foster a deeper understanding of characters and their challenges and of each other as kids may interpret these in different ways. A variety of books were purchased to accommodate students at various reading levels and serve as the basis for successful reading workshops in each ELA classroom. 

Social and Emotional Learning Texts

School counselor Ms. Bailey asked for these texts to use as a resource in her social and emotional learning sessions with the students. Learning about a character's struggle through fictional texts is a wonderful way to teach kids lessons about sensitive and hard to talk about topics. 

Kindergarten Writer's Workshop Mentor Texts

Mentor texts are used to introduce, provide examples and expand student's knowledge of each writing genre that is taught. The mentor texts model characteristics and attributes of successful writing that students aim to understand by the end of the year.  


Flocabulary is an online resource that supports instruction in language arts (tier 2[1] vocabulary/grammar), but the program also has tools to support math, science, social studies, life skills (financial literacy and social/emotional learning), and current events.  

Phonemic Awareness Curriculum

The fifteen teachers who attended Orton-Gillingham Training last summer learned about the importance of developing phonemic awareness and phonological awareness skills so students can sound out unknown words as they take on more advanced texts. These books will supplement Saxon Phonics curriculum as an effective tool for teaching phonemic awareness. 

Ceramics Program Materials

As part of the MLEF's committment to making sure our financial resources are spread across the curriculum, we were thrilled to grant Ms. Sullivan the materials to start a ceramics program. The students will benefit greatly from learning this multi-sensory art form.  

Reading A to Z (Raz-Plus)

Fortunately the Foundation is able to cover the cost of this popular resource for the 2019-20 school year since the district will no longer fund it. Raz-Plus is a comprehensive blended learning platform that includes the curricular support teachers need and the personalized resources necessary to improve students' reading skills. With more than 50,000 resources that include more than 3,000 leveled books and readers available in multiple formats, Raz-Plus makes it easier than ever before to strengthen the connection between what is being taught and what students are practicing.



The MLEF will pay for this subscription for the 2019-20 school year since the district will no longer fund it. BrainPOP is a digital learning platform that provides teachers with engaging learning games, animated movies, and activities. They are designed with relevance, depth, and humor to encourage kids on their unique learning paths.

Technology Enhancements


After purchasing three more Chromebook carts this school year, we are getting closer to our goal of a 1:1 ratio of laptop to student in third through fifth grades. In the upper grades, Chromebooks help students prepare for computer-based testing like the Georgia Milestones, get ready for Inman Middle where a significant amount of schoolwork is completed on Chromebooks, collaborate on projects via Google Classroom and support differentiation goals by allowing teachers to assign students of varying aptitudes level-appropriate practice work and tutorial guides.

Environmental Upgrades

Turfing the Playground Phase One

We are excited to announce that due to raising $60,000 more than our goal this year, we were able to grant over $40,000 toward our administration's 2019 "wish list" item: turfing the playground. Currently the playground collects standing water and has significant drainage issues. Turfing the playground will ensure more recess time as kids will still be able to play outside on rainy days. Some of you may visit Morningside Elementary's turf playground on rainy weekends now, and if so you understand what an asset it will be to Mary Lin to have a similar all-weather play and event space. The board solicited several bids on this project and since the cost of turfing the entire space will cost upwards of $150,000, the long-range plan is to turf the playground in stages, starting with the areas that get the heaviest foot traffic during play time. 

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Atlanta, GA 30307

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