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Big Lots Brings Its Values to Alpharetta

ALPHARETTA, GA -- Big Lots, the nation's largest broadline closeout retailer, has announced that it will open its newest store on Friday, Oct. 22 in Alpharetta.

The new store is located in the Stonewood Shopping Center (670 North Main Street, Alpharetta, 30009). It is one of 80 new Big Lots that the company plans to open nationwide in 2010.

The Alpharetta Big Lots boasts 22,500 square feet of retail space filled with extreme value items that typically sell for 20% to 40% less than discount stores and up to 70% below traditional retailers.

"At Big Lots, our easy-to-shop stores and extreme brand name deals have been big hits with customers for more than 40 years, and we are thrilled to bring that same successful concept to a new group of shoppers," said Rob Claxton, senior vice-president of marketing for Big Lots.

The grand opening on Oct. 22 will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a ribbon cutting.

Fulton County Looking at Charter System Educational Model in Work Session, today

During a work session, today, Fulton County Schools Superintendent Cindy Loe will present information about the district’s exploration of charter system status. The meeting began with a 12:30 p.m. executive session at the district’s Administrative Center, followed by workshop presentations at 2 p.m.

If Fulton County becomes a charter system, it will be the first large school system in Georgia to receive this status. A change like this could mean more flexibility in spending, staffing, and innovation in its educational model; it could also mean greater involvement and decision-making authority for parents.

Fulton will continue studying charter system status throughout the current school year and will later decide whether to petition the state school board for approval. Seven meetings are set for system employees and parents to learn about the charter process and provide input.

Fulton Explores Becoming Charter School System

ATLANTA -- Fulton County Schools will spend this fall studying whether it will ask the Georgia Department of Education to grant charter status to the entire school system.

If granted, Fulton County will be the first large district in Georgia to become a charter system, which could mean more flexibility in spending, staffing and innovation to its educational model. It would also grant greater involvement and decision-making authority for parents.

Community engagement is a trademark of charter systems and, as such, the district is starting the exploration process by holding town hall-style meetings to gather input during the months of October and November. Feedback will also be gathered through the school system's website.

The community engagement meetings will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for employees, and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for parents and the community.

The dates are as follows:

* Monday, Oct.

Groundbreaking for New High School to Take Place Oct. 15

MILTON, GA -- A groundbreaking ceremony for a new high school in the City of Milton is planned for Friday, Oct. 15.

Festivities will begin at 11:00 a.m.; in the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be rescheduled to Wednesday, Oct. 27, also at 11:00 a.m.

The yet-to-be-named high school is under construction at the intersection of Cogburn Road and Bethany Road (Milton, 30004). When it opens in August of 2012, the 320,885 square foot building of 99 classrooms will house up to 1,937 students in grades nine through 12.

The public is invited to the construction site to view architectural plans, as well as hear from officials about the school's planned features. Refreshments will be served following a presentation and groundbreaking activities. Comfortable shoes with low heels are recommended due to gravel and some possibly muddy areas on the site.

The school was designed by the architectural firm of Chapman, Griffin, Lanier, Sussenbach.

Meet Scooter the Scarecrow

ALPHARETTA, GA -- Scooter, the friendly Kids Reading Dog at Alpharetta Elementary School, is now the proud recipient of a stuffed namesake for fall.

Georgia Lister's kindergarten class at Alpharetta Elementary created a scarecrow in honor of Scooter, who was trained by Canine Assistance to enhance the school's reading program.

Scooter the Scarecrow is currently on display at Alpharetta First United Methodist Church (69 North Main Street, Alpharetta, 30009).

Manning Oaks Elementary to Host Bullying Workshop

ALPHARETTA, GA -- What should a student do when someone picks on him or her? Or starts rumors? Or never lets him/her join a group? Is it really bullying if there's no physical contact?

Bullying and Social Aggression will be the topic of a workshop presentation by Balance Educational Services, LLC on Monday, Oct. 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Manning Elementary School (405 Cumming Street, Alpharetta, 30004).

This workshop will help parents and other adults understand and reduce bullying, cyber bullying and social aggression.

84 North Fulton Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

FULTON COUNTY, GA -- The Fulton County School System has announced that 84 students are semifinalists in the 56th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These scholastically-talented high school seniors now continue in the national competition for 8,400 scholarships, a value of approximately $36 million.

This is the first round of competition for students seeking the distinction of being named a National Merit Scholar and receiving the scholarship money associated with it. Finalists will be named in the winter and the scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.

The students were identified through exceptionally high scores on the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which they took as juniors.

As semifinalists, the students now must fulfill several requirements in order to advance to the finalist round.