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Brookstone School

In This Section

Great Things


There is nothing more important to us than our students and families. We always put them first. Our commitment to them goes beyond just providing the best education we can. We must do it in the best way we can. And when that happens, great things happen, too.

See below for some of the many great things going on at Brookstone:

Academics

  • Technology Integration - Technology integration in our classrooms provides students access and opportunity to become independent learners. Laptops allow for hands on learning and access to review and enrichment materials through video tutorials and screencasts. Online materials are fostering independence and organization in our students.

  • Faculty Excellence - Excellence is our focus. A committee of teachers and administrators have examined and determined the Brookstone tenets of an excellent faculty member. These tenets are the guide we use to hire, evaluate, and grow our teachers.

  • Faculty Diversity - Diversity among our faculty regarding backgrounds, experiences, degrees, and expertise is broad and growing. In 2013 alone, we added twenty new faculty members with over 200 years of experience among them. Some have lived and worked in other countries, and many bring with them unique experiences that will serve our students well as they strive to be aware, global citizens. Our faculty recruitment process looks for the top faculty nationwide, resulting in a faculty which is diverse in color, ethnicity, and geography.

  • Faculty Evaluation - We've redesigned the faculty observation and evaluation system in an effort to create a culture of growth within our faculty. The goal is to have honest and constructive conversations around the ideas of professional growth and areas of improvement in order to constantly maintain a faculty committed to excellence.

  • Professional Development - Professional development continues to remain an important part of what we encourage and facilitate. With school-wide initiatives, departmental goals, and individual growth in mind, we aim to seek out and participate in conferences, training, and learning that will develop us as a school and keep us competitive and relevant.

  • Testing - As we study and analyze the results of our extensive and comprehensive testing using the ERB and CPAA throughout the school, we are able to make intentional and purposeful changes to our curriculum. These tools enable us to know better how our students learn, how we are meeting our curriculum goals, how students are mastering the material, and how the faculty can best serve our students in the classroom.

Advancement Department

  • Mission Statement - Revisions to the Mission Statement and Beliefs have resulted in renewed attention to Brookstone's core values – loyalty, courage, wisdom, honor, service, respect, and leadership with loyalty, courage, and wisdom being identified as the school's founding principles. The mission statement has been reworded for better understanding. Below are our revised mission statement and beliefs:

BROOKSTONE SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENT

Brookstone School, a college preparatory school founded in the Judeo-Christian tradition and committed to academic excellence, endeavors to develop in its students a foundation for lifelong learning, integrity, personal responsibility, mutual respect, and service to others.

BELIEFS

The goal of Brookstone School is to:

  • Deliver quality instruction by an expert, caring faculty;

  • Utilize a comprehensive, sequenced, and balanced curriculum;

  • Encourage high expectations for academic performance;

  • Support high expectations for appropriate behavior within and outside the school;

  • Develop all dimensions of the individual: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, artistic, and athletic;

  • Recognize, encourage, and support diverse talents and intelligences;

  • Advance individual responsibility, self-direction, and active learning;

  • Instill a solid value system supported by and reflected in the Honor Code;

  • Extend scholarship beyond the classroom through extracurricular opportunities and activities;

  • Value ethnic, religious, socio-economic, and political diversity;

  • Enhance cooperation and mutual regard among all members of the community: trustees, faculty, administration, staff, parents, alumni, and students;

  • Cultivate student partnership and participation in appropriate areas of decision making;

  • Use current technology with proficiency to enhance teaching and learning across the curriculum;

  • Foster ongoing faculty and staff professional development;

  • Maintain functional, safe, aesthetic, and well-maintained surroundings;

  • Promote involvement locally and globally, instilling a sense of service that will produce excellent leaders and citizens.

  • Strategic Planning - Efforts to develop a current strategic plan for the school continue. Perspective surveys were sent to all parents and board members. Plans are underway to send the same survey to alumni.
  • Vision Statement - A Vision for the school will be developed to complement the Mission Statement. This Vision Statement helps define where we desire to go as a school in order to fulfill the mission on a daily basis.

  • Sustainability - In keeping with the National Association of Independent School's recommendation, the school is focusing on financial, environmental, global, programmatic, and demographic sustainability. Efforts are underway in each of the areas to make Brookstone adaptive to 21st century efforts toward sustainability.

  • Educational Travel - A renewed emphasis on the importance of educational travel opportunities has resulted in an increased offering of trips to national and international locations. Students' educational travel is planned for Italy, England, Costa Rica, France, and India for our 2013-2014 school year.

Athletic Department

  • Additional athletic programs

    • Middle school volleyball, soccer, and softball were introduced for the 2013-2014 school year.

    • We have school-endorsed middle school programs in both golf and tennis.

    • The school is exploring the ability to start swim and dive teams.

  • Character Development program - The athletic department introduced a character development program with the Brookstone athletes.

  • Team-wide community service projects

    • Baseball – trip to the Dominican Republic

    • Football – spent a day working on a Habitat home

    • Softball – helped serve meals at the Ronald McDonald House

    • Cross Country – volunteered with the Soldier Marathon

  • Equestrian Team – Brookstone now has an equestrian program! The athletic department has endorsed a program for our students through the United States Equestrian Foundation to recognize our riders as varsity athletes. The Foundation regulates the requirements for varsity participation and will honor those who document their training and competition involvement. We are excited about this new venture for Brookstone athletics.

  • Leadership development - Leadership development with athletes

    • Leadership goals established by coaches.

    • Coaches are required to provide concrete opportunities for players to show leadership on their teams.

  • College Athletes - Athletes signing with colleges

    • Duncan Fletcher – Furman/football

    • Parker Derby – Georgia/golf

    • Sydney Weaver – Berry/golf

    • Drew Lingo – Chattahoochee CC/baseball

    • Tim Kennedy – Chattahoochee CC/baseball

  • 2012-13 team accomplishments

    • Golf State Champions (4th consecutive)

    • Girls 1-A Area golf champions

    • Girls 1-A Area volleyball champions

    • Girls 1-A Area tennis champions

    • Boys 4-A Region football champions


Business Office

  • School buses – The school has replaced two more of the oldest buses giving us a total of six new buses out of our fleet of nine buses. This effort towards safer buses has helped tremendously as our students often travel long distances on field trips and athletic competitions.
  • Vendors - We have bid out several of our largest contracts this past year in an effort to get better pricing without sacrificing service and quality. This is one of the many things we are doing to help balance the budget and save money for the school.

  • New Monthly Financial Reports – The business office has been working on its financial reporting and has revised all of our reporting process. The business office is now able to provide a more detailed Revenue and Expense Report monthly to our finance committee, executive committee of the board, and to the board of trustees in order to monitor spending and revenue.
  • Financial Aid – Partial tuition assistance was awarded to 101 students this year through Brookstone's financial aid program. The Georgia GOAL scholarship program made funding this many partial need-based scholarships possible.

  • Advanced Facilities Services – Brookstone has contracted with a new facilities company which has been a seamless success. The school was able to contract for a lower price with excellent results. This new company brought Maintenance Connection to the campus which is an easy to use Work Order system that allows the faculty to submit requests for maintenance to the facilities department.

  • Energy Saving - Energy saving is an important part of our Brookstone sustainability. One way we do this is by scheduling buildings when occupied/unoccupied. Our new facilities company helps us monitor the buildings and adjusts the air as needed in order to reduce energy use and, ultimately, save money.

Cafeteria

  • Sage Dining Services – Brookstone has contracted with a new dining company which has been a great success. Not only did the school experience significant financial savings from past years through this new contract, but there is also a noticeable difference in the service and product with Sage.

  • Menus - Parents are able to view the menu nine weeks in the future. Through the school website the community can access the menus beforehand in order to help educate their own children on proper nutrition.

  • Nutritional Information – A full list of the ingredients for all items is located on the website. Stickers signifying the range in health are placed on all items in the cafeteria so students of all ages can make wise choices in nutrition.

  • Quality – The quality of the food and the range of choices have grown tremendously and offer choices for students who have a variety of tastes.

  • Extra Service Area – Each day the cafeteria provides an extra service area that offers a variety of foods such as a pasta bar, taco bar, baked potato bar, pizza, etc.

Communications

  • Brookstone Builds – The Brookstone Builds campaign was introduced in order to communicate the main character traits as encompassed within the mission statement of the school. This character program defines and communicates the seven traits that Brookstone strives to develop in its students.

  • Roadway Banners – We have added banners along the roadway in order to beautify the road along the campus, further communicate the character traits important in our mission, as well as to promote various special events on campus.

  • Cougar Logo – Over the years we have attempted to have a multitude of cougar logos to promote our athletic teams. Our new cougar logo was introduced and has quickly become a hit; it is now used on athletic apparel, run-through banners, as well as school material.

  • New signage in the LS helps visitors locate offices and teacher classrooms.

  • Faculty Spirit and Thanks - The administration celebrates the faculty through monthly, surprise thank you activities and treats. Excellent teachers and hard work abound, and the administration aims to be deliberate in recognizing and showing appreciation for all that our teachers do for our students daily in the classroom.

  • Website – The communications department has expanded the website through new avenues of social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

  • In addition, there are blogs in various areas of the school and news articles that are constantly being updated to keep the community informed about the latest news and events at the school. The amount of news articles has doubled in the past year.

  • In 2013 we introduced a mobile version of the website to assist people in viewing the content of the website using smartphones and mobile devices.

  • A committee has been established to review the website in its entirety and begin a study of the future of the website and the extent that it needs to be redesigned.

  • Google – In 2013 we began a rollout of Brookstone Gmail for all families allowing access to a multitude of Google applications and ways to communicate with the entire community in both a clearer and greener fashion.

  • School, division, athletic, and various other calendars are now imbedded into the Brookstone website so that individuals can download calendars and events into their personal calendars.

  • Homework assignments are now available using Google calendar for parents so that all of their children's homework and assignments may be viewed in one location.

  • All teachers' websites are in the Google sites platform for seamless viewing of information regarding every class in the school.

  • Magazine - The format of the Brookstone Magazine has been revised in order to become more informative for the wider community of parents, alumni, and friends of the school. The magazine now includes more feature articles that communicate various aspects of the Brookstone Builds message.

  • Email Communication – The communications offices have increased outgoing emails by 25% over the past year. The emails are now targeted to the grade level of the family and contain information that is only needed by that group.

    • @Brookstone has been revised so that it is more headline-oriented with options to link to more lengthy articles for more details on a particular subject or event. This allows families to peruse the email quickly and dive deeper into a subject only if there is more interest.

  • There is now a Brookstone Builds Service email for servant leadership news. This email is published monthly and allows families to know about upcoming events for which the students or even the entire family may wish to participate at Brookstone or in the Columbus community.
  • Cougar Pride emails are sent on Mondays and list all of the athletic competitions for the upcoming week.

Development Office

  • Master Planning – For the past two years we have contracted with a company as well as engaged with the board of trustees to create a master plan for the campus. This allows us to know the locations of future buildings and create a timeline for future endeavors. This master plan dovetails with the strategic plan in order to project future growth and endeavors of the school.

  • Heart of Brookstone Week – The entire school implemented the Heart of Brookstone Week to celebrate the facilities, custodial, and cafeteria staff of the school. The celebration takes place during the week of Valentine's to recognize those who often work behind the scenes to make Brookstone a great place. The students, faculty, and administration had various parts in honoring these people very special to Brookstone.

  • New Athletic Training Facility – The development office is finalizing work on a new medical facility to help with the rehabilitation of athletes at Brookstone. The present facility is small and does not provide the area needed to work with the athletes when they have injuries. We hope to have this area under construction by the winter.

  • Landscaping – There are many landscaping projects happening around campus that are a result of funding by donors. We have been able to landscape the front entrance, areas around Courtney's Pond, the area of the former Cougar Building, as well as various containers around campus. We hope to continue the mini-projects to help beautify the campus year-round.

  • Bidding for Brookstone – The annual gala/auction has now become an event that occurs every other year but has also been recreated as an exciting community event. The auction has made $120,000 for the school in the past year which contributes to many school projects. This fun event has become one of the greatest fundraisers at the school.

  • Cougar Cup – The Cougar Cup began in the fall of 2012 as another fundraising event for the school. The event has been a tremendous community event and has also earned the school about $20,000 for the 2013 event that occurred on September 23rd. This annual event provides a great opportunity for involvement by many people.

  • Brookstone Fund – The Brookstone annual fund continues to be our largest opportunity to balance the budget and provide for a financially stable school. Tuition can never cover the cost of expenses without pricing the school out of the market. We are dependent on our donors to the annual fund to offset the finances. Over the past year we created our first text-a-thon for the Brookstone Fund in order to reach out to donors who have not given to the fund. We also worked with the alumni to create videos for the Brookstone Fund and posted these online to all constituents via email. We rolled out a successful campaign raising almost $450,000 in 2012 but hope to raise the fund another 50% in the next few years.

  • Cougar Shoppe – The new Cougar Shoppe in the Kirven Building contains both spirit items downstairs and uniforms upstairs. This Shoppe has new inventory that is also for sale at football games. We are excited about the items for sale at both locations and invite you to come and browse for new items for sale to cheer on our students.

  • Georgia GOAL – The Georgia GOAL program provides participants with the tax credit on their Georgia taxes. Each year donors gain a 100% credit for their donation to the Georgia GOAL program on their Georgia taxes. In addition, they receive a tax deduction on their federal taxes. This money comes directly to Brookstone to offset our financial aid budget and loosens our operating budget by covering many costs that would be taken out of operating expenses. For more information go to the development portion of the website. Brookstone has also benefited from several BP scholarships which were in addition to the funds raised from Georgia GOAL.

Georgia Goal Statistics

GOAL FINAL

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

AMOUNT RAISED

$78,050

$136,000

$245,038

$272,650

$253,375

MONTH CAP MET

DEC

DEC

DEC

AUG

MAY

% Inc/Dec- Yr/Yr

74.25%

80.10%

11.20%

-7.00%


Enrollment Department

  • Current Enrollment - Brookstone opened school for the 2013-2014 school year with 804 students plus an additional 32 students in the three year old program. This is the highest enrollment since the financial crisis of 2008, bringing the total enrollment for Brookstone to 836 for the 2013-2014 school year.

  • Students of Color – Brookstone enrolled the most students of color in the school's history during the 2013-2014 school year. Students of color comprise 16.4% of the student body.

  • Upper School Enrollment – We have the highest enrollment in upper school in Brookstone's history. When the new upper school building was completed in 2006, the target enrollment was 320 students. Since then, enrollment in that division has been as low as 268, and 320 seemed a pipe dream. But upper school opened this year with 322 students – no longer a pipe dream, but reality!

  • On-line enrollment/re-enrollment – As many of our peer schools have done recently, Brookstone instituted online enrollment for new as well as returning students. While this is a new process for our families, they have been overwhelmingly supportive of this step and quite adept at completing the online enrollment forms.

  • High current student retention – Retention of current students at Brookstone continues to be above the NAIS average. Brookstone's retention rate is 94.4% for this year while the NAIS is consistently approximately 92%.

  • Inquiries – There continues to be high interest in Brookstone's programs. Inquiries from families interested in Brookstone's programs increased by 10% over the previous year and are the highest in recent history.

  • Honor scholar changes – A committee comprised of selected members of the board of trustees scholarship committee as well as faculty and staff representatives began meeting last spring to discuss enhancements to the scholarship program. The goal is to provide the maximum number of scholarship opportunities to deserving applicants. These new guidelines will be effective for the upcoming application process for students enrolling for the 2014-2015 school year. The Honor Scholars will receive a $10,000 award toward their upper school education each year, and the Brookstone Scholars will receive a $5,000 award.

Extended Day

  • Enrichment Activities - An average of forty-five students attend Extended Day before school and after school. Students enjoy the opportunity to play with their friends, play outside ball games, free play on a fully equipped playground, create free form art during craft-fest, and enjoy a healthy snack. Various enrichment programs and clubs are offered before and after school during the fall and spring semesters. Enrichment activities include the following:

    • Art After School

    • Teddy Tennis

    • Elite Dance

    • Cougar and Intermediate Chorus

    • 3rd-5th grade Homework Club

    • Bible Studies for lower and intermediate students

    • Girl Scout and Daisy troops

    • Private piano

    • Suzuki violin lessons

  • On-Line Enrollment – Extended Day is launching an online enrollment system for all before and after school activities beginning in the spring 2014 semester with more activities available to students such as Lego Robotics, etc.

  • 3K Extended Day - The 3K Program at Brookstone has been a great success. Extended Day has an average of fifteen 3K students attending our Extended Day program before and after the school day. Students have a catered hot lunch daily and an after school playtime as well as various enrichment opportunities.

  • Licensing - Our Extended Day program is fully compliant and licensed through Bright from the Start, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. All of the staff is fully trained, and the facility meets all licensing rules and regulations.

Fine Arts

Performing Arts

  • Spring Musical – Last year 95 students participated in the spring musical, South Pacific. Brookstone's commitment to educating the whole child is important, and allowing the students to participate in a variety of activities is just another part of educating the whole child.

  • Pep Band - The Pep Band has been busy since the second week of July preparing for their season. The Pep Band will be at football games to support the team and entertain the fans. This year's show, “Magical Mystery Tour,” should be a real crowd pleaser! The Pep Band also performs for other events throughout the community through October and November. I hope you will join with all of us in congratulating the Pep Band for their incredible shows at each of the football games.

  • Lower School Music - We now have a seamless curriculum for music from 3K to 5th grade. We have added new rhythm instruments to the lower school program beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Upper School Chorus -- The Upper School Chorus will present “100 Years of Broadway.” This rousing show will feature many Broadway favorites from different shows. The performance will be held on October 15th in the Turner Center.

  • One Act Play - The One Act play Inventing Van Gogh is a haunting and hallucinatory drama about the making of art. Inventing Van Gogh is the story of the final van Gogh self-portrait, painted just before the artist's death. This play has never been seen at Brookstone…until now. Patrick Stone, a contemporary painter, is hired to forge this final masterpiece—and finds himself squaring off, across the years, with van Gogh himself. The result is a compelling mystery about the obsession to create and the fine line that separates truth from myth. The region performance for this play will be held on October 26th.

  • Middle School Theater - For the first time at Brookstone there will be a musical presented solely by our middle school students. The students will be doing an incredible production of Charlotte's Web. The popular adaptation of this story will be presented on December 13th and 14th.

  • Upper School and Middle School Dance - We are excited to announce that there is now a Dance Club available to girls grades 8-12. Cortney Laughlin is the faculty member in charge of this club, and she is excited to bring an element of Hip Hop and pom dance to our school spirit program.

  • Band and Chorus Concerts - The band and chorus will present their annual “Sounds of the Season” Holiday Concert on Thursday, December 5th. This concert will also include our lower and intermediate school choruses.

Visual Arts

  • Digital Photography - We have added digital photography to the curriculum. Students will be studying the history of photography as well as learning the art of digital photography. Each student will produce a book of his/her photographs at the end of the semester.

  • Ceramics - Our ceramics program is expanding quickly. This semester we have forty students taking Ceramics 1, and next semester we will add another section of Ceramics 1 and twenty-five Advanced Ceramics 2 students. Thanks to our added capacity with a second kiln, we will be producing lots of fantastic projects. Be on the lookout for upcoming outdoor ceramic sculpture installations.

Guidance Department

  • Lunch & Learn for parents - The guidance department will be hosting quarterly lunch and learn parent meetings with featured speakers.

  • SAT Prep – Every junior receives a full SAT prep course at Brookstone. We spend program time throughout the year giving tips, tutoring students, reviewing the PSAT, and preparing the students to do their very best on their standardized tests.

  • Substance Abuse

    • Through various programs offered during the year, parents have the opportunity to learn about and be trained in the various struggles children and teens face with substance abuse.

    • The school has contracted with Freedom from Chemical Dependency to work with the 8th and 10th graders during the year. The company does a lot of educating of the students around the areas of substance abuse as well as engaging the students in multiple discussion groups.

  • Guidance Curriculum – The guidance department has worked on having a seamless curriculum from 3K to 12th grade to address various social and individual issues that students may face as they develop during their time at Brookstone. Areas such as study skills, substance abuse, time management, social and friendship skills, as well as emotional stability are all addressed with the student through various programs put in place by the guidance department. They also work with the servant leadership department to implement character education in all divisions. The curriculum of the character education program surrounds the Brookstone Builds traits.

Health and Security

  • Crisis Management Plan – The school has been responding to the various events around the nation and constantly revising the crisis management plan for the school. With the adaptation of technology as well as other communication devices, we have been able to lower the response time and increase the ability to communicate campus-wide when there is an event on campus. In addition, we have been able to use local and national experts in crisis management to review our plans to make sure they match the best practices of schools nationwide.

  • School Nurse – The school has employed a school nurse to help with the health and wellness of our students and faculty. This nurse is presently part-time, working from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, to help with any student issues as well as dispensing medication to our students around lunchtime.

  • Carpool – This year we have revised the carpool process for the lower school and intermediate school in order to allow for added security as well as an additional 45 minutes of teaching time daily in some grades. Though difficult at the start, the new carpool system has quickly become a seamless process in which there is added security and a sense of confidence by the parent body.

  • Cameras – We have now installed cameras all across campus to monitor events on campus in a real-time as well as recorded manner. This added security has helped secure areas that are often hidden and allows the school to review events on campus for details.

  • Automated External Defibrillators - AED units have been installed in all of the buildings on campus. The entire faculty has been trained in the use of these new devices and adds an extra layer of prevention for those individuals who may be experiencing cardiac issues while on campus.

  • Epipens - Epipens have been placed in the AED cabinets around campus. In addition, the entire faculty has been trained on their use.

  • After hours security – The school has employed the Muscogee County Sheriff's Department to do nightly, random patrols of the campus. This added security maintains a safe campus at all hours and protects the facilities from any outside disturbances.

Intermediate School

  • Morning Meeting - Each day is started in the commons area with celebration, announcements, and movement. The principal leads this meeting from “The Box.” Students and teachers will also lead from The Box from time to time.

  • Departmentalized schedule/rotation of electives - Students attend five curriculum classes (grammar, literature, math, science, and social studies) each day as well as elective (computer, art, music, foreign language) and PE. Fourth grade students further their knowledge of Spanish, and fifth grade students begin a study of Latin.

  • Free Play - Intermediate school students are given free play time twice a day: break and recess. This is time for outdoor movement and socializing where there is no agenda or schedule.

  • Technology - Students have the use of a mobile cart of tablets, classroom computers, and a shared class set of iPads.

  • BFF (Be Friendship Focused class) – BFF is a character education program led each Friday by Trace' Copeland (principal) and Kenneth Hoats (lower and intermediate school counselor). This curriculum surrounds the Brookstone Builds traits of honor, wisdom, courage, loyalty, service, respect, and leadership.

  • Life Skills – This character education program is led every other week during science class. Students discuss and demonstrate topics that increase self-awareness, decision-making, goal-setting, and creative thinking.

  • Millionaire Reading Program - Students are required to read at least one book a month. Through Renaissance Learning, word count is checked with the goal of reaching a million words before the end of the year. Students who reach this goal are treated like “millionaires” for a full day on the last week of school. For students who do not reach a million words, Accelerated Reader points are recorded for Point Parties.

  • Singapore Math - Students are taught Singapore Math where we practice the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach to understanding concepts. To complement learning these skills, each student is provided with a yearly subscription of IXL and Accelerated Math Online.

  • The Great American Challenge - Fifth grade students take a series of challenges that test the students' knowledge of American history, ending the school year with reaching the ultimate challenge of reciting the Gettysburg Address.

  • Student Led Conferences - Students lead a conference in the spring for parents and homeroom teacher. They are prepared with talking points for the current school year as well as thoughts on goals and expectations for the coming year.

  • Ticket Tank - Students are given a “ticket” when caught doing a random act of kindness or showing positive character. The student writes his/her name on the ticket and places it in the “tank.” Each Monday during the Morning Meeting, three names are drawn from the tank for a small prize.

  • Be Brookstone Strong...Follow the Paw Prints - Thirty important life skills are printed on Paw Prints that are hung in the commons area. Each week the faculty and students will highlight and practice a skill. Many times we refer to our students and school as the intermediate school family and home. Through this process we remind students of manners and taking care of the things we hold dear.

  • Cougar Character Cards - Each Wednesday during recess and break students will have the chance to compliment others in writing. Interestingly enough, this is a hard task for students because their compliments must reflect respect, honor, service, loyalty, wisdom, courage, and/or leadership. Cards are placed in a box and later delivered to their lockers as a treat.

  • Opportunities for Involvement:
    • Student Council, Green Team, Technology Fair, Geography Bee, Spelling Bee

    • Extracurricular Activities: Gadget Gurus, Lego Robotics Club, BNN (Brookstone News Network), Bible Study, Math Team, Dance, Homework Club, Chorus

    • Field Trips: Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Oxbow Meadows, Springer Children's Theater, Service Day


Leadership Department

  • Leadership Department - The leadership department was created in the 2012-2013 school year to intentionally guide the school community to a practice of leadership education that supports leadership opportunities for students of all ages.

  • Planning Retreat - A successful planning retreat was held in January of 2013 to brainstorm student leadership opportunities. Priorities were set at the March follow-up meeting that help set direction for the 2013-14 school year. Self-awareness and reflection were identified as focus areas.

  • Applied Leadership – The applied leadership course is offered as an elective in the upper school. The course focuses on understanding and developing effective leadership practices, communication skills, and a philosophy of service to others. The students in this class often share what they have learned by teaching students in other school divisions.

  • Deliberate Life Program – A pilot fellowship program was developed for 2013 seniors to explore professions in which the students had expressed interest. The success of this program in part led to the creation of the Deliberate Life Program for 2014 seniors.

    • The Deliberate Life Program centers on the importance of leading a useful life by incorporating self-awareness, personal responsibility, and service opportunities. The traditional senior speech is part of the Deliberate Life Program with each student speaking about a vocational interest. Community mentors oversee the student's experience, and the student defends his/her experience before a committee of faculty and outside professionals.

  • Programs - Focus is on student led activities… from intermediate school conferences to the freshman retreat. Link Crew, Prides, Honor Council members, and line leaders are just a few examples of leadership opportunities for Brookstone students.

Learning Center

  • Defined Learning Center – Over the past two years one of the major goals was to define the Learning Center goals and the services it provides. These have been established and issues that the LC is not trained to handle are now outsourced.

  • Growth – The number of students served by the Learning Center has grown by 44% since 2011.

  • Upper school seminar class – The upper school seminar class has grown tremendously in the past two years from one class to seven present classes. The seminar class helps the upper school students with organization, study skills, time management, as well as other tools for learning success. The class has a variety of students from honors students to students with various learning differences.

  • Endowed gift – The Learning Center has received an endowed gift that fully pays for all of the Learning Center training, training for the faculty on issues, as well as resources used in the Learning Center.

  • Brain research – Utilizing the Excellence Now gifts, the Learning Center sent staff members to the Learning and the Brain Conference that focused on executive functioning. The sessions were led by leading scientists, educators, and psychologists.

  • Executive Functioning – The Learning Center has expanded its resources in the areas of executive functioning and has also begun to train the faculty on these issues.

  • On-Line Learning – The Learning Center is leading the charge of the school in researching and providing additional parts to the curriculum by national independent school consortiums for online learning. These classes would be taught by some of the top teachers at independent schools around the country and would supplement current offerings in the upper school.

  • Learning Center Staff Training – The Learning Center staff has been fully trained in Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood Bell Visualizing and Verbalizing, LIPS, and Singapore Math/Math in Focus.

  • Assistive Technological Resource Services through GA Tech (AMAC) – The Learning Center established a working relationship with AMAC and plans to partner with them in 2013-14 to offer current assistive technological resources.

  • Middle School Reading – The Learning Center integrated a reading skills class into the 7th grade curriculum, allowing all students to rotate through during their elective rotation.

  • Lower School Screening -- Offered screening of students by Lorie Delk: 180 students screened in grades K – 3rd August 2012 / 86 students screened in grades K – 8 in August 2013.

    • Reading/Decoding

    • Reading Comprehension

    • Receptive Language

    • Expressive Language

    • Auditory Processing

    • Articulation

    • Voice

    • Fluency

    • Hearing

    • Phonemic Awareness

  • Intermediate School Study Skills -- Sara Wilson has begun developing a study skills curriculum for IS students.

Lower School

  • Reading Instruction- Each classroom teacher was able to purchase new books for classroom libraries to support young readers. New reading assessment tools will assure that students are guided to “just right books.” Students will read and learn about reading in books at their own reading levels rather than working within a one-size fits all curriculum.

  • Writing Instruction- A renewed emphasis on a genre focused approach to writing instruction is growing in the lower school. Recent reports inform us that student performance in writing on the SAT has declined nationwide in recent years. We can prevent our students from becoming a part of this trend by providing rigorous and engaging writing instruction in the lower school, which builds stamina and confidence. In the lower school, students engage in the writing process and study the structures and methods of mentor writers.

  • 3K Program – The lower school successfully launched a three year old program this year. The two sections of three year olds are full and are progressing successfully. It is wonderful to see these young children here on the Brookstone campus!

  • Singapore Math - Math in Focus is based on the Singapore Math Approach and uses the C→P→A model for helping students learn new skills. C for concrete means that students will work with counters or any other tool that can be manipulated by the student to help him develop conceptual understanding of the skill. P for pictorial is implemented as a teacher models how to use manipulatives to problem solve or when students draw representations of a problem to help them understand and explain a given task. Once a child has a conceptual understanding of a concept he should be able to transition to the final stage which is A-Abstract. Visualization is an important facet as students need to ‘see' how numbers are related as well as to observe geometric features in their environment. Working together in groups and listening to others explain their thinking and reasoning is another important aspect of this approach.

  • Resource classes address the development of the whole child:

  • Spanish- Students in pre-kindergarten through third grade receive Spanish instruction twice a week. Even our 3-year olds benefit from an introduction to Spanish. We offer a comprehensive program of study that complements and enhances our approach to literacy instruction.

  • Art--Students have the opportunity to cross the curriculum with art, involving science, math, and social studies. They also explore some of the elements of art and principles of design while painting, drawing, creating, and collaborating. At the end of the year they bring home a portfolio of all their wonderful artwork.

  • Music-Lower school students love music and may not even realize that they are engaging their brains as they express thoughts, structure sound, manipulate language, feel beats and rhythms, develop leadership skills and create a cohesive group. What a fun way to learn!

  • PE-The lower school's program for physical education allows children to develop a lifelong awareness of the importance of physical activity, teaches them how to display good sportsmanship, and helps them develop empathy for their peers. It is taught in a safe environment where students are free to take risks and experience success.

  • Guidance-Our classroom guidance program gives the counselor an opportunity to meet with each class on a weekly basis. During this time the character traits included in our "Brookstone Builds" emblem are emphasized. Through a variety of methods (literature, hands on activities, team building activities, etc.,) our students are introduced to the "people skills" that are essential for success.

  • Library-Coming to the library and checking out books to read is a right and a privilege to which all children should have access -- and here they do. There are limited restrictions, it is easy, there are many choices, and it is fun. The lower school library is a place where any child, regardless of ability or achievement, is welcomed and encouraged to be here and to find something interesting and enjoyable which will stimulate the love of reading, and therefore, of lifelong learning.

  • Computer-Lower school computer classes help prepare the students for the ever changing technology they will encounter throughout their educational journey. Students use various programs and online computer sites to support learning that they are doing inside the classroom.

Middle School

  • Mentoring Men and Girl Talk – Female teachers lead girl groups, and male faculty members lead boy groups as they address gender specific topics. This gives the students a place where they can speak to mentors about some of the issues with which they struggle on a daily basis.

  • Single gender classes – There are single gender classes at each grade level which allow for a different approach to teaching and learning. The faculty has been trained by the Gurian Institute on the different ways that boys and girls learn. These single gender classes allow for teaching to a particular gender and reaching the kids in a much deeper and more meaningful way.

  • New young, male faculty – These new members of the faculty have added “diversification” of the middle school faculty and have brought the ability to have further mentoring of our students by our teachers.

  • Middle School Dean of Students – Vince Massey does a fabulous job communicating with students, teachers, and parents in all areas involving student life. This extra layer of advising has become useful in so many different areas as we try to meet the needs of the growing middle school student.
  • Cougar Prides – This new middle school program breaks students up into one of three groups called prides. The groups are Loyalty, Wisdom, and Courage and are designed to foster community in the middle school. The Pride Council is formed by four students elected from each pride to lead the middle school. This leadership team increases the number of leaders in the middle school from the previous student government.

  • Grade Chairs – The middle school grade chairs continue to be wonderful resources for grade level information. They meet with all students and parents, plan field trips, organize grade level teacher meetings, lead weekly student grade level meetings, and communicate weekly with parents through Grade Chair News emails.

  • In an effort to retain students, the middle and upper school work closely to help our 8th graders see themselves as 9th graders in our upper school. Beginning in February, 8th graders visit the US, meet with department chairs, and plan schedules with Dr. Epperson. A parent meeting is also held early in the spring.

Servant Leadership

  • Service - All students are connected to the local and global community through service. All students participate in service through Days of Service and many take part in after-school opportunities. Although service is not required, all students participate in service and leadership opportunities throughout the year. Service is a natural response for our students, as demonstrated by students' initiatives in projects such as starting sports equipment drives for a local organization, food clubs to benefit those who are without proper food and nutrition, and efforts to help with disaster relief.

  • Family Day of Service – This year we are going to offer a Family Day of Service to be included in the Thanks-for-Giving Week plans in November. We would like to offer another Family Day of Service during the spring semester as well.

  • Seniors in the Classroom - Seniors have the opportunity to serve as ambassadors and mentors to lower or intermediate school classrooms during the school year. Forty-three seniors have signed up to participate in this year's program. These seniors will go into the lower and intermediate school classes and connect with the students by reading, taking part in classroom projects, or simply spending time together on the playground.

  • Chick-Fil-A Leadercast - Brookstone School serves as a host site for the Chick-fil-A Leadercast. We will be hosting Leadercast for the fourth time on May 9, 2014. Over 100 people come on site for this community event, which brings together students and others in the community to learn from some of the world's most influential leaders.

  • School Culture - Servant Leadership is integrated into the school culture at Brookstone. Service has been identified as a core value of Brookstone, and Servant Leadership strives to help students live out the attitude of “serving others while developing as leaders.” Opportunities exist for connecting with the local community through service, and school trips abroad provide students the chance to engage in global service. Whereas other schools may have a Servant Leadership Program that is only for a small group of students or one particular class, Servant Leadership at Brookstone is for everyone!

  • Connecting to the Community - Brookstone is connected to the community! Brookstone has a strong reputation for serving others and is connected to the community through a variety of partnerships with many local organizations. We also collaborate with other Servant Leadership groups at CSU, Hardaway, and Andrew College through the Servant Leadership Community Collaborative. Brookstone students also serve on the Live United Youth Council, Infusion, and community sponsored councils.

  • Character development – Character development is intentional and integrated at each level of the Brookstone experience. All students 3K through 3 are involved in monthly Character Counts sessions. Trustworthiness, caring, citizenship, respect, responsibility, and fairness are the topics that have been covered in previous years. Brookstone Builds core values will be incorporated into this year's discussions. Servant Leadership makes monthly visits to the intermediate school for BFF to discuss similar topics as above. Middle school monthly grade meetings occurred in 2012-2013 school year to discuss character topics. Guidance and grade chairs are continuing with these meetings for this school year. Applied leadership in the upper school develops character through hands on opportunities for service and more reflective self-awareness exercises.

  • Connections Globally - Ricks Institute in Liberia, West Africa – Brookstone has a sister school, Ricks Institute, in Liberia, West Africa. In May, 2013 a group… traveled to Liberia. This was the fifth trip for Brookstone. In October of 2013, two students and one faculty member will arrive from Ricks Institute and stay for eight weeks. They will visit classes, connect with students, and take part in cultural excursions. This will be the fourth time Brookstone has hosted exchange students from Ricks Institute.

  • Shoe boxes for Ricks - All Brookstone students and families are invited to prepare shoe boxes for Ricks Institute students and faculty. More than four hundred shoe boxes have been collected each year in the past. A container with the shoe boxes and other items for Ricks will be sent in October.

  • Connections at Home - Fox Elementary – Brookstone School is a Partner in Education with Fox Elementary School. Brookstone connects with Fox during the year in many ways. Our Honor Scholars work with the Fox Good Citizens together on a service project to benefit the community. Upper school science students visit Fox to serve as Science Buddies. We transport and help children shop for clothing at the Sara Spano Clothing Bank. During the 2013-2014 school year, Key Club students will become pen pals with Fox 4th graders to build relationships and help with writing skills. Middle school students serve as Reading Buddies to Fox Elementary students and also serve as hosts and hostesses during Fox Fun Day in April (Middle School Day of Service).

Student Activities

  • Homecoming Activities - Over the past few years the upper school has added many homecoming activities to make it a week of celebration. From hall decorating to grade level contests to powder puff games to costumes, the week is a favorite of the students. All of the activities build up to the Friday night football game and Saturday dance.

  • Link Crew – Mentoring at Brookstone is alive and well with our Link Crew program in the upper school and the WEB program in the middle school. Link Crew is a full class in the upper school where the students learn how to lead in various group dynamics, the importance of mentoring, and how to address difficult topics in a group setting. These juniors and seniors spend an entire year with a freshman group introducing them to various topics that often must be addressed with teenagers as well as introducing the students to the Brookstone culture.

  • WEB – WEB is our middle school mentoring program that comes from the slogan “We All Belong.” This important motto for our middle school is introduced to the 6th graders by our faculty leaders and 8th grade mentors. In WEB our 8th graders support our 6th graders, introduce them to the middle school, and offer support in this transition.

  • Cougar Café – The Cougar Café is open for our upper school students all day every day. The students take advantage of another location to hang out, study, and get a quick snack between classes. The Café has also been open during football games and is now used by many students as a place to have a birthday party or other special event. Stop by and see the great area and sample one of the great snacks offered at the Café.

  • Friday fun stuff – Fridays in the upper school are filled with fun and excitement during program time. The opportunity to “unwind” and have a good time together offers a great study break for our students. There may be a dodge ball game, karaoke, a pep rally, or other game to offer the students a fun and stress-free break during the day.

  • Upper School Dances – The upper school has added more dances to our student activities over the past few years. The goal is to give our student body the opportunity to hang out together and have a good time in a safe environment during the weekends. The dances have been popular and are greatly appreciated by our upper school students.

  • Breathalyzers – Last spring we began using breathalyzers at the upper school dances. There has been a positive response from the students who feel that the school is taking precautions for the students and giving the students a reason not to engage in the use of alcohol.

Summer Programs

  • Enrollment - A total of 611 campers were on campus during our six week 2013 Summer Program with 50% of the campers being non-Brookstone students. The summer program had thirty camps including academics, sports, science, cooking, and our hugely successful Huck Finn camps and Cougar Tot series.

Technology Department

  • Robotics – Brookstone is now offering robotics for 3rd grade – 12th grade students. The third grade is going to be using We Do robots, and the 4th and 5th grades have a weekly club on Tuesday mornings. We now have robotics classes and clubs at all levels to help challenge our students.

  • Upper School Technology - All students in the upper school are one-to-one with school-issued tablets. We have also added an advanced robotics class in the upper school as a science elective.

  • Faculty Professional Development - The computer teachers are assisting the teachers with projects using webquests, screen captures, and recordings using Voicethread and Voki to support their curriculum. The teachers are using a variety of technology skills and technology tools to create different projects for students to demonstrate their content knowledge.

  • Digital Citizenship - Digital citizenship is reviewed and taught each year at an age appropriate level in the computer classes. GBI agent Sue Dowling spoke to parents and the middle school students about Internet safety.
  • Help Desk – Brookstone has a help desk open all day every day to assist our students and faculty with any technology needs.

  • Community - We continue to sponsor the Chattahoochee Valley Technology Fair for all independent, public, and home schooled students in grades 3 – 12. Our students continue to do well at the state competition each year, placing in the top three in several categories.

  • Regional Representation - The technology director continues to serve on the Board for AATE (Atlanta Area Technology Educators) for the fourth year. This organization meets quarterly at different independent schools in the Atlanta area. Dynamic and leading edge speakers along with tours and a view into what each school is doing related to instructional technology and technology infrastructure provide valuable information.

Upper School

  • Student support and advising – The upper school has four grade chairs who spend a great deal of time out of the classroom advising our students from academic to emotional to extracurricular issues. These grade chairs rotate ninth grade through eleventh grade with the students, with the senior grade chair remaining constant due to the extra need for college advising at this level. In addition, we have thirty-one faculty advisors to our students, giving a 10:1 student to teacher ratio. We want to make sure each of our students is cared for and has an adult available to discuss any issues that he /she may face during the teenage years.

  • Focused advisory programs – Each year our advisories cover a range of topics with our students. Here is a sample of the main themes we cover during advisory time with our students:

    • Freshmen: Academics, social concerns, and involvement

    • Sophomores: 7 Brookstone Builds Attributes

    • Juniors: SAT prep

    • Seniors: College and beyond

  • Academics – The upper school has twenty-one AP Classes (including two new offerings of AP Environmental Science and AP Psychology for the 2013-14 school year). In these classes, unlike many other schools, all of our students complete the course by taking the College Board advanced placement exam. The courses are audited by the College Board, and our students consistently rank high in their scores. There are also twenty honors class offerings in the younger grades in the upper school which allow all of the students to be challenged at different levels.

  • Honor System – We take honor seriously in the upper school and have an Honor Council in place that educates our students on the importance of honor both individually and to the community as a whole. This student-led council has fourteen members with representation from each grade of the upper school.

  • Freshman Retreat – At the beginning of each school year, we take the entire freshman class off-campus and spend a weekend together learning, breaking the bonds of cliques that form in a student body, and allowing the students a “fresh start” as they enter upper school. The retreat is traditionally a favorite experience of our students and eases the transition of the new students as well as all of the students to the upper school.

  • Transition to Independence – Over the course of upper school it is important for the students to understand themselves in many ways and to learn to make good decisions in life. Academically, we allow the students more freedom as they progress through the grade levels so that they have the opportunity to learn decision-making. Students must maintain good academic standing, and they are allowed more privileges as they advance in grade level. The sophomores report to the media center for study hall. The juniors are free to study in various locations that have been provided around campus. Seniors have signing out privileges that grow throughout the year.

  • Cougar Live – Cougar Live continues to expand in the upper school to include coverage of all the home varsity football games as well as a variety of other varsity sports and special events. Cougar Live gives students the unique opportunity with experiences in live production. This program takes students from the classroom and gives them a global forum connecting to host of families both near and afar through visual storytelling. Whether a family from far away, from an opposing team, or a distant relative that wants to see their grandchild graduate, Cougar Live gives the entire Brookstone Community the ability to be connected.

  • Upper School Electives – In the upper school we have begun offering many unique classes including: neuro-anatomy, ornithology, marine biology, zoology, research, honors law, Civil War, modern world history, psychology, film studies, comparative religions, robotics, graphic arts, game design, broadcasting, ceramics, digital photography, and applied leadership.

  • Individual Achievements – We have experienced many individual academic achievements in the upper school. Here is just a sample of those successes: 3 National Merit Finalists in ‘12-'13; 1 student scored a perfect 36 on the ACT; 4 students attended Ivy League schools for the ‘13-‘14 school year; 2 students recognized at the Columbus Regional Science and Engineering Fair; Math Team won competitions at both CSU and CVCC.

  • Giving Thanks – Our seniors spend time in the fall thinking about others and celebrating those who have helped them by giving to others. Whether it is a plate of cookies for a special mentor or a nice card to a teacher who made the difference, the process helps the students learn to give thanks to those who have made a difference in their lives.

  • Extracurricular Activities – Time and attention outside of class is important to the full growth of our students. In the upper school we have over thirty clubs and organizations for the 2013-2014 school year.

  • Life of Pi -- Every year the upper school has a book that the entire school reads together. This year's summer reading was the Life of Pi. Past books include Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. When school begins, the upper school takes time out to have programs and discussion groups around the common read.

  • College Advising – Unlike many other schools, Brookstone has two full-time college advisors and one guidance counselor. The college selection process is the culmination of fourteen years of hard work at Brookstone School. We take this process seriously, and this work continues to pay off for our students. The Class of 2013 won over $6 million in scholarships with 67 graduates. They were accepted to 73 colleges and universities and will be attending 26 different schools this fall (including 4 members who will be attending Ivy League schools).

  • Student Government – The student government has been reorganized this year allowing for more student involvement and leadership. It is important in the upper school to allow the students to experiment in their leadership and learn their strengths and weaknesses through the process. The student government has been reshaped this year by the addition of a committee system, a more involved homeroom representative system, and a new election commission.