Apply online for theme schools

The open-enrollment period for theme schools in the DeKalb County School System runs through Feb. 12, with information and online applications available at

The DeKalb school system will hold a lottery in the last week of March to choose which applicants get to attend the theme schools. The theme schools are part of the county’s school-choice program, which was highlighted during the 2009 School Choice Expo at The Mall at Stonecrest on Jan. 24.

All public, private and home-school students who will enroll in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2009-10 school year and live in the identified theme feeder school attendance areas are eligible to apply for traditional theme elementary schools. Those who will enter sixth, seventh or eighth grade are eligible to apply for the traditional theme middle school.

Traditional theme schools offer a comprehensive, interdisciplinary educational program in a highly structured setting. The six elementary theme schools are Edward L. Bouie, Narvie J. Harris, Marbut, Oakcliff, Robert Shaw and Wynbrooke. The theme middle school is Champion.

“Because there is always a high volume of interest in theme schools from our parents, we believe it’s an absolute given that the online availability will bring about a degree of ease to the process. We are pleased to provide this avenue, and I believe our parents will also be pleased with the new feature,” said Pat Copeland, DeKalb’s magnet/theme schools director.

Mail-in paper applications also are being accepted in the Magnet and Theme Schools Office and at elementary and middle schools.

650 attend GHA honor dinner

Greenfield Hebrew Academy raised money and paid tribute to community volunteers and Sandy Springs residents Charlotte and Joel Marks on Jan. 25 with a dinner of honor attended by 650 people.

Charlotte, a 1969 academy alumna, and Joel Marks are the parents of three GHA alumni: Andrew, 1997; Steven, 2000; and Megan, 2005. The transdenominational Jewish school in Sandy Springs serves children through eighth grade.

Charlotte Marks’ volunteer work includes Congregation Or VeShalom in Brookhaven, the Atlanta Speech School in Buckhead, The Weber School in Sandy Springs, Hadassah, Yeshiva Atlanta, Temima High School for Girls and the Atlanta Scholars Kollel.

Joel Marks is a past president of the GHA board of trustees and serves on the Greenfield and Weber boards. He also is on the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

Also at the dinner, the academy recognized Ron Heidt for his volunteer work at the school and Meta Miller as a staff professional.

Miller started as a teacher at the academy 26 years ago and has been the early childhood director since 1997. Heidt is a six-year member of the GHA board and has been technical director and video producer of the annual honor dinner and all school theatrical performances since 2000. This year’s dinner included a taste of “Willy Wonka the Musical,” which students will perform in March.

Shafron promoted to No. 2 at Davis

Davis Academy has promoted Amy Shafron from director of institutional advancement to associate head of school.

“The school, staff, parents and community are fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated executive to help lead Davis into the future,” said Sid Kirschner, Davis Academy’s head of school.

Shafron has been with the Reform Jewish day school in Sandy Springs for 4½ years. In addition to overseeing fundraising activities, she has assumed responsibilities in communications, marketing and community outreach. Most recently she coordinated the development and implementation of Davis’ partnership with The Weber School.

Before Davis, she worked as a tax and corporate lawyer and in various capacities for nonprofit Jewish organizations and private schools.

St. Francis girls create blanket for the homeless

The 10 members of St. Francis Middle School’s Chicks With Sticks, a knitting and crocheting club, recently created an afghan for a homeless child.

The Children’s Restoration Network will receive the afghan and give it to a child at one the network’s shelters.

Counselor JoMarie Privitera led the girls, who all recently learned to knit and crochet: seventh-graders Meredith Gittings, Celina Taylor and Caroline Wood and eighth-graders Laura Hermann, Katelyn Oliver, Morgan Peacock, Sarah Piper, Sydne Richardson and Alex Wasser.