Monday, June 30, 2014

Fulton Science Academy Accreditation

Fulton Science Academy Private School is proud to be an AdvancED Accredited School.
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Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. The accreditation process is also known in terms of its ability to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement in education. But such definitions, though accurate, are incomplete.

While accreditation is a set of rigorous protocols and research-based processes for evaluating an institution’s organizational effectiveness, it is far more than that. Today accreditation examines the whole institution—the programs, the cultural context, the community of stakeholders—to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of students. 
For many, accreditation is both a significant achievement pronouncing an institution’s quality of education, as well as a remarkably enriching process for the institutions recognizing the tremendous competitive and performance gains it affords.
It is the process of accreditation that yields the greatest continuing return for institutions. When approached properly, the internal self-assessment an institution conducts against a set of research-based quality standards can produce a wealth of galvanizing insights. Honest self-evaluation is unparalleled in its ability to uncover and bring into sharp focus special challenges for an institution that may not have been fully understood. The external review is the hallmark of the accreditation process, and like the internal self-assessment, it energizes and equips the leadership and stakeholders of an institution or school system to tackle those areas that may be thwarting desired performance levels.
Accreditation is a force-multiplier. The process is a catalyst for transformative excellence, and AdvancED’s accreditation process is designed on a standards-based framework to feed continuous improvement and transform education on a global scale.
Accreditation is inextricably linked to institution and educational system improvement. The accreditation process asks institutions and systems to critically evaluate their vision, strategies, priorities, leadership, and programs and resources. The process of earning and maintaining accreditation provides institutions and educational systems with clear and compelling direction for implementing changes to move toward excellence.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

FSAPS K-8th Grade Program

  • National Blue Ribbon Winning Administration and Faculty
  • Top Honors at Academic Competitions
  • Gifted Program with a STEAM Focus
  • High Performance in Nationally Normed Tests
  • Small School Environment Providing Individual Attention
  • Small Class Size with Low Student-Teacher Ratio
  • Grade Level Acceleration and Progression Opportunities
  • Daily World Language Program Pre-K through 8th Grade
  • Individual iPad Grade 6 through 8 
  • Certified Teachers with Gifted Endorsement
  • College Mentorship Program
  • Music, Art, Computer, Physical Education, and Robotics Classes
  • Nationally Normed MAP and ITBS Testing (Grades K - 8)
  • Stanford University Education Program for Gifted Youth
  • Local, Out of State, and International Field Trips
  • Duke TIP SAT Preparation
  • Variety of After School Clubs
  • Active Parent Volunteer Organization
  • Uniforms

Fulton Science Academy Google TAG ED 1
FSAPS Students Awarded by TAG-ED at Google Headquarters for their Achievement in Web Challenge Competition

FSAPS offers students a rigorous education in a tailored learning environment. In addition to our high entrance standards, grade level placement decisions are multi-faceted, weighted more on student ability and social maturity than their age. This individualized student placement process allows FSAPS to more fully develop a student’s potential, assess their needs, and provide a more challenging academic curriculum with the highest level of opportunity. We find that the biggest discrepancies between age, knowledge, and typical corresponding grade level placement occur most often in elementary grades, although it does happen in higher level grades, too. To address this, we have instituted accelerated math curriculums, higher level math placement, and used progression by placing students in advanced grades.  Due to their young ages, we must tailor the solution to meet the individualized needs of a student, taking into account their maturity level, social development, parent feedback, classroom observations, and the general happiness of the student.

FSAPS has elected to use a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum platform to meet the growing demand for higher level logic and reasoning skills that will be necessary for the future success of our students.
We offer the following areas of study to all students in grades Pre-K through 8th grade:
Offered Daily: Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Reading, and World Language
Offered Weekly: Computer Literacy, Music, Arts, Robotics, and Physical Education.

Fulton Science Academy Art Contest
This art piece is created by FSAPS 8th Grader, Elaine Wen 

FSAPS has elected to follow common core standards when applicable. Otherwise, state and/or national standards are followed. One advantage of being a private school is that we are able to adjust our curriculum to better meet the needs of our students. For example, in 8th grade, we cover a Georgia Studies curriculum, but have expanded it to include key U.S. history events, such as the American Revolution and the Civil War, to make better use of this one-hour instructional period.

Beginning last year FSAPS, added one hour of robotics instruction a week to all grade level curriculums. To support this program, there is an assigned robotics room at the school where students work on designing and programming robots. Also this year, we added foreign language studies to the elementary curriculum effectively expanding foreign language studies to all grades. FSAPS offers both Turkish and Spanish foreign languages. Foreign language is offered one hour per day Pre-K through 8th grade.

Fulton Science Academy Kris Rinne
 Kris Rinne, senior vice president of network technology at AT&T Labs was our CMP Speaker.

Additionally, we work to develop student presentation, writing, organization, and time-management abilities from the earliest grades, so that our students are well-prepared for all their future endeavors. Students develop these skills through the completion of four course-specific long term projects per year, academic teams, and individual competitions. Often long-term projects require research, visual aids, oral presentations, as well as, written reports.  Our middle school students are adept at using computers and ipads for research and preparing computerized presentations. To obtain the best results possible and clearly communicate project requirements, all teachers are required to use rubrics for projects and/or assignments when applicable to clearly inform students of performance expectations and grading criteria.  Additionally, some projects, such as science fair and social studies fair, may be guided by instructional books assembled by their teachers. These instructional project booklets and rubrics prepare our students to submit quality work. These skills will prepare our students for high school and college level projects.

Our school, also, integrates a character education program into the FSAPS middle grade’s curriculum to further the development of strong characters that embody integrity and high ethical values.  In elementary grades, we use Bucket Fillers for positive reinforcement, to resolve negativity, and eliminate bullying attitudes. These programs are critical to furthering our vision of a safe environment that celebrates diversity and to create a culture of civic responsibility.

Fulton Science Academy Microsoft 2
Technology Team Atended "Code of Hour " Event at Microsoft Headquarters

In addition to our challenging and rigorous curriculum, we continually seek opportunities to help our students develop their potential and interests. FSAPS provides the Stanford University Education Program for Gifted Youth to all grades and has set goals for participation and improvement. This program is designed to challenge and move students to the next level in their academic abilities.

Fulton Science Academy Math

FSAPS, also, offers many academic teams and after-school clubs to complement core academic studies, enhance social development skills, and/or allow for students to explore and develop specialized interests. After-school, clubs, activities, and recreational sports are offered from 3:35pm to 4:20pm Students in grades Pre-K through 8th may choose one or more of the FSAPS after-school options in which to participate. Due to different interests, knowledge, competency, and maturity levels, these options are divided among four age groups, Pre-K & Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd, 3rd through 5th, and 6th through 8th.

Academic teams are considered a significant factor in the success and development of each student, so they are supported and encouraged by the administration, faculty, and   parents. Over eighty percent (80%) of all FSAPS students compete in at least one academic team. Current, academic teams include Math Olympiad, Science Olympiad, Model UN, Robotics, Chess Team, Lego Team, Future City, Destination Imagination, and Technology Team.  Many of our students, also, participate in individualized competitions, such as Geo Bee and Spelling Bees. All FSAPS students participate in annual school-wide science and/or social studies fairs during the first semester. Science fair participation begins in Pre-K, while participation in the social studies fair begins the 4th grade. These teams and competitions provide the opportunity for students to further their knowledge and skills in the areas of math, science, technology, language arts, computers, robotics, foreign language, and the social sciences.

Fulton Science Academy Model UN 1
Model UN Team, the Best Delegation Award winners, at the Int'l Model United Nations Building in New York

As an integral part of the broader community, FSAPS organizes and hosts three major academic competitions annually.  These are MathGeniuses, the Regional Technology Fair for private and homeschool students, and, for the first time, ScienceGeniuses.  FSAPS is the developer and owner of both the MathGeniuses and ScienceGeniuses competitions. These academic invitational competitions were created to provide another opportunity for our students to compare their skills to others and promote academic growth.

The school’s small population, student teacher ratio, and class sizes enable us to provide challenging, equitable, and individualized education to our students. As an example, in 2nd grade we currently offer four (4) different levels of Math education. These classes are 2nd grade advanced math, 2nd grade accelerated math, 3rd grade math, and 4th grade math. Depending on their assessment level, 2nd grade students take one of these math classes. The same accommodations are available in other grades depending on students’ needs.

Fulton Science Academy Robotics Camp 3
FSAPS Technology Team Hold a Robotics Cabin Camp in Helen, Georgia  

While the majority of FSAPS students perform at around the 90th percentile and higher in nationally normed tests, FSAPS, also, has some on-level students, ESL students, and students who need extra support. Before-school and after- school tutoring, weekend studies, school day support classes, and tools such as Stanford EPGY, ETS Writing, and the Accelerated Reader programs are provided to support student learning.

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FSAPS Students Using Stormwater Floodplain Simulation System 

We systematically and continuously monitor and adjust curriculum, instruction, and assessment to ensure vertical and horizontal alignment. The feedback from assessments, students, parents and collaboration team members are regularly used to improve the educational program. Some examples of adjustments from previous years to this year are the change of the elementary math curriculum from Everyday Math to Math in Focus, addition of College Mentorship Program, addition of Stanford EPGY Program, and addition of ETS Criterion Writing. Also, we improved the FSAPS Comprehensive Assessment Plan, increased elementary school hours, added daily foreign language program starting Pre-K, and added a weekly robotics class for all grades.

Fulton Science Academy ArtBarn13
Elementary Students Visited Art Barn 

The FSAPS Comprehensive Assessment Plan guides our efforts in assessing and monitoring the academic performance of students and faculty in a systematic way. It is reviewed annually and may be revised at any time. Grading and reporting are based on clearly defined criteria and are consistent across grade levels and courses. Over the course of the school year, each student receives eight official report cards communicating their academic and behavioral progress to parents. FSAPS report cards include ten to twelve pages of comprehensive data for a better understanding of student grade averages. Within an academic course, grading is determined by a weighted scale of several different targeted learning areas, including conceptual understanding, application of knowledge, process skills, and responsible for own learning. Regardless of grade level, the weight scale of these targeted-learning areas is the same.  During each reporting period, FSAPS teachers are required to have at least one assignment under each targeted learning area to ensure adequate assessment for a fair evaluation of students’ performance. An explanation for the process used to determine student course averages is shared with our families through course syllabuses, the student/parent handbook, and FSAConnect. 

Fulton Science Academy Private School holds students to high standards both academically and behaviorally. Two different nationally normed tests are used in kindergarten through 8th grade to measure academic progress regularly.  The nationally normed Iowa Assessment is administered annually during the month of May to assess how well the school and students have performed during the academic year.  Additionally, the nationally normed MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test is administered three times each school year during the months of August, December and May. The MAP assessment is used as our school’s benchmark examination tool to evaluate the schools’ progress toward the fulfillment of the academic goals set forth in the School Improvement Plan.  The detailed MAP Descartes Continuum Reports helps  to guide classroom instruction, as well as, analyze the weaknesses and strengths of individual students. The Descartes Continuum Reports provides detailed data regarding individual student performance on specific concepts and skills within a core subject area. This affords teachers the opportunity to refine student tutoring plans, assign reinforcement studies, or to readdress a given concept to a class as a whole when the reports indicates a need for improvement in a given skill or concept. These reports are, also, shared with parents along with the interpretational guide. FSAConnect provides parents with both real time academic progress and behavioral information.  FSAPS developed its behavioral code system and it was integrated into the FSAConnect system, so that parents could stay informed regarding behavioral issues that might arise. At present, FSAPS rarely has behavioral incidents that require anything more than teacher reinforcement of the school’s behavioral code at a classroom level. 

Fulton Science Academy Robotics
FSAPS Lego League Team Enjoying Their Weekend Study as They Prepare for Super-Regionals

Through the FSAPS online portal, FSAConnect, teachers are able to communicate assessments, grades, missing assignments, study guides, rubrics, and class handouts to both students and parents. Students are able to access FSAConnect through their iPads to keep themselves organized and prepared for their classes. Every day at 5 pm, the FSAConnect system sends parents an email communicating their children’s academic summary, recently graded assignments, and missing assignments, if any. Additionally, the current report card feature on FSAConnect allows parents to create an unofficial report card populated with current data, so that at any time they have a tool with which to discuss real-time academic progress with their student.

Our school administration is committed to constant improvement.  A component of realizing this goal is the monitoring and evaluation of faculty members to assure adherence to the school’s values and beliefs, utilization of the approved curriculum, that they consistently monitor their students for areas of opportunity and use early intervention when necessary, and that they conduct themselves in a professional manner. FSAPS teachers consistently adhere to and demonstrate content specific standards of professional teachers including demonstrating professional knowledge of the subject(s) that they teach, utilize best practices for instructional planning, effectively engage students, systematically measure and assess student performance, create a student-centered classroom environment, participate in professional growth, act with integrity and ethics, and communicate effectively. School administrators evaluate faculty members twice a year utilizing classroom observation assessment tools. In the past, FSAPS utilized its own faculty assessment tool, however going forward we have elected to use the ELEOT form.  During the second semester of this school year, we will use the ELEOT form. Also, faculty members prepare an end of year self-assessment that includes sections to address both strengths and weaknesses.  These teaching evaluations provide information for collaboration team leaders, assistant principals, academic team head coach, gifted coordinator and mentor teachers provide assistance, coaching, mentoring, and/or support for all faculty members.

Fulton Science Academy Solar Observation 4
Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project Visited FSA

Regular and systematic meetings of FSAPS staff groups allow the school to continually seek ways to improve, reflect on achievements, identify opportunities, formulate plans, and refocus for continuous forward progression.  The FSAPS administrative team, elementary collaboration faculty team, and the middle grades collaboration faculty team, as well as, the Fulton Science Academy Private School staff, as a whole, meet weekly.  The elementary grades collaboration team meets on Fridays, the middle grades collaboration team meets on Tuesdays, and the school staff meeting is held every Tuesday. These meetings allow teachers to collaborate both horizontally and vertically to better meet the needs of students. Additionally, grade level teachers and/or subject specific teachers may meet as needed to align lesson plans, discuss combining classes for a specific lesson, discuss student work, and/or reflect on methods to engage students for better retention of material. FSAPS teachers, also, meet to collaborate with each other regarding interdisciplinary work to increase retention of coursework. Collaborative efforts among faculty members clearly results in better student results and instructional practices. 

Fulton Science Academy Private School is fortunate to have involved and supportive families. It is our goal to have parent membership increase each year as we maintain and continue to build a culture of partnership among our stakeholders. Efforts to create and/or continue a partnership with our parents begins with the May orientation meeting and continues with orientation day, the welcome picnic, and the welcome coffee events held by the PVO at the beginning of school year. Families are invited to attend school activities designed to celebrate both school and/or student successes, to engage in performance observations, to volunteer at various events, and/or to participate in school activities.  FSAPS parents, also, can serve on the School Improvement Team or in PVO leadership roles. Our families, also, may directly take part in actively supporting their student’s education. Examples of this are coaching a Science Olympiad team, volunteering as a classroom parent or in the library, or scoring papers at the MathGeniuses competition.

Fulton Science Academy Emory
Middle School Students Visited Emory University and Used The Da Vinci Surgical Robot System 

FSAConnect is the tool teachers use to keep families well-informed about the academic and behavioral progress of their children. Additionally, parent conferences are held throughout the school year to discuss specific issues and student progress.  Fulton Science Academy Private School uses the school website, weekly newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and the FSAPS blog to keep families informed about school events and activities.

The school has created a formal structure whereby each student is well known by at least one adult advocate. This program is called the College Mentorship Program. Through this program, about ten (10) students meet with their college mentors every Wednesday between 2:55 and 3:30 to work on academic proficiency, counseling and guidance, and college and career readiness.  As part of this program, students, also, attend bi-weekly speaker assemblies that cover topics such as leadership, organizational skills, presentation skills, personal budgeting, financial literacy, and conflict resolution.

3rd place so fulton science academy
Science Olympiad Team Won 3rd Place at State

Professional develop of our staff is critical to our philosophy of continuous improvement. FSAPS teachers are currently participating in a gifted endorsement program from Metro RESA. Since fifteen (15) of our teachers are attending this program, Metro RESA kindly offered to hold the program at our school and tailored it for our specific needs. All teachers attending the program will receive their gifted endorsements in May 2015. We will continue to offer this gifted endorsement program on an on-going basis to all new teachers that join the FSAPS faculty team. As part of this program teachers learn effective and engaging teaching methods and practices to better serve the needs of students. Additionally, teachers and administrators are provided other professional development opportunities based on the needs of both the school and the individual. As with the gifted endorsement program, FSAPS continually seeks opportunities for our faculty and administration to develop professional skills that will yield improved student results, more effective instructional methods, and an improved learning environment. Our school, also, encourages administration and faculty members to stay current on the latest research, materials, and tools available to improve student results. 

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Elementary Students Visited Atlanta Botanical Garden

Fulton Science Academy Private School does not have the resources or provide an environment to formally serve special needs students in an effective manner. However, for students that meet our enrollment criteria and may need some additional support services it is our policy to make reasonable accommodations provided that the parents take financial responsibility for all additional services and the accommodations made do not interfere with classroom instruction and/or require additional staffing. For example, we can provide room and make schedule adjustments for speech therapy, occupational therapy, extra tutoring for ESL students, etc.

Fulton Science Academy Orlando Trip
Middle Grades Orlando Trip

Through our administrative meetings, collaboration meetings, PVO meetings, student council, and School Improvement Team meetings, it is our goal to sustain and/or improve on the aforementioned items to better serve the needs of students.

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Middle Grades Washington Trip

Fulton Science Academy Private School’s culture demands that all stakeholders constantly look to the future and seek ways to improve curriculum, instructional practices, assessments, communication tools/practices, and the school environment to create higher achievement levels and expanded opportunities for our students.  As a community, we strive to always reach for the next goal and find better tools and practices to help us obtain it.

Fulton Science Academy Private School Pre-K Program


  • Academically focused Pre-K program in a nurturing environment
  • A rigorous early learning curriculum
  • Competitive admission criteria 
  • Small class size providing individual attention
  • Teachers dedicated to helping your child excel socially and academically
  • Weekly Art, Music, Computer, Robotics and Physical Education classes from Specialized and Certified Teachers in fully equipped classes
  • Enrichment activities such as field trips, guest speakers, and family events
  • Daily foreign language classes
  • Fully equipped playground and gym for recess
  • Extended school day between 8:00am to 3:30pm
  • Daily After School Clubs between 3:40 and 4:20pm
  • After School Care is available till 6:00pm

Pre-K Picture 1

Pre-Kindergarten Program Objectives 
The purpose of our Pre-K program istoprovide a safe, nurturing, high-quality learning environment to families witchildrebetweethe ages of 4 and 5 years that are ready for something more than child care.   Our school has developed a quality Kindergarten preparatory program emphasizing math and science curriculum in a technology rich environment, while still allowing our youngest students to grow socially and emotionally in a nurturing and loving classroom community.

Optimal Learning Environment 
FSAPS provides our youngest scholars with the opportunity to grow, learn, and play in an environment conducive to fostering academic growth. These very special students will be challenged with mastering the earliest academic building blocks, while instilling self-confidence and a deep love of learning.

We are dedicated to provide our students with the small class size (no more than 18 students) necessary for effective small group and one-on-one learning. Students are invited into our spacious and colorful classroom by our two experienced Pre-K teachers whose top priority each day is to challenge their students to excel in all academic areas.  Our OWL curriculum (see more about this below) emphasizes advanced early literacy while providing ample opportunities for our teachers to expose students to increasingly complex math and science concepts.

Pre-K Picture 2

Meet our Experienced Team 
Ms. Ellie Kanov is our lead teacher and has 9 years of experience leading her Pre-K students into the world of reading and advanced mathematics.  Captivating her young learners with engaging and hands-on lessons make every new concept a unique learning experience.  Ms. Kanov’s dedication to incorporating technology, music, and a wide variety of literature in her class ensure her students are eager to attend school ready to learn each day!

Mrs. Jayne Unal is our full-time assistant teacher for Pre-K.  She returns to FSAPS for her second year to comprise the other half of this dynamic duo!  She is eager to help our youngest students become as excited about the world of mathematics as her upper elementary students have been in the past.

Enrichment Programs 
Our school offers a variety of enrichment classes and clubs for our Pre-Kindergarten students.  Students “travel” to a different enrichment class every day.  Leaving the classroom environment is a unique feature of our Pre-K program that allows students to immerse themselves in the world of art, computers, robotics, music, or physical education.  Our gymnasium, Computer and Robotics labs, and Art and Music classrooms are equipped with materials to engage and excite our youngest learners.  Each enrichment class faculty member is experienced and certified to educate our Pre-K students develop their age-appropriate skills in each specialized area. 

Fulton Science Academy ArtBarn2

In addition to these daily enrichment class excursions, students also receive foreign language instruction every day.  Students will be exposed to Spanish for one semester, and then the Turkish language for the other.  Daily foreign language instruction and equal exposure to these two languages will help students and parents make an informed decision on which language each child will choose to continue with for the remainder of their years here at FSAPS.  As the years continue, language immersion techniques will help your child achieve near fluency in the language of their choice.
When the school day ends, the learning does not!  FREE after school clubs for Pre-K students from 3:40 until 4:20 pm each day are specifically designed to complement our rigorous early learning curriculum.  Students may choose to attend any or all of 5 different clubs (“Hands-On Science”, “Nature Explorers”, “Adventures in Reading”, “Legos & Games”, and “Arts & Crafts”) each of which are taught by teachers who have at least two years of experience educating Pre-K students.

Pre-K - Picture 3

Comprehensive Pre-K Curriculum
The pre-K years are a time of promise, a time when young children's bodies and minds are growing at an incredible rate. The pre-K years are a time for learning.  Amid the growing awareness of the importance of quality early childhood education, researchers and policymakers are underscoring how critical it is for children to be prepared for kindergarten.  With Opening the World of Learning ™ (OWL) as your Pre-K comprehensive curriculum, you can rest assured that your kiddos will be On The Way To K!

An Enriching Environment
Opening the World of Learning is a comprehensive pre-K curriculum, equitable in English and Spanish.  OWL prepares children for Kindergarten with ongoing assessment of research-based success predictors and playful, purposeful, and personalized instruction.  OWL is based upon the belief that immersion in a learning-rich, pre-K environment is critical but not sufficient. The environment and interactions must be thoughtful and purposeful. All parts of the day should be considered opportunities for learning, and the teacher should know the curriculum content, instructional strategies, and individual children well enough to be responsive in a variety of situations.  Through the use of essential questions, teachers help children connect content to their experiences, which takes them beyond rote learning and leads to thoughtful, reflective learning.

College and Career Readiness Starts in Pre-K

Contact us today to begin your child on the "Road to Success"
FSAPS personalizes curriculum to meet the needs of each student, so that they have the opportunity to meet their fullest potential.  A rigorous early learning curriculum, multiple enrichment programs, and a loving faculty dedicated to helping your child excel socially and academically comprise our proven formula for successful Kindergarten readiness.  Contact our Admissions Director today at to help your child succeed tomorrow!


FSAPS students attended Washington, D.C. between May 1st and May 6th. It was an action packed trip with so much to do and see! A great time was had by all! We had perfect weather, which was wonderful considering all the walking we had to do!

We visited several museums including; The Natural History Museum, The American History Museum, 2 Air and Space museums,The National Geographic Explorer's Hall, and The Newseum. 

We tried to catch a glimpse of The President at The White House and viewed The National Archives. 

We were able to see the breathtaking memorials of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and the WWII Memorial. 

We also toured Mt. Vernon, the beautiful home of George Washington. One of the highlights of the trip was that some of our students were chosen to participate in a wreath laying ceremony on his tomb... a very special honor indeed. 

We witnessed the Changing of the Guards at Arlington National Cemetery and saw JFK's eternal flame. 

We visited the National Zoo and the adorable pandas, and had a special tour of the U.S. Capitol. 

A BIG thank you to our organizers! Go Educational Tours was a wonderful company to work with as well!

Pictures from our trip and the video from Mt. Vernon is on Facebook at Go Educational Tours.