CGLA Opens School Year With A Week Of Transitional Programming

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy will begin the new school year Thursday by hosting a week of special activities and celebrations, designed to spark excitement and establish high expectations as the CGLA community returns to the classroom. First week activities begin on Thursday and continue through Wednesday, Aug. 9. 

“The first week of school is a brief yet critical period for both teachers and students,” says Dr Elaine Swafford,  CGLA executive director. “Acknowledging that students need time to adapt and recalibrate from the relaxing days of summer to the structured educational environment sets a positive tone for the launch of a new school year. By offering a week of transitional programming, faculty and students have the opportunity to interact and connect. They are able to build relationships that nurture academic success.”

Dr. Swafford continues by referencing research about school attendance. “Studies confirm that students who attend school on the first day are more enthusiastic about their education and more hopeful about their futures. Without question, the programming during first week of school is foundational for improving attendance and achieving high academic performance.”

Working throughout the summer, the CGLA faculty coordinated transitional programming to helpstudents start the school year strong and prepared. According to Maryo Beck, CGLA principal, teachers planned activities to elevate the school’s commitment to educational excellence. “Our schedule encourages exchanges between faculty and students,” notes Mr. Beck. “For example, students and faculty will engage in open discussions about topics such as bullying, college readiness, community service, careers, financial management, health and wellness, and technology. Activities include a cookout with games, followed by sessions when faculty and
students explore their shared extracurricular interests. Students and faculty will also spend a day traveling together to visit local colleges, learning about emerging STEM careers.” 

“The week concludes with faculty and students participating a variety of team and relationship building exercises,” says Dr. Swafford. “We want the last day of the first week of school to be the positive beginning for the next 36 weeks of the school year. We want the 2017-2018 school year to be defined by a concept of community and teamwork that instills confidence and cooperation and recognizes the potential of every individual.” 

For more information about the beginning of the CGLA school year, contact Donna Coleman, director of development, at 618-5362 or For more information about CGLA, visit the school’s website at

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