‘Shout Out’ to our great students, teachers and schools

There are a lot of GREAT things happening in our district. Each month I give “shout outs” to students, staff and volunteers who are helping us with our mission to have every APS student graduate ready for college and career.  There is SO MUCH good happening in APS, this may become a weekly blog post!

Let’s give a shout out to:

Rivers Elementary School for rallying more than 100 student walkers and their families, including dogs and strollers, for Georgia Walk to School Day. Some families walked three miles one way! What a great way to inspire community and fitness!

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Brijida Del’valle of West End Academy! She was chosen by Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP and the Center for Civil and Human Rights for the center’s first Youth Activism Fellowship. This fellowship gives metro-Atlanta teenagers the opportunity to explore the intersection of culture, community, and human rights with a particular emphasis on human rights leadership.  Students are chosen based on their leadership qualities. Way to lead Brijida!

 

Aleigha Henderson-Rosser executive director, Information Services and her Atlanta Virtual Academy team for offering our APS high school students free test preparation services as they prepare for college entrance exams.

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North Atlanta High School for excelling in leadership, arts and athletics!

 

The North Atlanta High School JROTC Leadership Team placed first out of 521 teams in the JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl Level II competition and have advanced to level III.   They were one of 40 leadership teams chosen to advance to Washington, DC for the Level III National Leadership Bowl, June 26-30, 2015.

 

The North Atlanta High School Concert, Symphonic and Philharmonic Orchestras each received Straight Superior Ratings at the Georgia Music Educators Association’s Large Group Performance Evaluation.

North Atlanta’s swim team finished 7th overall in the state!

Keep up the good work NAHS!

West Manor Elementary 5th grade student Kendall Smith. Kendall has been named a Ben Carson Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. This is the second year in a row that West Manor has produced a Carson Scholar. Congratulations Kendell!

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Beecher Hills Elementary for fostering an atmosphere of parent engagement. The school’s PTA President, Antwan McKee received the 2015 Georgia Parent Leadership award. How awesome is that?

Early College pre-engineering student, Taylor Dalton of Maynard Jackson High School. She received a cash award from Mr. Rod Batiste of Fast Track Atlanta for her group’s t-shirt design in the Small Business Project contest. Taylor was the Chief Operating Officer for her group. The Maynard Jackson-NASP FAST Track Program is a nine-month program that allows students to explore different careers, learn about starting a business and prepares the student to be successful in all of their endeavours!  Congrats Taylor!

APS students that placed in the High School Innovation Weekend 2015 challenge. Senior executives from Coca-Cola invited students to create solutions to address the challenge of inspiring the next generation of teens to connect and engage, with Coca- Cola in mind. The students were split into teams with students from different high schools.  APS students whose team placed first in the challenge were Tyrhonda Stinson and Rakim Woods of Maynard Jackson High School.  APS students whose team placed second were Dominique Pope, Juaqueair Johnson and DeAndre Green of Maynard Jackson High School and Brandon Sykes of Drew Charter School. Great Job!

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The Mays girls basketball team for winning their region championship and making it all the way to the State Championship game for the first time since 2003! Awesome job ladies. What a great way to represent your school and community.

Way to go APS! Keep up the great work!

A Beautiful READesign for West Manor Elementary School

WManor2014-110I was excited to be on hand this week as we helped Target and The Heart of America Foundation unveil West Manor Elementary’s newly renovated school library!

The renovated space features 2,000 new books, furniture, carpet, shelves, 25 iPads, a flat screen television; and a school broadcast video system complete with a mixer, laptop, teleprompter and green screen for closed-caption televised morning announcements inside the classrooms.  Following the ribbon cutting, each West Manor student received a Target backpack with seven books to take home.

WManor2014-123So many Target employee volunteers from all across metro Atlanta, as well as volunteers from The Heart of America Foundation decorated the library and put books on shelves.  This was a big job and they did it with a smile.

Congratulations to Principal Dr. Reginald Lawrence on this new fantastic space for our students and a big thank you to Tom Knowles, community captain for Target Atlanta, John Flynn, vice president of READesign for The Heart of America Foundation, our friends from The United Way, Horizons and community volunteers for their support of West Manor and so many of our other APS schools.  I’ve been a part of these library make-overs in my past districts as well, but this is my first full library makeover in Atlanta.  I can truly say that they make a huge impact on the passion students have for reading.  Books have the power to change a child’s life and we really appreciate all of our corporate sponsors and volunteers!

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Leaders love to have fun! Thank you Danielle Battle, Associate Superintendent, for joining me for this great event.

Big things are happening at West Manor Elementary. Last week this school made the 2013 and 2014 lists of Georgia Department of Education reward schools! Rewards schools are among the top schools in the state for having the highest performance or highest gains by students over a three-year period.  I am really excited about the great things going on at this school.

Congratulations, West Manor! And, again, thank you to everyone for supporting this school.

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Eight APS Schools Named 2014 Reward Schools by the Georgia Department of Education

The Georgia Department of Education has announced the 2014 Reward Schools.  Eight APS schools earned Reward designations this year.
 
A Highest-Performing School is among the five percent of the state’s Title I schools with the highest absolute performance, over three years, for the “all students” group on the statewide assessments. A school may not be classified as a Highest-Performing School if it has been identified as a Priority, Focus, or Alert School.
 
A Highest-Progress School is among the 10 percent of the state’s Title I schools making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over three years on the statewide assessments. A school may not be classified as a High-Progress school if it has been identified as a Priority, Focus, or Alert School.
making the list this year.  
 
In a release earlier today, State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said “The schools on this list represent some of the finest efforts being put forth in Georgia education.  The educators, parents, students, and communities who came together to move these schools forward should take great pride in the results.”
 
I agree.  The 2014 APS Reward Schools are:
 
Highest Performing
  • Charles Drew Charter School
  • Inman Middle School
  • KIPP Strive Academy
  • West Manor Elementary School
Highest Progress
  • KIPP VISION
  • North Atlanta High School
  • Perkerson Elementary School
  • Scott Elementary School
New to the list this year are KIPP VISION, North Atlanta High School, Perkerson Elementary School and Scott Elementary School.  
   
Former Rewards List Schools (2012 and 2013)
Highest Performing & Highest Progress
Early College High School at Carver  (2012, 2013)
Highest Progress
Booker T. Washington  – Early College Small School  (2013)
South Atlanta Law and Social Justice School   (2012)
The Best Academy at Benjamin S. Carson (2012)
Washington High School (2012)