Archive for October, 2010
A group of seven British educators finished up their week observing elementary and middle schools APS with a “high tea” at the Center for Learning and Leadership, sharing notes from their trip before preparing their return to the United Kingdom. The teachers shared their experiences with APS administrators Joyce McCloud (Office of the Superintendent), Dr. Susan Dyer (Curriculum & Instruction) and Dr. Eric Rosser (Project GRAD) over tea and snacks.
“I believe that the exchange of ideas and best practices would enhance the educational environment of students both here in APS and students back in the United Kingdom,” Dyer said. ”It’s really instructive having somebody externally let us know that we’re on the right track, and that what we do is important enough for them to come from England to sit down and talk to our principals and teachers and ask, ‘What are the best practices APS is using to support and improve academic performance of our students? We can take back these skills to the British Isles.’”
By the time we caught up with British teachers Lynn Keast and Annemarie Kendell the bus was waiting to take them back to their hotels after spending their third and final day at M. Agnes Jones Elementary, so we only had a moment to check in on their experiences. But it was still a delightful experience as they shared what they learned while working with kindergarten team leader Ryan Harry and first-grade team leader Jim Gale. Check out the video above, and come back Friday as we recap the experiences at the other participating schools around APS: Coretta Scott King YWLA, Kennedy Middle School, and Dunbar, Parkside and Smith Primary elementary schools. (Here’s the feature about their first impressions from earlier in the week.)
For the third consecutive year, the Sutton Middle School boys’ soccer team captured the Metro Atlanta Soccer League title. Just as impressively, the team cruised to a 15-0 season after almost doubling the number of games from last year’s 9-1 championship season. The Cougars outscored opponents 76-8 and dominated in all but a handful of games, shutting out all three of their opponents in the playoffs including a 2-0 win over Decatur’s Renfroe Middle School in the championship game.
Here head coach Jay Bland explains how co-captains Daniel Adelman, Joshua Uribe and Ivan Ramirez helped lead the team to the title, and how vital they’ll be as eighth-graders helping out North Atlanta High‘s junior-varsity team when it begins action in February. Bland needs their help; he also coaches North Atlanta High’s varsity team, and after losing nine seniors from last year’s team, depth will be a concern. “The whole plan is to have players move all way through the ranks, play for me until they are seniors, and watch them graduate and hopefully go to college,” explained Bland, who works with JV head coach Michael Slack at North Atlanta High.
We also enjoyed talking to the three co-captains about how they juggle athletics with academics, because as Adelman pointed out, if you don’t keep up good grades, you don’t play!
We were really excited to learn about the teachers from the United Kingdom visiting Atlanta Public Schools this week to interact with our school faculty and staff and share some of the ideas. So we decided to pop in on one of the schools, M. Agnes Jones Elementary, and listen in on what is shaping up to be a fascinating cultural exchange on education. Principal Margul Woolfolk and three faculty members — Jim Gale, first-grade teacher team leader and parent support specialist; Melanie Johnson, learning support specialist; and Ryan Harry, kindergarten team leader — welcomed British teachers Lynn Keast and Annemarie Kendell for the week. Keast teaches at Perranporth Community Primary while Kendell teachers at St. Stephens Community Primary – both in the Cornwall area along the southern coast of England.
In these two videos combined into one (thanks, Armon Moore!), we both got an introduction to all the folks in the room and then listened in on their dialogue, which continued long after the camera stopped. We can’t wait to check back in at the end of the week to see how it went. But an initial visit showed that the British teachers were extremely impressed with how M. Agnes Jones is organized and managed, from the way the students respect the teachers to the way the afternoon dismissal is executed. (The teachers were awestruck at how quickly so 620 students — whether walking, getting picked up by their guardians or boarding the school buses — were able to make their way home!)
Check back in later in the week for a follow-up visit.
The 18th annual Bus Trip Across Georgia will make stops at two schools in APS next week, including The New Schools at Carver at 1:45 p.m. Oct. 27 and Charles R. Drew Charter School at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 28. More than 70 education stakeholders representing business, government, education and citizen groups will participate as riders on two tour buses visiting schools in Georgia on Oct. 26-28. The purpose of the tour is to honor high-achieving schools and provide education stakeholders from around the state a chance to see what is working in these schools.
UPDATE: Read AJC article here.
Congratulations go out to Grady High School‘s vaunted mock trial team, which came home this past weekend with a unique world title. Twelve members of the team, which previously place third in national competition this past summer, won the Empire City Mock Trial Association Tournament held in New York City. The team had been preparing for a case since July and had to argue both sides in the weekend competition. After racking up one of the two highest scores through the four rounds of competition, the team faced, and defeated, a home-schooled team from North Carolina.
We took some time to speak to two of the top competitors, juniors Shaun Kleber and Elizabeth McGlamry, along with attorney-coach Carl Gebo (of Adorno & Yoss), who works with the team. Kleber won an award for best attorney and best witness, while McGlamry won best overall attorney for the competition. Here they explain how that plays out, and how participating in Grady’s program makes them better students.
The school’s mock trial team keeps getting better, having placed 13th nationally in 2000, 16th in 2005, eighth in 2009 and third this year. The team faced competition from 29 other teams including teams from Ireland, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Canada. The win earned the team coverage from WXIA (11Alive). Congratulations also go out to Grady head coach Brian Leahy and their teammates: Egan Allen, Abena Amoakuh, David Bufkin, Jasmine Burnett, Atiana Johnson, Troy Kleber, Miller Lansing, Katherine Sherwood, Sam Weinstock and Alix Youngblood. Leahy was assisted by Gebo and fellow local attorney Cecily McLeod.
Seven public school teachers from Cornwall, England, will visit half a dozen APS schools next week as part of an international exchange of best and alternative educational practices. The British teachers are scheduled to visit Coretta Scott King and Kennedy middle schools and Dunbar, Smith Primary, Jones and Parkside elementary schools Monday-Friday, Oct. 25-29.
The trip is funded by the British Department of Children, Schools and Families and organized by the British Council, which arranges educational trips abroad for British teachers around themes relevant to their schools. The British teachers plan to visit schools in small groups of between one and three individuals spread over the five-day period among the six APS schools. News media representatives are invited to cover the visits.
The Inman Middle School 5K Race will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, (registration will be at 7:30 a.m.). The theme: “Walk, Run, Soar Like an Eagle.” The cost is $10 per student, $20 per adult and $25 on the day of the race. The school welcomed 200 runners last year and hopes to double the number for this year. There are several ways to register and scholarships are available for this event:
1. Runners can download a registration form from the Inman PTA website and then mail it in;
2. Obtain a form at Inman Middle School and then mail it in;
3. Register at www.active.com;
4. Register in person at Phidippides Shoes in the Ansley Mall (1544 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309 (404-875-4268);
5. Register at Inman at 7:30 a.m., day of the race.
Questions? Contact Michelle Hendry at 678-468-3736 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: Beggs discusses the recent Domecoming football showcase.
Jeff Beggs has joined APS as director of athletics with district-wide responsibilities for leadership of the interscholastic sports program, sports training and competition throughout all grade levels. Beggs brings a 31-year background as a system-level athletic director, a high school athletic director, head coach, assistant principal and teacher for a number of schools and districts in the state. He currently serves as president of the Georgia Athletic Directors Association (GADA), where he also is a member of the GADA Board of Directors.
Beggs holds a bachelor of arts degrees in health and physical education and political science from Furman University and a master’s of education in health and physical education, as well as educational leadership from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. He earned his Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) certification from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) in 2004 and earned his Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) certification in 2006. Beggs was awarded the NIAAA Award of Merit in 2006, State of Georgia AAAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2008 and the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2009.
Carver School of the Arts
Dr. Marvin Pryor, principal
Randolph Bynum, associate superintendent of high schools
Wanda Brown-Cook, a native of Atlanta, graduated from Spelman College with a bachelor of arts degree in English. She received a master’s degree in education at Buffalo State University of New York in the Teacher Corps/Peace Corps program. Later, she pursued further studies at Troy State University. (Watch her acceptance speech as High School Teacher of the Year here.)