Archive for March, 2011
The Henry W. Grady High School Mock Trial Team captured the Georgia State Mock Trial Championship for the third consecutive year, following last weekend’s competition.
The Grady team defeated the Jonesboro High School team Saturday and went on to defeat Clarke Central High School Sunday for the state title.
Grady High School will represent the state at the National Mock Trial Competition May 4 – 8 in Phoenix, AZ.
You may recall our intern, Grady High junior Elizabeth McGlamry, who in her spare time is a championship competitor for Grady’s vaunted mock trial team. (See video above for refresher!) Here she writes about the ongoing state championship this weekend. She’ll have an update next week, with a personal perspective on the competition. Good luck to Elizabeth and Grady. Here’s her take:
With exhibits and examinations in hand, 18 of the state’s most talented mock trial teams prepare to head to the Gwinnett County Courthouse for Georgia’s High School Mock Trial State competition. Sixteen regional champions and two wild card picks will go to face-off in mock trials for the state champion title. The case is a liability case over a wrongful termination because of a violation of civil rights set in the fictional city of Miltonville. Two police officers – a former detective and the chief of police – battle to prove who was right: the detective, who believes he was fired for a comment he posted on a social networking site called “MiltFace” and the chief, who vehemently denies such accusations.
Teams provide 14 competing members two provide for two sides of the case, defense and plaintiff, and each side has three attorneys, three witness roles and one time keeper. Sides go against the opposite of another school for roughly two and a half hours, creating a law-and-order-type atmosphere as they conduct an entire trial from preliminary matters to closing arguments. With two rounds on Saturday and the semifinal and final rounds on Sunday, the competition spans the whole weekend and ends with the crowning of a new state championship and the passing of the giant, state-champion gavel.
Bejanae Kareem, a second-grade teacher at Parkside Elementary, has recently applied for a Brightpoint Literacy Classroom Mini-Grant. Everyone visiting Brightpoint from March 16 to April 10 will be invited to vote for the proposal they think will best engage boys in literacy learning. Please log-on and vote for her proposal.
Voting takes place in four easy steps:
Step 1: Visit the following link: http://www.brightpointliteracy.com/content/literacy-classroom-mini-grant/
Step 2: Scroll down and click BEJANAE KAREEM, then select VOTE FOR BEJANAE!
Step 3: Type in PARKSIDE ATLANTA, then click our school.
Step 4: Select BEJANAE KAREEM from the drop down menu, then insert your name, email, title and click SUBMIT.
Please share this with your family, friends, and colleagues. VOTE AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE! We greatly appreciate your support in promoting literacy for our male students!
The Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education is beginning the process of searching for a new superintendent and has asked the executive search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to help the Board with the process.
As one of the initial steps in the process, the Board would like your input on the desired characteristics and skills that you would like to see in the next APS superintendent. Please share your thoughts by responding to the survey. Click the link below to take the survey.
As you respond, please remember that all characteristics listed are desirable, but we are interested in knowing your perceptions about which characteristics are “most important” for a superintendent.
Atlanta Public Schools‘ lottery system will determine who gets the 880 state-funded pre-K slots in 44 APS classrooms at 32 sites. Parents can register their child for the 2011-12 school year if he or she is 4 years old on or before September 1, 2011. Following are key dates and locations (with mapping hyperlinked):
- Sat., April 16 (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) – registration at Maynard H. Jackson High School
- Thurs., April 21 (6 p.m.-9 p.m.) – registration at the Instructional Services Center at the Dean Rusk Building
- Sat., April 23 (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) – registration at Inman Middle School
- Fri., April 29 (12 p.m.-3 p.m.) – lottery drawing at the Instructional Services Center at the Dean Rusk Building
Additional information – such as addresses for registration sites and required documentation – will soon be posted on the APS Web site. Prospective parents can also call the Pre-K Program Office at 404-802-3640.
You may recall Matt Westmoreland from our Atlanta Educator profile on the Carver Early College teacher and Grady High grad (Class of 2006). Here we get to watch him speaking to the valedictorians, salutatorians and “STAR” students during the annual breakfast honoring their work, hosted by Georgia Power and featuring APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall. It’s a moving speech that touches on a racial divide that challenges the city in general and our education system in particular. Westmoreland left them with a touching reminder: As you embark on an amazing college adventure, don’t forget your home. He clearly didn’t.
We had a chance to videotape some of the speeches delivered by the valedictorians, salutatorians and “STAR” students who were honored this week at the annual breakfast featuring Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall and hosted by Georgia Power. Here we get to watch in on Paul Harris, Jr. (valedictorian and “STAR” student of Carver Early College) and Edward Furman Mosely, III (salutatorian of Douglass High) speak during the segment “Fulfilling the Dream.” Enjoy!
Atlanta Public Schools students improved their performance by four percentage points and eliminated the achievement gap between the district and students around the state on the new Georgia Grade 8 Writing Assessment in 2011. Also, 83 percent of APS eighth-graders scored at “meets” or “exceeds” standards levels.
The results indicate steady improvement by APS students to the point where they are on par with their counterparts throughout the state, who also averaged 83 percent meeting or exceeding standards on the 2011 writing assessment.
A total of 3,093 APS students took the state writing test. The results indicate that APS students improved their performance from 79 percent meeting or exceeding standards last year to 83 percent scoring in those categories on the 2011 results.
The new Georgia Grade 8 Writing Assessment was administered for the first time in 2007. The purpose of the assessment is to assess student achievement on the Georgia Performance Standards in writing and to improve writing and writing instruction. Students are required to respond to writing prompts on either an expository or persuasive writing topic.
“Consistent, incremental improvement over time constitutes positive proof that our reform programs implemented over the past decade are effective in escalating student academic performance,” said Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall. “I congratulate our teachers and school-based staff and administrators for their dedication and hard work to achieve these very positive results.”
Two Grady High students will join the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra for the group’s Winter Concert on Saturday, March 12, at Symphony Hall inside the Woodruff Arts Center. Junior cellist Andrew Cleveland and senior bassist Kiah Simmons will perform with more than 100 talented youth musicians in this orchestra geared toward 13-18-year-olds.
“I love it because I’ve made a lot of friends in there,” Cleveland said. “I know everyone even though we have around 100 people.”
Cleveland, a four-year member orchestra, has been playing the cello for nine years, following his grandmother’s dream.
“My grandmother played cello,” Cleveland said. “I play with her old cello, which is like 120 years old. It’s great for me because music is a beautiful thing and a fun way to express yourself.”
Cleveland practices cello Monday through Thursday, four hours a day, in addition to ASYO practices every Saturday morning. He balances this and playing bass in a rock band called Lotus Slide.
Beecher Hills Elementary fifth-grader Trinity Davenport has been chosen to be a part of a seven-member youth panel (elementary through high school) at the Second Annual Georgia School Wellness Summit on March 19 on the campus of Clayton State University. Davenport will not only be representing Beecher Hills and APS, but also the voice of every student in the state of Georgia.
Davenport served as a school Student Wellness Ambassador last year, and this year serves as the schools SGA president while participating in an orchestra trio (viola), the Junior Beta Club, and as a “Buzzing Bee” volunteer in the media center.
“I’m really excited because I get to show the wellness efforts at the school,” said Davenport.
Indeed, Beecher Hills is active about being active, thanks in part to third-year physical-education instructor Kristin Horton. The school starts the day with an optional yoga class that is shown on closed-circuit TV. (About half the school participates, depending on the day.) Plenty of recess time is provided, after lunchtime. And each Wednesday, the school staff and students wear a laminated purple badge encouraging everyone to avoid junk food.
But the excitement this year is over a competition between staff and students over who will be the most active. Each participant marks how many steps they take using pedometer. What started out as a month-long competition will probably last until the end of the school year, Horton says.
“The purpose of the youth panel is to learn from the youth how to better engage them in making their school and community healthier. This is an amazing opportunity for Trinity, and she deserves credit for her hard work and dedication to the health and well-being of her fellow peers,” said Horton. “The faculty is taking their health and wellness and made it a priority, and we’re setting an example for the students.” In fact, next week the school will undergo a health assessment from a visiting company, Health MPowers.
The event is sponsored by Action for Healthy Kids and will feature other wellness-related organizations.