Posts filed under ‘Middle School Transformation’
APS elementary- and middle-schoolers get scientific at One Academic Fair, hosted by B.E.S.T. Academy
We spent some time Wednesday surveying the science projects by APS elementary- and middle-schoolers at the One Academic Fair that ran through Thursday at B.E.S.T. Academy. Come back to this post for more information.
SCAD-Atlanta’s Buzz Bus, filled with students, faculty and staff from “The University for Creative Careers,” made a surprise visit to B.E.S.T. Academy Middle School in December to lead students in a hands-on workshop in art and design. The event was coordinated by B.E.S.T. Academy’s guidance counselor, Joni N. Lawson.
The SCAD representatives demonstrated the use of the grid method to analyze and create art. The B.E.S.T. students, each of whom was given a photo of President Barack Obama, were asked to recreate their favorite square from within the gridded image. Once the squares were completed, each student’s square was placed with the squares of their classmates to recreate the original, whole image.
B.E.S.T. art teacher Sammie Gordon was also presently surprised to receive SCAD’s surprise donation of art supplies for his classroom. “I am so grateful and appreciative,” Gordon said. SCAD’s mascot, Art the Bee, participated in the fun, presenting the students with backpacks and notebooks.
Principal LaPaul Shelton was overwhelmed with gratitude at having SCAD conduct the workshop for his students. The finished piece will hang in the school as a testament to his student’s creativity.
The young men of B.E.S.T. Academy High School chose to wear a bowtie as a part of their school uniform. Principal Boris Hurst is convinced that “the bowtie fosters a new look of distinction among the high school students.” Students received their bowties at a formal ceremony where school partner 100 Black Men of Atlanta was on hand to assist with distribution of the ties.
B.E.S.T. Academy High School is a part of the latest phase in the Middle School Transformation Initiative that includes single-gender academies. B.E.S.T. and the all-female Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA) each opened high schools this year, starting with the freshman class that grew out of their respective middle schools, and will continue to grow until they feature all four high-school grades.
Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy welcomed Noni Carter (pictured, above center), a metro Atlanta native, Harvard freshman and first-time published author of the novel Good Fortune. CSKYWLA’s Pen-Pal Club Project hosted the visit. In two morning sessions, Carter met with students who have scored in the 70% in ELA/Reading Comprehension. It is the school’s hope that by sharing her story, students are encouraged and inspired to continue to explore the world around them through literature, and to express their ideas and to tell their stories through writing.
Pen-Pal Club Project members, and the two top students who have shown the greatest improvement in ELA/Reading this year, received an autograph copy of Good Fortune. Hat tip to Zola Mullen for sharing the news!
Nearly 50 representatives from a range of professions in the Atlanta area gave Sylvan Hills Middle School students a window into their future for Career Day on Wednesday. Everyone from the Atlanta Braves to Zen Massage to UPS and the Atlanta Police Department spent the day showing students why preparing for high school is just the next logical step on a path that could take them to any number of professional possibilities.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students, and we can’t tell you how much we appreciate what you’re doing,” Sylvan Hills Principal Gwen Atkinson told the professionals. She explained that Sylvan Hills is one of the few schools in the district that is separated by gender (as opposed to single-gender schools like B.E.S.T. Academy), and listed some of the school’s supplemental offerings such as Success for All reading program. Two Hands on Atlanta volunteers were available to assist in the day’s activities.
(UPDATE: For more photos, visit Scott King’s gallery here in the Media Gallery.)
Attendees at the third-annual Shirley Clarke Franklin Lecture Series, held Friday morning at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, were treated to a doubleheader of women’s history. Not only did students, faculty, staff and other guests enjoy an inspiring lecture from guest speaker Dr. Christine King Farris — the only surviving sibling of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — but they also were treated to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the school’s new building that opened in January.
Dr. Farris told the audience she was proud “to have the opportunity to speak at a school dedicated to someone who I loved like a sister. This is the first and most significant thing that has been named after a woman who served Atlanta so well.”
King Farris challenged students to live the legacy that Coretta Scott King shared with her husband: working hard for peace, social justice and non-violence. She also made reference to March as National Women’s History Month, saying “We are truly writing women back into history!”
After her speech, Dr. Farris and Franklin fielded questions from students. CSKYWLA sixth-grader Radiant Harrison asked what advice Dr. Farris gives her Spelman College students.
“Take your work seriously, and whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability,” Dr. Farris said. “And two, remember those who made it possible for you to attend Spelman, and to give something back.” Another student asked Franklin what advice she would give her successor, newly elected Mayor Kasim Reed. Franklin repeated advice given to her by former mayors, including Andrew Young, who was in the audience with his wife. “They told me to listen to my head, and listen to my heart,” she said.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony that preceded the lecture served as a family reunion of sorts. Two of Dr. King’s children — Southern Christian Leadership Conference President-elect Bernice King and activist Martin Luther King III — and several other relatives joined in the ceremony. King III and his wife, Arndrea, helped their daughter, Yolanda Renee King, cut the ribbon as the crowd cheered.
APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall and Atlanta Board of Education Chair LaChandra Butler Burks also spoke at the event, as well as CSKYWLA Principal Melody Morgan, Bernice King, CSKYWLA PTSA President Barbara Mobley, SRT-4 Executive Director Tamara Cotman, and Brian Newell of CD Moody Construction, which supervised construction of the school’s new building.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA) today, where he observed classes and hosted a roundtable discussion with educators, students and community members. Atlanta Board of Education Chair LaChandra Butler Burks and APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall participated in the roundtable discussion. Burks initiated a brief discussion on how the federal government could better support local school boards in governing school districts. Much of the discussion centered on single-gender schools and how they provide a unique educational experience. CSKYWLA is an all-girls school currently serving students in grades 6-8. Several students and Principal Melody Morgan contributed to the discussion.
Duncan said he was impressed with the new school and campus, which opened for the first time last month. Earlier, Duncan addressed the 62nd annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education at the Hilton Atlanta Hotel.