The Atlanta Public Schools Transportation Department accepted Georgia’s Blue Sky Award on Monday August 25, 2014 for its outstanding work in reducing emissions.
“There isn’t anything more that we can do to help you guys to get cleaner buses. You’ve got the cleanest on the road today,” said William Cook, Engines & Fuels Unit Manager in the Air Protection Branch of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
Only two other school systems in the state, Henry and Newton County schools, received the honor.
The award recognizes districts that have retrofitted or reduced emission in 75 percent or more of its school bus fleet. Atlanta Public Schools reduced emission in 100 percent of its buses.
APS Chief Operating Officer Larry Hoskins and Executive Director of Transportation John Franklin accepted the award at the district’s Metropolitan Parkway bus depot. “I am pleased to represent the Transportation Department in receiving the Blue Sky award GAEPD. The award is a reflection of the district’s commitment to green energy and student health by maintaining a fleet that maintains a 75 percent or better compliance rate with new clean diesel technology,” said Franklin.
The district accomplished this feat over the last ten years, with the help of grants, by removing or replacing buses or by using emission control devices.
“From a tailpipe perspective there just isn’t much more that you can do,” said Cook. “We’re very proud of what you’ve done in reducing those emissions. 100 percent.”
The Georgia Diesel Emissions Reduction Program also presents a Gold award for districts that reduce emission by 25 to 75 percent. A Green award goes to districts that reduce emission 25 percent or lower.
Atlanta Public Schools operates 402 buses. Its fleet travels approximately 25,000 miles a day transporting 22,000 students.
Top 10 questions about the new Georgia Milestones tests
- What is the Georgia Milestones Assessment System?
Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, the Georgia Department of Education will use a new testing system to replace the End-of-Course tests (EOCT) and Criterion-Referenced Competency tests (CRCT). The new testing system, developed by the state of Georgia, is named the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones). The Georgia Milestones will be aligned to the state’s Common Core Georgia Performance Standards to better prepare students for college and career.
- What grade levels and content areas will be tested on the new state test?
Students in grades 3-12 will be assessed by the Georgia Milestones. In grades 3-8, students will be given end-of-grade (EOG) tests in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. High school students will be given Georgia Milestones end-of-course (EOC) tests in ninth-grade literature and composition, American literature and composition, coordinate algebra, analytic geometry, physical science, biology, U.S. history, and economics.
- How is the Georgia Milestones different from the EOCT and CRCT?
On the new Georgia Milestones, students in grades 3-12 will be assessed using one test rather than a series of individual tests. When students took the CRCT previously, a separate test was given for reading, language arts and writing. In addition, at the high school level, students were given the EOCT and writing assessment. Now, reading, language arts and writing have been combined to align more directly with the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. In addition, the Georgia Milestones will include open-ended questions to determine how well students have mastered the content that they have been taught in all content areas. The test will also include questions that require students to provide elaborate answers to explain their answers or reasoning. Since Georgia Milestones will include writing in all grade levels, students will no longer take the grades 3, 5, and 8 writing assessments. Moreover, some tested items will have more than one correct answer.
- Why is the change to the Georgia Milestones necessary?
The Georgia Milestones will determine how well students have mastered the state standards and how prepared students are for college and careers. These new tests will also better support Georgia students, as they compete with their peers in the United States and other countries. The Georgia Milestones will also give educators more information about how students might perform on other tests, such as the SAT or ACT.
- How will this state-developed test compare Georgia students to students in other states?
The Georgia Milestones will include test items that the Georgia Department of Education can use to compare how Georgia’s students responded versus how students in other states responded to similar test items.
- Will the Georgia Milestones be given to students online?
The Georgia Milestones will transition to an online assessment over a five-year period. In the first year, it is expected that 30 percent of students will take the test online. By Year 3, it is expected that 80 percent of students will take the assessment online. By Year 5, the expectation is that 100 percent of students will be tested online. However, the Georgia Department of Education will provide paper/pencil versions for the small number of students who cannot use a computer as a result of a disability. Braille forms will also be available for students who need them.
- How will students be prepared for this online test?
The Georgia Department of Education will create an online practice center. Atlanta Public Schools has been administering some assessments online since 2012. APS will continue to offer these online assessments and will work toward more opportunities for students to receive additional support and guidance for these online tests.
- What support has been provided to teachers?
Atlanta Public Schools began planning for this transition to the next generation assessment in 2012. Teachers and principals received training on developing quality assessments during the 2013-14 school year. In the 2014-15 school year, APS will continue to provide face-to-face and online professional development opportunities and coaching support to teachers and principals, as the schools system prepares for this new assessment. In addition, APS curriculum and assessment staff will provide sample items that are similar to the items that students can expect on the Georgia Milestones. These sample items will be made available to teachers and principals. Teachers will also provide students with opportunities to practice on test items that are similar to those from the Georgia Milestones.
- When will students in Atlanta Public Schools take the Georgia Milestones?
December 2014 will be the first time the Georgia Milestones will be administered to students. For information about specific test dates, please review the complete testing calendar for the 2014-2015 school year.
10. How can I support my child, as he/she prepares to take this test?
Discuss the new tests with your child. Explain that the purpose of the tests is to determine how well the child understands the material that he/she has been taught. Explain that the new tests will also give teachers and schools information about areas in which your child needs additional support. Visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website to view sample test items. Review these test items with your child to help increase his/her confidence about taking the new tests.
Earlier this summer, APS football players and coaches rallied to talk football during the 4th Annual APS Football Media Day at Maynard Jackson High School. Interim Director of Athletics for Atlanta Public Schools, Jasper Jewell explained the significance of this exciting event.
“The purpose of Media Day is to give light and recognition to our young men, student athletes, scholar athletes, coaches, trainers, managers and parents for hard work and dedication during the off-season and to give a brief overview of the upcoming season.” The APS varsity football season begins this weekend.
The keynote speaker for the event was former Douglass High School, Arkansas Razorback and NFL star Ahmad Carroll, a.k.a. “Batman,” who earned his famous nickname from repeatedly jumping over offensive linemen. As a student athlete at Douglass High, football was not his only sport. He was also a track star winning a state championship in the 100-meter.
Carroll took time to speak to the students about the importance of hard work and staying on the right path to achieve their dreams. “Playing football in this time, in this age is a lifestyle,” said Carroll. “It’s not the time you spend with your coaches or at the school. It’s the time spent away from the school and away from your coaches that’s going to make you an exceptional athlete.”
In his closing he stressed the importance of not letting negative influences keep students from achieving their goals. “Don’t let ‘keeping it 100′ or ‘keeping it real’ mess up your life.”
Below are a few team highlights from the team introduction and question and answer session of the program.
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate Academy – Coach Lester Caldwell
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate Academy is the newest addition to the APS athletic family, entering their first season of varsity football. Coach Lester Caldwell introduced each player and highlighted their academic achievements.
Quinton Spear- 3.7, 27 ACT
Oda Merry Mingae 3.8 GPA, 28 ACT
Angelo Matos- 3.9, 30 ACT
KIPP is starting off their first year in the tough 6-AA region. Coach Caldwell told the crowd his players worked hard every summer leading up to this season; their first varsity season. He says that they will be mentally and physically prepared because preparation begins in practice.
“You have to make practice as rigorous as possible to be prepared once game time comes, said Caldwell. “If you make practice as hard as possible it will be a little easier come game time.”
KIPP will kickoff their first varsity football season against North Atlanta High School on August 28 at Grady Stadium.
B.E.S.T. Academy: Coach Joshua Moore
With last year being just the 2nd Varsity season for B.E.S.T Academy, they had a decent showing making their 1st visit to the playoffs. They lost to Carver-Columbus in a heart breaking triple overtime game. Coach Joshua Moore said that that game put their team on the map and helped them gain respect among other teams and the media.
The Eagles look to continue their forward progress in the 2014 season. They’ve had an active off-season with conditioning and playing in 7on7 tournaments. They qualified for the national 7on7 NFL High School Player Development tournament in Indianapolis where they had the opportunity to compete against some of the top teams in the country.
Coach Moore is expecting his team to have a productive season and continue to build off of last year’s success. “If we do what we’ve prepared to do we should be back in the playoffs,” said Moore.
They’ve dropped down to region 6-AA with teams like Lovett, KIPP, Wesleyan and Pace Academy.
B.E.S.T. Academy will open their season at home at Grady Stadium on August 29 against Callaway.
Mays High School: Corey Jarvis
Although Mays comes off of a good season, finishing 8-4, they are not satisfied with what they displayed throughout the season or how they finished. They lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs to Kell High School out of Cobb County.
Coach Jarvis, said that their motto for the year is “Remember the feeling.”
To aid his team in recalling that loss after the game, Coach Jarvis said he had a parent take a picture of the scoreboard. They placed the picture on posters and put them up in the weight room, his office door and all around their practice facilities to make sure their program doesn’t forget how it felt to lose that night.
Expectations for Mays this upcoming season are high. Not only do they have 3-committed college D1 Players, two of which are ranked in the top 100 in the nation. They also have 36 returning seniors.
Mays competes in one of the toughest regions in high school football, region 6-AAAAA. Coach Jarvis explained that his guys will be prepared for the tough competition. When asked about keeping his players humble and hungry at the same time, Coach
Jarvis responded, “Getting the opportunity to compete in a region as tough as the region we compete in is humbling in itself.”
Coach expressed how hard his kids have been working in the off-season. Along with conditioning workouts, they’ve also played in a number of 7on7 tournaments, winning the National Championship for the Cam Newton 7on7 tournament in North Carolina.
Even with the success and dedication during the off-season, coach Jarvis said that they have a ways to go. “We are just in the beginning stages of our product,” said Coach Jarvis. “Hopefully by the time November and December rolls around, we’ll still be playing.”
Mays High School 2015 Commits:
Aaron Cochran- Louisville
Natrez Patrick- UGA
Dallas Warmack- Alabama
Mays opens its season on the road against Langston Hughes on August 23 at Tri Cities Stadium.
Grady High School: Coach Earthwind Moreland
Coach Earthwind Moreland opened up by stating that he kind of feels like Lebron James “coming home.” Moreland is a class of 1995 alumnus of Grady High School. He went on to play with the NFL, winning a Superbowl championship with the New England Patriots.
Coach Moreland commended his players for their work, saying his guys are ‘on the grind’ everyday. They’ve spent the off-season in conditioning workouts and playing in 7 on 7 tournaments. They won the sectional for the Cam Newton 7 on 7 at North Cobb and came 4th at the Tournament of Champions in North Carolina.
Stepping into a new region, 6-AAAA they will be the only team from the city of Atlanta. Moreland doesn’t see this as a significant factor in his team’s ability to succeed, because his players are familiar with these teams from playing against them in the past.
Grady will kickoff their season at home against Washington on August 23 at Grady Stadium.
Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen introduced the 22 new elementary, middle and high school principals hired for the 2014-15 school year during the Atlanta Board of Education meeting held Monday night.
The following principals were appointed to lead APS schools:
|Tracie Astin||South Atlanta High School of Computer Animation & Design|
|Jesse Berger||Gideons Elementary|
|Betsy Bockman||Inman Middle School|
|Tony Lamair Burks II||Douglass High School|
|Amia Burnette||Bethune Elementary|
|Charlotte Davis||South Atlanta High School of Law & Social Justice|
|Curtis Douglass||North Atlanta High School|
|Patricia Ford||South Atlanta High School of Health & Medical Sciences|
|Richard Fowler||Mays High School|
|Woodbridge Greene Jr.||Sutton Middle School|
|Timothy Guiney||Grady High School|
|Marcus Jackson||Carver High School of Health Sciences & Research|
|Josie Love||Carver High School of Technology|
|Laryn Nelson||Young Middle School|
|Camisha Perry||Deerwood Academy|
|Thalise Perry||Miles Elementary|
|Dawn Parker||Crim Open Campus High School|
|Shelly Powell||Therrell High School|
|Kara Stimpson||Brandon Elementary|
|Cheryl Twyman||Fickett Elementary|
|Mario Watkins||Bunche Middle School|
|Tasharah Wilson||Washington High School|
Thank you for following our live blog of the August 11, 2014 Board of Education Meeting for Atlanta Public Schools.
View today’s agenda here: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/aps/Board.nsf/Public
Watch the Board of Education meeting here: http://new.livestream.com/k12aps/events/3195935
The public can now follow the Committee of the Whole and Legislative meetings via the LIVESTREAM link above.
REFRESH your browser often for updates.
The meeting will begin soon. Tonight we will update the live blog with highlights from the Committee of the Whole and Legislative Meetings. We will blog public comment from the community meeting if time permits.
Tonight marks the second meeting for the district’s new superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen.
Angela Smith, Special Assistant to the Superintendent – Flexibility Options Update
Flexibility Talking Points:
- Slide 0 Cover Page (Meria Carstarphen)
- Good afternoon. On behalf of the administration, I would like to take a few minutes to provide you with an update from our presentation last month regarding selecting an operating model through the school system flexibility options.
- Today, I would like to provide status on the work we are doing focused on school system operating models for district flexibility. In the presentation, you will note that we have outlined a number of different opportunities for all of our communities around the school district to begin having conversations about this very important topic. The team has developed a schedule of community visioning and engagement sessions. In addition to the community sessions, all of the taskforce/advisory committee meetings will be open to the public to attend. We want to give all of our stakeholders several opportunities to provide feedback and learn more about the available options.
- At this time, I would like to ask Angela King Smith, to come forward and present an overview regarding our progress and high level status for our work focused on district level flexibility.
- Slide 1 (A. Smith)
- Thank you Dr. Carstarphen and good afternoon Board. As Dr. Carstarphen mentioned, I would like to review with you our status regarding our work with selecting an operating model for school district flexibility.
- As you recall from our timeline slide, our project is divided into three areas. Application development 2. Strategic Planning, and 3. Communication and Stakeholder engagement. Today, we would like to provide you with status in each of these areas.
- Regarding Application development of an Operating Model
- Updated the timeline based on APS BOE meeting schedule
- Nomination and selection of taskforce members
- Identified third party organizations to assist in the data collection process
- NEXT steps: Begin Taskforce meetings the week of August 11th
- Scheduled APS BOE strategic planning session to reaffirm mission, vision, and core beliefs
- Regarding communication status
- Outlined high-level communication plan and strategies
- Developed plan for website and materials to support communication for this project
- Developed proposed schedule for community visioning and engagement sessions
- Developed plan for data collection through survey and polls
- Next Steps: Website development and launch
- Community visioning Sessions scheduled to begin the week of August 25th
- Slide 2
- As we built out the infrastructure for this process and gathered feedback from community and staff, we want to clarify and or make a few minor adjustments to the information we shared with you last month.
- First, the November due date outlined from the GADOE falls on a Saturday, to that end, we have communicated with our state representative and we will now adjust our response date to correspond with our November board meeting date. The GADOE will allow us to submit our information following our November board meeting date. We have adjusted our timeline to reflect that.
- Second, we had some feedback and questions regarding selecting an operating model vs. flexibility options. We want to emphasize that the district is in fact selecting an operating model through the available options outlined in GA LAW Code (list here…)
- Third, we have adjusted our naming convention for our taskforce. We have renamed the taskforce to now be called an advisory committee to ensure that the name of this group truly represents the work and intent of this team.
- Additionally, we outlined opportunities for the community to learn more this decision through a number of different means as outlined by our communication and outreach plans.
- Slide 3-4 (A. Smith)
- We have updated the timeline slide to reflect the updated dates and key milestones. We have included more time for community engagement and feedback during the months of August and September
- Our intent now is to make a decision in September and submit that decision to the BOE in October. We know that this means that our timeline is compressed for developing any documents for the state, however, we wanted to give the community as many opportunities as possible for providing input into this process and learning about this decision.
- Slide 5
- As denoted in our presentation last month, This goal of this committee includes the following:
- Reviewing the elements associated with the state’s recommended flexibility options, including, but not limited to, waivers from Title 20, fiscal impact, school governance implications, accountability and performance considerations, and consequences;
- building the knowledge base to develop an executive summary for the Superintendent detailing these options and their impact on our school district; and
- monitoring the district’s drafting of all final documents associated with the Superintendent’s recommendation.
- Slide 6
- We have completed the process of appointing or selecting people to the taskforce or advisory committee. The composition of our advisory committee includes individuals from our schools, central office as well as our appointments from our community, neighborhood groups and PTA.
- Committee meetings will occur weekly on Thursday from 6-8:30pm beginning this week. Outlined here is a schedule of potential topics for each of the meetings. The meetings will be open to the public to attend. Visitors and Guests to these meetings have an opportunity to comment by following the outlined procedures.
- Slide 7
- Outlined here is a copy of our community visioning and engagement sessions. We want stakeholders including parents, teachers, school staff, community members and students across the district to attend on of 6 meetings. As your see from the schedule, we plan to host a session in each of our board districts. Additionally, we have added a at large session on a Saturday for stakeholders to attend.
- Slide 8
- Outlined is a copy of our communications plans. Here are some of our plans to support communication and awareness. These plans include launching our website tonight as a major vehicle for sharing information and providing resources related to this topic.
- At this time, I will take any questions that you may have regarding the information that I shared with you today regarding the recommended approach and timeline for Atlanta Public Schools. Also, Mr. Lou Este is available take any questions that you may have regarding the state’s work with flexibility options.
- Thank you for your time and attention. It is greatly appreciated.
Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen, Superintendent – Day One APS
Committee of the Whole Meeting
3:00pm The BOE has entered into executive session.
6:03pm The BOE has returned from executive session.
The community meeting is now beginning.
Speaker asks that more consideration be given to scheduling events such as open house while religious services are taking place in some communities.
Speaker: I have driven a school bus for a number of years. I’ve taken pride in building a relationship with special needs children and parents. On behalf of them I want to thank you for processing full time drivers and giving them benefits. These precious kids who need the most care will see an upswing in the continuous care that is so important to them.
Speaker is a cafeteria worker gives highlights about back-to-school activities in the operations department. Thanks board members and employees who came out to help with the Stuff-The-Bus campaign, kickball game, back-to-school canvassing and other team building events.
City of Atlanta employee also gives highlights about back-to-school activities. Pledges to give money recently raised to Thomasville Heights Elementary.
Speaker speaks about students from Kennedy Middle being moved to Brown Middle. Asks why, when others are investing in the area, APS is closing the school.
Parents expresses concern about her neighborhood and the path her daughter must walk to school. Asks for bus service.
–End of Public Comment–
The Legislative Meeting is now beginning.
The Board recognizes new principals in the district.
The final presentation of the evening is a powerful story of perseverance. The Board acknowledges Mr. John Moore, APS’ oldest graduate of the Adult Education Program at the age of 82.
Please visit http://new.livestream.com/k12aps/events/3195935 to watch the remainder of tonight’s meeting.
–End of Live Blog–
ATLANTA – Due to current inclement weather conditions, and for the safety of our students
and employees, all after-school activities for Atlanta Public Schools have been cancelled.