Fifty Atlanta Public School (APS) sites have been approved to participate in the Bright from the Start Supper Meal Program for the 2014-2015 school year. A collaborative effort between the APS Nutrition Department and the Expanded Day/Special Projects Department, the “Supper on Site” Program provides students with a free afterschool supper while attending their participating school’s traditional afterschool program or athletic activities.
The program started September 15, and students enrolled in traditional afterschool extra-curricular and sports programs at the 50 participating schools receive a nutritious meal after the school day. These activities may include band, football, volleyball, robotics club, yearbook club, dance team, as well as academic programs such as After School All-Stars program and afterschool care. Earlier this month, the program was piloted with 58 students receiving meals at Long Middle School, 300 students at Mays High School and 150 students at Douglass High School. The supper menus range from oven baked cheese pizza with celery, carrot sticks and a ripe banana to slow cooked spaghetti with meat sauce, steamed broccoli and an orange.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) at the national level. The program is administered by Bright From The Start Georgia. The Bright From The Start Supper Meal component offers federal funding to afterschool programs that serve supper meals to children in low-income areas. The following 50 APS schools are eligible to offer the supper program based on more than 60 percent of their students qualifying for federal free-and-reduced meals program and the schools administering an after-school activity or program:
- Adamsville Elementary
- Beecher Hills Elementary
- Benteen Elementary
- Bethune Elementary
- Bolton Academy
- Boyd Elementary
- Brown Middle School
- Bunche Middle School
- Carver High School
- Cascade Elementary
- Centennial Academy
- Cleveland Avenue Elementary
- Connally Elementary
- Continental Colony Elementary
- H. Stanton Elementary
- Deerwood Academy
- Dobbs Elementary
- Drew Charter School
- Dunbar Elementary
- L. Stanton Elementary
- Fain Elementary
- Fickett Elementary
- Finch Elementary
- Forrest Hill Academy
- Gideons Elementary
- Harper-Archer Middle School
- Hope-Hill Elementary
- Hutchinson Elementary
- A. Jones Elementary
- Kimberly Elementary
- Long Middle School
- Maynard Jackson High School
- Benjamin E. Mays High School
- Miles Elementary
- Parkside Elementary
- Perkerson Elementary
- Peyton Forest Elementary
- Price Middle School
- Scott Elementary
- Slater Elementary
- South Atlanta High School
- M. Therrell High School
- Toomer Elementary
- Usher Elementary
- Venetian Hills Elementary
- Booker T. Washington High School
- West Manor Elementary
- Whitefoord Elementary
- Woodson Elementary
- Young Middle School
Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent, City of Atlanta Celebrate 10 Years of Cultural Experience Project
Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D., joined Camille Russell Love, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell in celebrating the 10th school year of the Cultural Experience Project (CEP) for APS students during an event at the Rialto Theater Sept. 10.
The Cultural Experience Project offers every Atlanta Public School student, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade an opportunity to visit at least one arts or cultural event in Atlanta every school year. To date, the program has provided more than 300,000 admissions to plays, concerts, dance performances and trips to museums and area attractions.
This year’s Cultural Experience Project sponsors include: Turner Broadcasting Inc., Kendeda Fund, Loridans Foundation, Trammell Foundation, Zeist Foundation, JW Foundation Fund of
The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, PNC Bank and Macy’s, and representatives from these companies and organizations were in attendance for the celebration.
Dr. Carstaphen, who talked about the research on how the arts impacts student achievement during her remarks, thanked the philanthropic community for their support and told them to “expect to see more fine arts across the school district.” She also recognized APS’ curriculum and instruction staff for coordinating the field trips through the CEP.
“As we enter our tenth year of service, we want to applaud our cultural partners, cheer on our sponsors, and give a rousing ovation to the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Public Schools for their ongoing collaboration” said Love. “We want every APS student to have a quality, cultural experience at one of Atlanta’s premiere venues around the city.”
Dr. Carstarphen later introduced Henry Grady High School senior Nia Nkosi, who gave a student testimonial of how the program impacted her life over the past 10 years. Nkosi has participated in CEP field trips through art classes and playing in the band at Morningside Elementary, chorus class at Inman Middle School and AP art and chorus classes at Grady High. Nkosi, who is a member of the National Honor Society, said she plans to study graphic design, art or computer animation and design after high school.
City Council President Mitchell presented proclamations from the City of Atlanta to Dr. Carstarphen and Ms. Love celebrating 10 years of the Cultural Experience Project exposing cultural field trips for APS students.
After the program, 800 APS students were treated to a performance by Giwayen Mata, an award-winning dance, percussion and vocal ensemble who celebrates the richness of traditional Africa by exhibiting its art forms. In attendance were students from Booker T. Washington High School, Carver School of the Arts, Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Academy High School, Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School, Mays High School, North Atlanta High School, South Atlanta School of Computer Animation and Design, South Atlanta School of Health and Medical Science and Therrell School of Law, Government and Public Policy.
The Cultural Experience Project was launched by the City of Atlanta during the 2005-2006 school year to give every Atlanta Public Schools student from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to experience the city’s premier art and cultural venues at no cost to the student. The project is funded by Atlanta’s philanthropic and fine arts community. The goal of the program is to enrich and expand the lives of students by opening up the world of arts and culture.
Eight Atlanta Public Schools (APS) have been named 2014 Reward Schools by the Georgia Department of Education. Four schools—Charles Drew Charter, Inman Middle, KIPP Strive Academy and West Manor Elementary— are recognized for highest academic performance among all Title I schools. The GaDOE also recognized the following for making the highest academic progress among Title I schools: KIPP VISION, North Atlanta High, Perkerson Elementary and Scott Elementary.
“Congratulations to our students, families and teachers on these campuses. Our dedicated teachers are working to ensure that every student is prepared for the next grade level, the next course, college and careers,” said Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen, superintendent Atlanta Public Schools. “Recognition like this shows that we are continuously moving toward this goal.”
Drew Charter, Inman Middle, KIPP Strive Academy and West Manor Elementary schools are all multiple year winners.
Reward Schools rank among the top schools in the state for having the highest performance or highest gains by students over the last three years. Highest performing reward schools are schools in the top 5 percent of Title I schools in Georgia. Highest progress reward schools are schools ranked in the top 10 percent of Title I schools. Schools were ranked according to their performance in all subjects on the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests, End-of-Course Tests and Georgia Alternative Assessments. High Schools are also ranked using their graduation rate.
Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us
First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary Arne Duncan Kick Off Back-To-School Tour with Reach Higher Initiative at Washington H.S.
As part of her Reach Higher initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on his fifth annual “Partners in Progress” Back-to-School Bus Tour with a college fair and “prep rally” at Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) Booker T. Washington High School September 8.
In remarks given during her Reach Higher prep rally, Mrs. Obama encouraged Washington students to start spending time on college campuses and told them not to be afraid to ask for help. “Neither of my parents graduated from college, so…I was a little overwhelmed..” said the First Lady.
She also stressed that “attendance matters,” a message that resonates with APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen.
“We are excited that First Lady Obama and Secretary Duncan kicked off their education tour in Atlanta,” Dr. Carstarphen said. “It was a powerful moment to have Mrs. Obama remind students of the importance of coming to school every day. She is absolutely right, and that is the primary reason for our APS Day One: Be There. Campaign. Attendance impacts student achievement, and we need students to come to school every day in order to prepare them for college and career success.”
Addressing the students as “Washington Bulldogs,” Mrs. Obama said she chose to visit Washington H.S. because the school is celebrating its 90th anniversary on September 24.
Washington High School opened in 1924 as the first public high school for African-Americans in Georgia. It is the school that Dr. Martin L. King Jr. attended before entering Morehouse College during his junior year of high school.
Mrs. Obama began her visit to Washington High with a tour of a college fair for Washington students with Secretary Duncan. The “Prep Rally” highlighted efforts by Mrs. Obama’s Reach Higher initiative and the Obama Administration to increase access and opportunity for all students. The initiative focuses on the importance of pursuing and completing some form of higher education. It also encourages students to do their part to answer the President’s call to ensure that by the year 2020, America once again has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
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.