Posts tagged ‘Kennedy Middle’
Representatives from the City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management, Office of Water Efficiency taught Ralph J. Bunche Middle School sixth-graders how to conserve water and explore careers in environmental science through the ‘Be Water Wise Atlanta’ Water Conservation Workshop on Tuesday morning. Be Water Wise is a national program that engages partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to raise awareness of local water issues and improve water conservation in school buildings and grounds. The workshop is the first of many that will be conducted by the Office of Water Efficiency under the Be Water Wise Atlanta program.
During the workshop, Bunche students in groups of 20 rotated among the following stations: How to Build a Rain Barrel, facilitated by Kimberly Davis, environmental education specialist, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Office of Water Efficiency; Life of a Water Drop by Yolanda Boazman and Carol Jones; and Envioralscape by Jennifer Carlile. “We want their generation to be aware of how to conserve water, think about careers that lead to environmental science and to become good stewards of the natural resources we have,” said Davis.
Students from Kennedy Middle School‘s Program for Exceptional Children (PEC) and general-education students got to know each other a little better on the court as they participated in physical-education activities together during Inclusive Schools Week. Seven of the more severely disabled students had fun bowling, playing volleyball and trying baseball in the gym, assisted by sixth- and eighth-grade students.
Physical-education teacher Fabrice Aime (Kennedy’s 2010 Teacher of the Year), adapted PE coach Vanessa Morton, PE coach Cecilia Wooten, Beverly Easterling (PEC lead teacher), and eighth-grade math teacher LaQuise Glass helped monitor the action.
Easterling was amazed at how quickly students came together during activities, including general-education students who previously weren’t the most social around PEC students. (“One girl just came up to me and said, ‘Can we do this every week?’ Easterling said.) A student with a more severe disability normally becomes hyperactive in group settings, but grew calmer and more relaxed over the course of the hour.
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.
For years students and educators alike have passed through the halls of John Wesley Dobbs Elementary without making a connection to the man for whom their school was named — until Friday. Dobbs’ daughter, June Dobbs Butts, and niece, Juliette Dobbs Blackburn-Beamon, appeared at the school as part of The HistoryMakers project. Dobbs was one of six schools around APS to welcome guests who provided educational and entertainment oral histories. This particular program is part of a nationwide back-to-school effort from the organization.
Earlier we wrote about the Mother & Daughter Retreat, courtesy of the Parents as Partners Academic Center (housed at Kennedy Middle School). We also thought we’d share some images from the Father & Son Retreat, which sought to strengthen a key relationship for APS’ male students. Fathers and sons participated in a range of activities, including distinguishing the difference between a “citizen” dad and a “tourist” dad; a skin-care session courtesy of Kim Gilmore, JAFRA Cosmetics Consultant during the “Masculine Maintenance” session; and “He Ain’t Heavy,” a trust-building exercise; and the “Trust Walk, in which fathers and sons took turns using blindfolds and guiding each other through hallways.
Olympic star Apolo Ohno encourages Kennedy Middle students to say yes to healthy lifestyle and no to alcohol
Apolo Ohno, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian of all time, inspired Kennedy Middle School sixth-graders with an appearance sponsored by The Century Council, which promotes healthy lifestyles and avoiding underage drinking.
“You guys inspire me because the future of this nation lies in your hands,” the speedskater told the audience. “Some of the lessons that I’ve learned over the years, you can carry over into your own lives. And I know you guys are on the fence where you can go either way, where the decisions you make now can affect you for the rest of your life.”
Ohno, an eight-time Olympic medalist, was joined by Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker in helping to reinforce a healthy lifestyle for the select group of students. After he finished speaking to the group, Ohno guided them through an interactive, Wii-style game in which students maneuver through obstacles before facing a lifestyle- or alcohol-related issue. The game was part of The Century Council’s “Ask, Listen, Learn” school program.
UPDATE: Check out Scott King’s photo gallery here.
Debate-team students representing all four of APS’ School Reform Teams squared off Wednesday at Communities in Schools Atlanta‘s First Annual Middle School Moot Court by presenting their oral arguments for a select issue that affects Georgia students. The competition featured presentations by Kennedy (SRT-1) vs. Parks (SRT-2) and King vs. B.E.S.T. Academy in an argument of whether to overturn a recent Georgia law raising the compulsory school attendance age to 18 from 16. (King and Parks argued for keeping the age at 18.)
The competition was held at the Fulton County Government’s Assembly Hall, and the students were really put the test in presenting their arguments to a panel led by Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein. Students made about a five-minute argument and then fielded questions from the panel. The winning team will be announced as an awards ceremony on May 11.
We continue our series on the winners of the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education with a profile of Kennedy Middle School Principal Dr. Lucious L. Brown. He has been the principal for Kennedy Middle School for three years. His career with APS began 10 years ago as a math teacher. He has spent the past seven years in an educational leadership role: four years as an assistant principal at West Fulton-Ben Carson Preparatory School, and the last three years at Kennedy.
In 2008, under his tenure, Kennedy has been awarded the Trail Blazer Award and State Superintendent Distinguished Achievement Award for making significant strides in improving student achievement. Dr. Brown has served on the advisory panel for the last two years with State Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox. In addition to receiving academic achievement awards, Kennedy also received a grant that would afford the school the opportunity to create the first Teen Court within the state of Georgia that served as an alternative for traditional disposal for student misbehavior. The grant also allowed for the students to participate in the court process and explore careers that are paramount to the justice system.
Kennedy Middle School welcomed Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Paul Hewitt as the special guest to help launch the school’s participation in the national Ticket to Reading Rewards project. Hewitt stressed the value of reading as the foundation for any education track students may choose, and reflected on his growing appreciation for reading as a budding teenage athlete before his coaching career.
Kennedy’s media specialist, Nikki Bivins (pictured above, right), explained the program for students, who can win awards for reading a certain number of books by mid-April. The prizes range from a subscription to Sports Illustrated all the way up to a water bottle (for reading 25 books). Middle schools within APS will all compete for a district-wide trophy to be awarded in May. To inspire students, Hewitt offered complimentary tickets to a select number of students for upcoming games against Florida State and Kennesaw State. Monishae Mosley-O’Neill, APS director of literacy and world languages, also stressed the value of reading to the students.
There’s a great article in the AJC recently about APS’ Middle School Transformation initiative, which seeks to not only ease the transition from elementary school but also, by extension, hopes to provide a clear path to high school. That’s a neat trick, and one of the key elements this initiative can be found in a pilot program that reporter Kristina Torres examines in the article. The program focuses on sixth-graders (the first-year students at middle schools) at four different APS schools: Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Inman, Kennedy and Price middle schools. Torres followed CSKYLA student Breasya Jenkins through her classes to see how they’re set up differently than at other schools …
Instead of reporting to four different teachers for regular academic subjects like science and social studies, these students report to only two. Instead of a bell schedule with classes lasting less than an hour, a “block” schedule increases the amount of time students spend on each subject. So while a typical class period might be 55 minutes elsewhere, sixth-graders at Breasya’s school spend, for example, 80 minutes in math.
The idea is to ease the passage as students go from being king of the hill on one campus to a peon on another that also has higher academic expectations. It’s now in place at Coretta Scott King, Inman, Price and Kennedy middle schools.
“In elementary school, they have one teacher for all their core academic subjects. They come to middle school and it’s a huge change,” said King teacher Sarah Grant, who teaches both sixth-grade math and science in the new program. “In middle school, a lot of the onus is on the student. They become responsible for their own work. Sometimes that can be overwhelming for them.”