Atlanta Virtual Academy Goes Fulltime in APS This Fall

AVA 2018 Graphic (without Click Here)

Atlanta Public School students will be able to enroll in a full-time district-sponsored online academic program, beginning this fall.

Atlanta Virtual Academy (AVA) will serve students in grades seven through 12, offering rigorous online courses aligned to state standards, taught by certified APS teachers. AVA provides a teacher-led, virtual classroom environment and has more than 75 course offerings in the core content areas, world languages, electives, as well as a selection of Advanced Placement courses. Students must be enrolled as a Crim Open Campus High School student, in order to enroll in AVA full time.

To enroll in AVA, registration will be held at Crim High School (256 Clifton Street, SE), July 23-August 3, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Learn more about AVA here.



Convergint Technologies Gives Back to APS

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Thanks to Convergint Technologies, APS elementary schools Finch, Perkerson and Margaret Fain received free school security installations (video intercom, entry system), landscaping and textbook distribution. Convergint, a global service company, recently launched its STEP Up (Secure, Train, Educate and Protect) initiative as part of its ongoing community efforts to address school security issues.

As part of its 17th annual nationwide day of service, the company donated more than $1 million in employee time and supplies as 3,100 employees performed security assessments and installed interior/exterior security systems and upgrades for 75 underserved elementary schools in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cincinnati, San Antonio and Nashville.

School administrators, faculty and parents are encouraged to visit ( to conduct safety audits to help ensure systems are fully operational when the school year begins. The list includes immediate steps that can be done for no cost, such as checking door locks, lighting, intercoms, software and foliage that might block views from security cameras or personnel.

This system is an added bonus in our efforts to provide safety and security in the Atlanta Public Schools. We are truly thankful for the 60 Atlanta Convergint employees who spent the day serving our schools.

To learn more about Convergint’s public service school security initiative, please visit .

Xanadu Power Up Program Takes Summer to the Next Level

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By: Shameria Wilson

Last Wednesday at the Xanadu summer program, students spent their morning in the “Wacky World of Science,” where they partnered up with a classmate and dissected sea animals. In the afternoon, they explored their creativity by learning basic drum skills.

Thanks to the Atlanta Public Schools’ Power Up Summer Program, students of all levels, from elementary to high school, are taking their creativity and learning abilities above and beyond. Located in the Coan Building, this year’s program features a host of different summer enrichment programs for gifted students in grades K-12 throughout the district. Several of the programs include coding, wood workshop, theater, art and music classes.

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“The faculty’s goal is to make sure students are able to apply the skills they learn at Xanadu in the classroom and the outside world,” said Dr. Yolonda Cobb, assistant site administrator, about Xanadu program. “Xanadu offers students lots of creative ways to learn.”

Each year, participating students put on a musical production at the end of the camp, known as “Big Show,” for faculty and parents on the skills they have mastered over the summer.

Jasmine Gaither, Xanadu’s music teacher, and elementary students Ruth Geller and Zoe Bulloch talked about their favorite classes with excitement. “Puppet Tales,” for example, is an enrichment activity that allows students to work with friends and create imagination about fairy tales.


To find out more about Xanadu, visit:




APS Baseball All-Stars Battle Cobb County in Third Annual L.E.A.D. All-Star Baseball Classic

2018 LEAD All-Star Baseball Classic
The L.E.A.D. (Launching Exposing Advising Directing) All-Star Baseball Classic was the first high school baseball game played in the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park. APS All-Stars will face the Cobb County All-Stars in the third annual edition of the game, Friday at 3 p.m., at SunTrust Park

The Atlanta Public Schools All-Star Baseball Team, comprised of more than 20 of the city’s best high school baseball players, will face the Cobb County All-Stars in the Third Annual L.E.A.D. All-Star Baseball Classic at SunTrust Park, Friday at 3 p.m. The game is free for all spectators.

Two years ago, the inaugural L.E.A.D. Classic was played at Turner Field, and featured the APS East All-Stars vs. the West All-Stars. Last year, the game was changed to a contest between APS All-Stars and a team of all-stars from Cobb County Schools. The annual contest became the first high school baseball game played at the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park.

L.E.A.D., which stands for Launching, Exposing, Advising, and Directing, is a non-profit organization which seeks to use baseball as a tool to empower at-risk youth, particularly African-American males, to become thriving adults who will lead and transform Atlanta for the better.

Click here to check out a video of the APS All-Stars in a practice session. Here is a look at the team:

School Player Pos. Accolades
North Atlanta Brett Roberts SS 1st team all-region;
Team leader in homers (5)
and in slugging percentage (.772)
North Atlanta Ike Mundy OF/DH 2nd team all-region
North Atlanta Tyler Israel OF/P 2nd team all-region, team leader
in fielding percentage (1.000)
 South Atlanta Joshua Browning SS/3B  6-AA Player of the Year;
All-Region 1st Team-SS
South Atlanta Kalum Banks, Jr. 2B/3B/1B  6-AA Pitcher of the Year,
All-Region 1st Team-P
 Maynard Jackson Miles Jackson Catcher  1st Team All-Region
Maynard Jackson Brandon Ingram OF  2nd Team All Region
Maynard Jackson Sam Katz 1B/P  2nd Team All Region
 BEST Academy Jalen Reardon 3B/SS/P 6-AA 1st-Team 3rd Base and
2nd  Team Pitcher
 Booker T Washington Zy’Koabi Randolph 2B  
 Therrell Tj Pittman SS All region 1st team,
team leader in stolen bases (36)
 Therrell Jahzir Brown P/C All region 1st team
 Carver Antonio Pierce Inf  
 Mays Jarrod Rome 3B Mays MVP/ Big Bat Award,
team leader in RBI (28)
KAC Leo Blackburn OF/P  
Grady  Ben Lepik  C/3B .433 batting average leads
the team
Grady  Caleb Maloof  1B  
Douglass Titus Carter  P/C  
School Player Pos. Accolades
North Atlanta Narada Monge LHP Throws in the mid-upper 80s,
team leader in strikeouts (33)
North Atlanta Foster Olson LHP Suwannee Commit
North Atlanta Wiley Hartley RHP Team closer,
leader in ERA (.75)
Therrell Jahzir Brown RHP Team leader in wins (5)
Mays Avantae Lupoe LHP  






More than 1400 Students See Hit Musical Hamilton


“Dinner and a show” took on a new meaning last week when more than 1400 Atlanta Public Schools students and a number of staff chaperones experienced the award-winning Broadway musical “Hamilton” at the Fabulous Fox Theater. The musical retells the life of Alexander Hamilton in a combination of song and rap. Teachers hope the show increases interest in politics, history and the Revolutionary War.

The musical came to Atlanta last week as part of a 19-city tour. With help from The Coca-Cola Foundation, Flocabulary, Georgia Natural Gas, Georgia Power and the Kendeda Fund, students enjoyed dinner, a pre-show and the amazing musical which has become a world-wide sensation. Students also received a commemorative “Hamilton” t-shirt.




Miles Elementary Students Learn the Power of Creative Expression to Become Authors, Illustrators and Entrepreneurs

Book Boss Program

The Book Boss Program—a Community Sparkplug Project in partnership with The Rensselaerville Institute—recently empowered 24 third, fourth and fifth graders at Miles Elementary School to find their creative voices by writing and illustrating their own stories.

Each of the budding authors received 10 copies of the books they wrote and participated in a book-signing event held on Tuesday, May 15. More than 30 community members attended the event, where the students collectively sold more than 234 books, earning $2,448 in book sales. The student entrepreneurs plan to use the money from their book sales to pay for college, help their families pay for a move, and support a local homeless shelter.

This program is a powerful example of a community-school partnership.

Jamela Peterson, a community member and founder of Book Boss and the SocialPreneur Lab, strongly believes that with early knowledge of entrepreneurship, students can create economic equality and social impact through business.

Peterson recently teamed up with Khalifa Lee, community leader, resident advocate, and co-founder of the Mays High School Alumni Association, to bring this program to the Southwest Atlanta community. The program offered 12 free workshops and workbooks to guide students through the writing and business development progress. Each workshop engaged students to think critically and write creatively.

“I’m excited to be an entrepreneur because before the program I always wanted to write a book and now this program gives me experience,” said Naija Dubose, a fifth-grade Book Boss participant.

Another young author said the following about her story: “It has a plot twist. It starts out scary and then turns funny. I love plot twists in movies and books, so I wanted to write one of my own.”

The Rensselaerville Institute is working to continue its partnership with Miles Elementary School to empower students with literacy, arts, and entrepreneurship. If you would like to know how to support or get involved with Book Boss or SocialPreneur Lab e-mail

To learn more about the Community Sparkplugs initiative in Atlanta, visit, or email Noni Walker at


Inaugural CTAE Code-a-Thon Introduces Students to New Technology and Career Opportunities


B.E.S.T. Academy boys had the winning formulas for success and scored a first place win in the inaugural CTAE Code-A-Thon. 

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Office of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education recently hosted the 1st Annual Code-a-Thon at the Lonnie Johnson Research and Development Center. Over 150 APS middle and high school engineering students participated in this engaging, exciting and STEM-related event.

The event was facilitated by Captain Barrington Irving, Executive Director of Flying Classroom, an organization that provides unique engineering and STEM experiences for students around the country. Captain Barrington Irving, the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world, shared his incredible story with our students and encouraged them to seek careers in STEM-related fields particularly aviation. Additionally, Lonnie Johnson, engineer and inventor of the Super Soaker, was present and shared with students his experiences and successes, as he celebrates 50 years in robotics. Both Captain Barrington Irving and Lonnie Johnson are leading African-Americans practitioners in the field science.

The Code-a-Thon exposed students to the basics of robotics, coding, and computer programming. In partnership with APS, the 100 Robotics Alliance, a robotics team sponsored by the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, assisted with the activities for the day. “I am thrilled to see our students engaged in coding and programming activities which lead to high demand career choices; however, I am most excited about the increased number of females students engaged in and excited about coding and programming. It is this type of exposure and experiences coupled with great partnerships that will prepare our students for workforce demands of the 21st century, said Dr. Michael Maze, Director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education.

As a culminating activity, students competed in a timed obstacle course challenge using SPRK+ robot by Sphero. Students from BEST Academy placed 1st, Douglass 2nd and Grady 3rd.


Students learned how to use mobile technology coding to manipulate sphero balls.