APS Celebrates College & Career Motivation Week

Mays HS College and Career Week 2015 (Auburn)

Auburn University was one of the 40 colleges and other organizations that participated in the Mays High School college fair during College and Career Motivation Week in Atlanta Public Schools. 

The mission of Atlanta Public Schools is to ensure that every student will graduate ready for college and career. The district celebrated that vow last week during “College and Career Motivation Week.”

Schools brought awareness to the weeklong initiative through a variety of activities.

At Peyton Forest Elementary School, students participated in an assembly created by Character County! Productions, an organization that has developed a series of highly educational and entertaining musical programs about character and its importance.

Peyton Forest ES College and Career Week 2015

Students at Peyton Forest Elementary took part in a presentation on the importance of character by Character County! Productions, during College and Career Motivation Week.

Character plays an important role in college and in the workplace, according to Peyton Forest Counselor Larissa Harvey.

“We want our students to start early understanding the purpose of having high character,” Harvey said. “We want them to start thinking now about college and their careers, and how lessons they learn now about the importance of character will contribute to their future success.”

At Benteen Elementary School, more than two dozen professionals from all walks of life visited with students throughout the day last Tuesday, giving them a glimpse into their lines of work. The vocations represented included an official from the United States Department of Administrative Services, a lawyer with The Cochran Firm, a psychologist, a professor from Spelman College, a performing artist specializing in African drumming, a product development scientist, and Damian “Da-Da” Lewis, an on-air and promotions personality for Streetz 94.5 FM, who showed students how a radio ad is created.

Benteen ES College and Career Week 2015 (Da-Da Lewis, Streetz 95.5)

Damian “Da-Da” Lewis, an on-air/promotions personality at Streetz 94.5 FM, showed Benteen Elementary students how a radio ad is created during a College and Career Motivation Week event at the school.

Towns Elementary School hosted the Atlanta Workforce Development Career Coach mobile unit, which gave parents an opportunity to work on their resumes, fill out employment applications and learn proper interviewing skills. Also during the week, school staff at “Tiger Town” wore paraphernalia from their college or university, and several college students stopped by and talked to Towns students about how they prepared for college and what the experience is like.

Towns ES College and Career Week 2015 (Justin Brooks, Morehouse College)

Justin Brooks, a sophomore at Morehouse College, speaks with students at “Tiger Town” (Towns Elementary) during College and Career Motivation Week.

“This is important because it aligns with our mission of preparing students for college and career,” said Towns Elementary School Principal Dr. Dione Simon. “It is also important that we show them what college looks like and that they see that they can become anything they want to be. Having the college students here is great. I believe our students can connect with them better because they are closer to them in age. They can see themselves in these college students.”

At Connally Elementary School, a dozen City of Atlanta departments gave presentations on the role they play in helping the city function properly. The event, which was coordinated by the City of Atlanta Division of Watershed Management, featured officials from the police and fire departments, parks and recreation, corrections, public works, planning and law.

Connally ES College and Career Motivation Week 2015 (Atlanta Watershed Management)

At Connally Elementary, the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management was one of a dozen city departments that met with students during College and Career Motivation Week.

“Having this at our school serves two purposes,” said Connally Elementary School Principal Lincoln Woods. “This encompasses almost every career that is in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and we are a STEM school here at Connally. Also, it introduces our students to a diverse group of professions that can be found in city government in Atlanta. This instills a sense of community pride in our students to know that they can attain all of these various careers right in the city where they live.”

Mays HS College and Career Week 2015 (Atlanta Job Corps)

 Atlanta Job Corps was one of 40 colleges and organizations represented at the Mays High School college fair during College and Career Motivation Week.

Benjamin E. Mays High School made it easy for their students to get plenty of one-on-one time with more than 40 college representatives when the school hosted a college fair on Friday solely for its students. Along with local and state schools like Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Albany State, Kennesaw State, the University of West Georgia, Wesleyan College, Emory University and Morehouse College, national institutions like Virginia Commonwealth University, The Ohio State University and Davidson College were represented as well. Additionally, the United States Marine Corps, the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) and Atlanta Job Corps also had representatives in attendance.

“We wanted to make sure we had a wide variety of options for our students,” said Mays High School College Advisor Victor Onukwuli. He said the event was primarily for juniors and seniors, but a number of sophomores and freshmen attended as well. “We wanted to have big schools, small schools, in-state, out-of-state, military and vocational organizations as well. We wanted to make sure our students know that no matter their situation or circumstance, there are options out there for them to help them better their lives after they graduate from high school.”




November 24, 2015 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

WestEd, Atlanta Public Schools, and Georgia State University Announce 5-Year Comprehensive School Safety Grant from National Institute of Justice


 Atlanta, GA and San Francisco, CA – November 23, 2015 –WestEd, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and Georgia State University today announced receipt of a nearly $7.5 million National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant to support the research and development, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive school safety initiative. The organizations will partner over five years to create safe and supportive learning environments for children and staff at APS campuses.

Affirming that the safety of students and school personnel is a goal that requires the support and participation of the greater community, the partnership will rely on significant local and state agency engagement to develop and implement a holistic approach focused on the whole child.

The project will be led by Senior Research Associate Joseph McCrary, D.P.A., with WestEd’s Atlanta office.

“It is gratifying to have this opportunity to work with a willing partner like Atlanta Public Schools. We will rigorously examine the challenges they face and assist them in evaluating interventions so that they can achieve their mission of comprehensive school safety,” said McCrary.

One of the purposes of the grant program is to identify solutions to help other school districts provide safer and more supportive learning environments for their students. The research team of WestEd and Georgia State University will rigorously evaluate and then disseminate that knowledge nationwide.

NIJ Grant Partners

“This dynamic partnership is an unprecedented approach to improving the safety of our students and employees across our schools,” says Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen, Ed.D. “The research, the data and tools that we will yield from this grant will address a variety of safety measures from student behavior improvements, emergency preparedness, school policing, community engagement and much more.”

“We’re excited to work with WestEd on developing an evaluation plan and set of benchmarks here in Atlanta that can help promote the success of school safety initiatives across the country,” says Georgia State psychology professor Christopher Henrich, Ph.D.

Work on the initiative will begin in early January 2016 and continue through 2021.

For information about the project, please contact Joseph McCrary at jmccrary@wested.org or at 470-225-4955.

About WestEd

WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd has more than a dozen offices nationwide, from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Georgia, to Illinois, Arizona, and California, with headquarters in San Francisco. More information about WestEd is available at www.WestEd.org

WestEd Media Contact:

Ginger Tulley  gtulley@wested.org


About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 98 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

Atlanta Public Schools Media Contact:

Kimberly Willis Green kwgreen@atlanta.k12.ga.us


About Georgia State University

Georgia State University, an enterprising urban public research university, is a national leader in graduating students from widely diverse backgrounds. Centered in the historic financial hub of downtown Atlanta, the university provides more than 32,000 students with unsurpassed connections to the city’s business, government, nonprofit and cultural organizations. Georgia State University ranks among the nation’s top 108 public and private universities in the Carnegie Foundation’s elite category of Research Universities/Very High Research Activity. This category represents the highest level of research activity for doctorate-granting universities in the U.S.


November 23, 2015 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment

Great Seasons end for Mays and Grady in Round 2 of State Playoffs

Mays HS - DOMECOMING2014-033

Benjamin E. Mays was eliminated from the second round of the state playoffs by a 42-20 loss to Houston County in Warner Robins. The Raiders finished the season with a record of 10-2.

Football season has come to an end for Atlanta Public Schools as the final two APS teams in the state playoffs Benjamin E. Mays and Henry Grady High School — were defeated Friday night.

— Mays lost a slugfest to Houston County (11-1), 42-40, in Warner Robins. The Raiders led early, 12-0, but eventually fell behind 20-19. After the Bears scored again to take a 27-19 lead, Mays rallied with two consecutive touchdowns to retake the lead, 33-27, with a little more than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. But, aided by a safety, Houston County outscored the Raiders 15-7 in the fourth quarter and hung on for the win.  Randrecous Davis scored on touchdown receptions of 51 and 31 yards, and Myles Reid recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for another touchdown for the Raiders, who finished the season with a record of 10-2. After posting a record of 12-3 last season, this is the first time in school history that Mays has had back-to-back seasons of at least 10 wins. In just three seasons as head coach, Corey Jarvis has compiled a record of 30-9 with two trips to the second round of the state playoffs and one to the Class AAAAA finals.


Grady football

Henry Grady was eliminated from the state playoffs in the second round by Thomson, 44-21, in Thomson. The Grey Knights finished with a record of 7-5.

Grady fell behind big early and could not recover in a 44-21 loss to Thomson (11-1), at The Brickyard in Thomson. The Grey Knights took an early 7-0 lead but were down 28-7 by halftime to the No. 1 seed from Region 3. Caylin Newton led the way for Grady with three touchdown passes, two to Ahmad Herron (11 and 46 yards) and one to Kemari Everette (34 yards). Grady finished the season 7-5 in the second year under head coach and Grady alum Earthwind Moreland.

Note:  Five of the 11 APS high schools that compete in football finished with records above .500 this season (George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglass, Grady, Maynard Jackson and Mays), with four advancing to the Georgia High School Association state football playoffs (Carver, Grady, Jackson and Mays).

November 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Mays and Grady Compete Tonight in Round 2 of the State Playoffs

Mays Raider Logo


After winning their first round games last week, both Benjamin E. Mays and Henry Grady High School will compete in the second round of the Georgia High School Association state football playoffs Friday night.

Both games start at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $10 at the gate. Certified employees from each school may show proper school identification free admission.

— Mays, the No. 2 seed from Region 6, will travel south to Warner Robins today to take on Houston County (10-1), the No. 1 seed from Region 2 in the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs. The Raiders (10-1) defeated Creekview (Cherokee County) 31-0 last week to advance to Round 2. Houston County defeated South Effingham 56-6 last week.
Where:  McDonnell-Talbert Stadium | 400 South Davis Drive, Warner Robins


Grady HS football

— Grady, the No. 3 seed from Region 6 in Class AAAA, will head south as well to face Thomson (McDuffie County), the No. 1 seed from Region 3. The Grey Knights (7-4) rallied to defeat Northwest Whitfield (Whitfield County) 28-27 last week, while Thomson defeated Veterans 49-35.
Where:  The Brickyard | 105 Springfield Street, Thomson

November 20, 2015 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Join a GO Team in APS!

November 18, 2015 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

Mays and Grady Advance to Round 2 of State Football Playoffs, Season Ends for Carver and Jackson

Mays HS - DOMECOMING2014-087

The Mays Raiders will face Houston County in the second round of the Class AAAAA GHSA state football playoffs, Friday in Warner Robins.



Two Atlanta Public Schools high schools will compete in the second round of the Georgia High School Association state football playoffs, while two others saw their seasons come to a close.

— Benjamin E. Mays improved its record to 10-1 this season with a dominant 31-0 win over Creekview (Cherokee County) in the Class AAAAA division. It was the third shutout of the season for the Raiders’ defense, while the offense compiled 400 passing yards. Quarterback BJ Phillips ran for a touchdown and threw three touchdown passes, one each to Randrecous Davis, Corey Reed and Jamauri Elliott.
Who’s Next:  The Raiders, the No. 2 seed from Region 6, will travel south to Warner Robins on Friday to take on Houston County (10-1), the No. 1 seed from Region 2. Houston County advanced into the second round by defeating South Effingham 56-6.
Where:  McDonnell-Talbert Stadium | 400 South Davis Drive, Warner Robins
When:  Friday, Nov. 20 | 7:30 p.m.

— Henry Grady (7-4) erased a 21-7 first half deficit and advanced to the second round in the Class AAAA division by defeating Northwest Whitfield (Whitfield County) 28-27. Grady quarterback Caylin Newton ran for 113 yards and a touchdown and threw for 198 yards and a touchdown to Kemari Averett, who also blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown.


The Grady Grey Knights will face Thomson in the second round of the Class AAAA GHSA state football playoffs, Friday in Thomson.

Who’s Next:  The Grey Knights, the No. 3 seed from Region 6, will head south to face Thomson (McDuffie County), the No. 1 seed from Region. The Bulldogs (10-1) advanced by defeating Veterans 49-35.

Where:  The Brickyard | 1160 White Oak Road, Thomson
When:  Friday, Nov. 20 | 7:30 p.m.


— George Washington Carver fought hard but was defeated by Dalton (Dalton City)    17-7. The Panthers finished the season 7-4.

— Maynard Jackson was defeated by Dodge County 45-3. The Jaguars finished the season 6-5.

November 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

West Manor Elementary Takes 1st Place at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Storytelling Competition

By Taylor R. Jones

The 3rd grade class of West Manor Elementary School with Principal Dr. Reginald Lawrence, pose alongside their 1st place trophy from the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing’s WeDo Storytelling Competition.

The 3rd grade class of West Manor Elementary School with Principal Dr. Reginald Lawrence, pose alongside their 1st place trophy from the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing’s WeDo Storytelling Competition.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, West Manor Elementary School’s 3rd grade class took home first place at the WeDo Storytelling Competition hosted by the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing. Not only are students tasked with creating an innovative story using LEGO WeDo programmable robots as characters; but also have the challenge of presenting their story to Georgia Tech staff and partner, Career Builders.

For this competition, students are responsible for creativity, entertainment value, the number of WeDo characters used, the integration of WeDo characters and Programming in their story, relevance of props and scenery, and how WeDo characters interact with non WeDo characters.  What a challenge!

With 48 Atlanta Public School students from six schools, this competition quickly turned into a moment of victory for the 3rd graders at West Manor Elementary as they placed 1st throughout the entire competition. The students whose creativity and teamwork garnered much respect from their competitors include:

Kyle Brown

Kimora Bolder

Jeremiah Coicou

Jackson Dancy

Ashley Davis

Sydney Frazier

Lawrence Hall-Wilcox

Madison Herrington

Layla Jones

Marcus Majette

Danyell Sheppard

Jaiden Stepney

Jeremiah Sturdivant

November 16, 2015 at 11:36 am Leave a comment

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