Dobbs Care Center Impresses Foundation President


Dobbs Elementary Principal Charnita West, Ed.D, (left), joined Emory University pediatrician Dr. Veda Johnson (center) and Howard Dobbs Foundation President David Weitnauer during their site visit to the new school-based health care clinic at Dobbs.

“Beautiful” was the term used by David Weitnauer, president of the Howard Dobbs Foundation, when describing the new school based health care center at Dobbs Elementary School.

The clinic, which opened this month, was made possible by a grant from the Howard Dobbs Foundation and partnerships with the Emory University Department of Pediatrics and Southside Medical Center.

“It looks very professional, just a beautiful space,” Weitnauer said during a site visit this week. “We want to expand health care options for underserved communities, and school-based health clinics are a great way for us to reach families.”

Dr. Veda Johnson, M.D., Emory Associate Professor and Director of PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health (PARTNERS) for the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University, was equally impressed and hopes the clinic will increase parental involvement in the school.

“It’s an outstanding facility, from the look of it to the professionals working here,” Dr. Johnson said. “I hope it entices more parents to come to the school and become involved. Sometimes, parents can be intimidated by teachers and principals. Schools can be an intimidating place for them. But everyone goes to the doctor. I hope this clinic can help bring more parents here to the school.”

September 30, 2016 at 5:12 pm Leave a comment

Carver-Grady Football Showdown, APS Volleyball Tournament, APS Water Polo Teams Highlight Weekend’s Athletic Calendar

Grady (left) and Carver will battle for first place in their region, Saturday afternoon (3 p.m.) at Lakewood Stadium.

There is a variety of sports action to choose from this weekend, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, involving Atlanta Public Schools.

Grady and Carver will face off on Saturday, 3 p.m., at Grady Stadium, in a game that will more than likely determine the Class AAAAA-Region 6 champion. Both teams are 4-1 overall and 2-0 in region play. Carver won last year’s meeting, 24-7.  Grady is ranked No. 8 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution/Georgia High School Football Daily Class AAAAA Top 10 poll.

All 11 APS high schools with football teams will be in action this weekend. Here’s the rundown (all games on Friday, unless otherwise noted):

Mays (3-1, 2-0 in Class AAAAAA-Region 5) at Tri-Cities (Fulton County) (0-4, 0-2), 7:30 p.m., The Doghouse in East Point

South Atlanta (2-4, 0-2 in Class AA-Region 6) at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (4-1, 1-0), 5:30 p.m., Lakewood Stadium

Therrell (2-3, 0-1 in Class AA-Region 6) at B.E.S.T. Academy (1-5, 1-1), 8 p.m., Lakewood Stadium

North Springs (Fulton County) (2-2, 1-1 in Class AAAAA-Region 6) at Maynard Jackson (1-4, 0-2), 5:30 p.m., Grady Stadium

Alpharetta (Fulton County) (2-2, 1-1 in Class AAAAAA-Region 7) at North Atlanta (1-4, 0-3), 8 p.m., Grady Stadium

Douglass (2-2, 1-1 in Class AA-Region 6) at Washington (2-3, 1-0), Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Lakewood Stadium
The district’s champion will be crowned Saturday at the Fourth Annual APS Volleyball Tournament, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Defending champion North Atlanta will host the event. Last year, the Warriors defeated Therrell in the finals.
The APS water polo team, the APS Knights, will be participate in state tournaments this weekend. The B-Team will compete in the Division III tournament, Saturday at the Cumming Aquatic Center in Cumming (Forsyth County). The team’s first match is scheduled for 8 a.m., against the Lakeside (DeKalb County) C-Team.

The APS Knights girls team, the reigning state champion, will attempt to defend its title on Sunday at the West Gwinnett Park and Aquatic Center. The team’s first match of the tournament is scheduled for 11 a.m., against the winner of the match between Lakeside’s A and B girls teams.



September 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

South Atlanta Hosts Rapper Dee-1, PricewaterhouseCoopers for Financial Literacy Program


Rapper and Louisiana State University graduate David “Dee-1” Augustine performed before a packed house at the South Atlanta High School auditorium. Dee-1 and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP have teamed up to spread a message of financial literacy to high school students across the nation.

David “Dee-1” Augustine wants young people to be what he calls “The 3 R’s”:  Real, Righteous and Relevant. But he also wants them to be financially aware and astute.

That is why the math teacher turned rapper has hooked up with one of the world’s leading financial firms – PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) – to spread the word to high school students about the importance of financial literacy and wealth management.  Dee-1 stopped by South Atlanta High School on Thursday to talk to students about living a positive lifestyle and being smart with their money, once they earn it.

“As a society, we always stress, get the money, get the money, get the money,” said Dee-1, who graduated from Louisiana State University in 2009 with a degree in business management/marketing. “But we don’t talk about the proper way to manage money.”

Dee-1 has lived his message. He made regular payments on his student loans while working as a teacher in Baton Rouge, while continuing to pursue his dream of being a performer. When he signed a record deal in 2014, he paid off his loans in full and still drives a 1998 Honda Accord. This is the premise for his first single “Sallie Mae Back.” Watch the video here.

Dee-1’s performance at South Atlanta is part of a five-year, $200 million PwC initiative, designed to help young people across America become more financially literate. The project includes a full classroom curriculum focused on helping young people manage their finances.

“We are committed to youth education and financial literacy,” said PwC executive Shelley Giberson. “We see so many kids graduating from college without any knowledge of financial literacy, and so we want to address that. Dee-1 is able to connect with students in such a compelling and entertaining way.”

Dee-1, who was born in New Orleans but plans to relocate to Atlanta soon, is scheduled to release his first album in February 2017, “Slingshot David.” He said it will feature more positive and conscientious songs like “Sallie Mae Back.”

“I’m a very spiritual person, and I know God put us all here for a purpose,” he said. “I started rapping in college because I saw a need for positive young, black, male role models. I want to use this platform to wake our young people up and help them.”

September 30, 2016 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Morningside Elementary Named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School


For Immediate Release September 28, 2016

ATLANTA – U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., announced today that Atlanta Public Schools’ Morningside Elementary School has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. Morningside Elementary is among 279 public and 50 private schools receiving this honor.

Principal Audrey Sofianos and a teacher will represent Morningside Elementary at a two-day awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Nov. 7-8, where the school will be formally recognized by the Department. “Our school is honored and thrilled to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School!” said Sofianos. “I am so proud of our students and their love of learning. This national award honors our entire school community – teachers, parents, volunteers, partners and our school system, who come together each day in support of our young people and their education.”

The school was nominated by the Georgia Department of Education, and then was required to complete a comprehensive application about school practices. All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:
· Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
· Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 public and private schools. A total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated each year.

About the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence. For more information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, please visit

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. For more information, visit

September 29, 2016 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

New Inclusive Playground Gains National Attention


Alyssa Marino, a producer for USA Today’s Humankind, films Fred A. Toomer Elementary School kindergarten student Bowie Danner and her classmates on the school’s new inclusive playground.

Word is spreading fast about the new inclusive playground at Fred A. Toomer Elementary School

The unique activity space makes it possible for students with special needs or mobility issues to play alongside their able-bodied classmates. It has already been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and soon it will grace the pages of USA Today’s online section, Humankind, which features uplifting stories about kindness and the human spirit. A short video feature on the playground is already posted on the Humankind Facebook page.

USA Today online producers Alyssa Marino and Sheeka Sanahori visited Toomer to film and interview students and kindergarten teacher Emily Max, who brought the playground to Toomer. Max was one of six nationwide winners of the Farmers Insurance® Dream Big Teacher Challenge in 2015. Max began thinking about an inclusive space when she noticed that the school’s large playground was not completely accessible to all of the students at Toomer. For example, the area’s floor of soft wood chips made it extremely difficult for students with wheelchairs or other mobility issues to move around freely.

Now Max’s vision of more interactivity among all students has become a reality and is garnering a lot of attention.

“One of our co-workers heard about the story on [National Public Radio], and we thought it would be perfect for Humankind,” Sanahori said. Her post on the Humankind Facebook page had more than 5,400 views by Tuesday afternoon. “We focus on positive, uplifting stories, and this certainly is one.”

Look for the full feature on the Toomer playground to be posted on USA Today’s Humankind in about two weeks.

September 28, 2016 at 5:20 pm Leave a comment

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): Washington, KAC Shut Out APS Rivals


After an 0-2 start, Washington has won two of its last three games, including a 7-0 shutout of B.E.S.T. Academy last Friday.

Washington and KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (KAC) shut out their fellow Atlanta Public Schools opponents this weekend and are now tied for first place in their region.

Washington (2-3, 1-0 in Class AA-Region 6) defeated B.E.S.T. Academy (1-5, 1-1), 7-0, in a hard-fought defensive battle Friday night at Lakewood Stadium. Earlier that evening at Lakewood, KAC (4-1, 1-0) continued its best start in school history when the Warriors blanked Therrell (2-3, 0-1), 15-0.

Here’s how the other APS teams faired over the weekend:

Carver 32, North Springs (Fulton County) 21
The Panthers (4-1, 2-0 in Class AAAAA-Region 6) warmed up for their big showdown with Grady next week by defeating North Springs (2-2, 1-1) in the first ever meeting between the two schools.

Grady 54, Decatur 0
The Grey Knights (4-1, 2-0 in Class AAAAA-Region 6) flexed their muscles on offense once again by routing the Bulldogs (1-4, 0-2). Grady has scored at least 50 points in three of its five games thus far this season.

Douglass 52, Osborne (Cobb County) 7
In a rare Thursday night varsity game at Lakewood, the Astros (2-2, 1-1 in Class AA-Region 6) blasted the Cardinals (0-5).

Hapeville Charter (Fulton County) 35, South Atlanta 13
In a battle between two Hornets, South Atlanta (2-4, 0-2 in Class AA-Region 6) had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Pope (Cobb County) 48, North Atlanta 7
The Warriors (1-4, 0-3 in Class AAAAAA-Region 7) lost their third consecutive game, while the win for the Greyhounds (1-4, 1-2) snapped a 16-game losing streak.

Banneker (Fulton County) 53, Maynard Jackson 12
The Jaguars (1-4, 0-2 in Class AAAAA-Region 6) dropped their first ever meeting with the Trojans (3-2, 2-0) from College Park.


September 26, 2016 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

Grady’s Caylin Newton Wins Weekly Atlanta Touchdown Club Award


Caylin Newton was selected as the Back of the Week by the Atlanta Touchdown Club for his performance against Lithia Springs last week, in which he led Grady to a 74-14 win. He will lead the Gray Knights against Decatur on Friday night.

Grady senior quarterback Caylin Newton was selected as the Atlanta Touchdown Club’s Back of the Week for his performance against Lithia Springs last Friday.

Caylin led the Gray Knights to a 74-14 victory by tossing five touchdown passes and running for another score. His brother, Cam, the reigning National Football League MVP, won the award as well during his senior season in high school in 2006. Caylin and Cam are only the fifth set of brothers to win the prestigious award.

Caylin will lead Grady (3-1), ranked No. 10 in Class AAAAA in the Atlanta Journal Constitution/Georgia High School Football Daily Top 10 poll, against Decatur (1-3), Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Lakewood Stadium.

In a rare Thursday night varsity game at Lakewood Stadium, Douglass evened its record at 2-2 with a 52-7 victory over Osborne (Cobb County). The Cardinals fell to 0-6.

Here is the rest of this weekend’s slate of games (all on Friday, unless otherwise noted):

Washington (1-3) at B.E.S.T. Academy (1-3), 8 p.m., Lakewood Stadium

South Atlanta (2-3) at Hapeville Charter (Fulton County) (1-3), 7:30 p.m., Hapeville Recreation Complex, Hapeville

Carver (3-1) at North Springs (Fulton County) (2-1), 7:30 p.m., Thermopylae Stadium in Atlanta

KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (3-1) at Therrell (2-2), 5:30 p.m., Lakewood Stadium

North Atlanta (1-3) at Pope (Cobb County) (0-4), 7:30 p.m., Pope Stadium in Marietta

Maynard Jackson (1-3) at Banneker (Fulton County) (2-2), 7:30 p.m., Banneker Stadium in College Park


September 23, 2016 at 12:29 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts

APS on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to Talk Up APS and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 19,469 other followers

APS PhotoStream

More Photos