Maynard H. Jackson High School International Baccalaureate (IB) Candidate Celebrate an Excellent IB Authorization and Verification Site Visit!

The students, teachers, support staff, administrative team, parents, community members, business partners, school board representative, and district leadership participated in a two-day International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Authorization Verification Site Visit at Maynard H. Jackson High School on December 10-11, 2012.  An IB Verification Team consisting of three members representing the IB Organization visited Jackson High School to determine if the school has completed the following:

  • Making the decision to become an IB World School
  • Understanding the nature and requirements of the IB Diploma Programme
  • Defining their readiness to implement the programme
  • Planning to sustain the Programme in the long term

The IB Verification Team commented that they were really impressed with the knowledge, commitment, and support demonstrated by the Pre-IB students, parents, and community members!

Left to right:
Sharonda Murrell, Academy Leader for IB Planning & Implementation
Brenda J. Muhammad, Atlanta Board of Education member, District 1
Stephanie S. Johnson, Principal of Maynard Jackson High School
Karen Waldon, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
David White, East Region Executive Director of Schools
The authorization process has a number of phases, each of which has distinctive objectives and related time frames.  The implementation of an IB Programme may entail changes in the life of a school.  These guidelines are intended to support schools during the process of authorization.  The purpose of the visit is to ensure that the educational principles, standards, and practices on which the IB Programme is founded will be maintained and furthered.  Following the visit, the IB Americas Bethesda Maryland Office will produce a report regarding the authorization process.  Maynard Jackson High School has successfully completed all components of the IB World School Authorization Process including the following:

1)    Consideration Phase

2)    Request for Candidacy – Request for Candidacy Application submitted April 1, 2011

3)    Decision on IB Candidacy Approval announced on June 14, 2011

4)    Consultation School Visit held on November 29 – December 1, 2011

5)    Request for IB World School Authorization  – Application for Diploma Programme submitted on April 1, 2012

6)    IB Authorization and Verification School Site Visit held on December 10-11, 2012

7)    School Awaits Decision on Authorization by the IB Director General based on the visit and all documents submitted by the IB Americas Office (The school should be notified by April 2013). Upon authorization, Jackson High School will offer its first IB courses during the 2013-14 school year.

Jackson High School began the IB World School Authorization process in January 2011, upon the appointment of Sharonda F. Murrell, Ed.S. Academy Leader for IB Planning and Implementation.  Mrs. Murrell has the led the school and community through the IB World School Authorization Process in a year and a half of a three year minimum requirement.

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students aged 16-19, for success at university and life beyond.  It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well being of students.  The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

The DP prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:

  • Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically
  • Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from six subject groups
  • Develop skills and a positive attitude towards learning that will prepare them for higher education
  • Study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own
  • Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique Theory of Knowledge (T.O.K.) course
  • Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the Extended Essay (E.E.)
  • Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS)

Upon authorization, students will be able to apply for the two-year IB Diploma Programme, which consists of the 11th (Junior) and 12th grade (Senior) years.  Colleges and universities offer course credit for student success and achievement on the IB Examinations administered at the end of students’ senior year of high school.  Depending upon the college and university admission policies, students could earn enough course credit to start college as a sophomore, which will save money towards tuition.

Additionally, the IB Diploma Programme is internationally benchmarked and in alignment to the new Common Core Georgia Peformance Standards (CCGPS).  Through, the new College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI), our school can earn additional points for the number of students that successfully complete one or more IB Diploma Programme courses.

“The International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Authorization will afford an opportunity for Maynard H. Jackson High School students to graduate high school prepared for colleges and careers and to earn an IB Diploma in addition to a high school diploma. Students will be prepared to compete globally and provide selfless service to their community and abroad,” says Mrs. Sharonda Murrell, Academy Leader for IB Planning and Implementation. Students have an opportunity to apply to the Pre-IB Program for grades 9 and 10. Interested students and parents can contact Mrs. Sharonda Murrell at or 404-802-5247.

Maynard H. Jackson High School is undergoing a 40 million dollar school renovation and is temporarily located at 1550 Hosea Williams Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30317.

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Pre-IB grade 9 and 10 students with Mrs. Sharonda Murrell, Academy leader for IB Planning & Implementation

For more information please visit and view the video clips below:

IB Student Dance Verification Visit Team Welcome:

IB Diploma Programme Video Clip:

“Scrooge Around the World” performed at Perkerson Elementary


“Scrooge Around the World” was performed at Perkerson Elementary School and is a contemporary version of the classic Scrooge play. In this version, contemporary musical artists who represent the Ghosts of Holiday Past, Present and Future visit Scrooge and warn her to change her selfish ways. Each ghost takes Scrooge to different places around the world to see how people help each other and show kindness throughout the world.  Scrooge also experiences how each country celebrates winter holidays.

The Ghost of Holiday Past continues to try to change Scrooge’s mind with a visit to America, Mexico, and China. The Ghost of Holiday Present, Beyoncé, takes him to Africa. Ghost of Holiday Future, The Grim Reaper, takes Scrooge to the cemetery where she will eventually end up all alone if she does not change. As the story progresses, Scrooge wakes up a changed woman determined to help and do good deeds.

The Perkerson Elementary performance of “Scrooge Around the World” is full of wonderful music from Michael Jackson, The Temptations, and Mariah Carey, along with other musical artists.

The play was performed at the Rialto Center on December 6th along with three performances at Perkerson Elementary School on December 18th.

written by Karen Ross, Teacher, Perkerson Elementary



Price Middle School Students Dive Into Reading at the Georgia Aquarium

Dineros Curate, 8th grader at Price Middle School gives a High five to a scuba diver at the Georgia Aquarium.

On Thursday, December 13, 2012, Price Middle School students traveled to the Georgia Aquarium as a culminating activity for the Dive Into Reading Contest sponsored by the Price Middle School Media Center.  Nineteen students participated in this activity.  Additional students were scheduled to attend but were unable due to their involvement in various school activities.

The students and chaperones had a behind the scene tour and viewed the 3-D movie before visiting the various exhibits.  The behind the scene tour, movie and admission was sponsored through the SEA (Sponsored Education Admissions) program at the Georgia Aquarium.  For some students and chaperones it was their first visit to the Georgia Aquarium and for others it was their first behind the scenes tour.  Due to the Winter Holidays, we were able to speak with Mrs. Scuba Claus and watch some Scuba Elves in the large tanks as they interacted with the animals.   Aquarium volunteers were impressed with the science knowledge of the Price students and their behavior.

written by Tammy Rosado, Media Specialist, Price Middle School


Parks Middle School receives top honors for giving








Walter Leonard Parks Middle School embraced the holiday spirit of “giving back to the community that has supported them”.   Parks Middle School’s Graduation Coach, Mr. MacArthur Randolph, facilitated and motivated the students during the Holiday Can Food Drive to benefit the Atlanta Food Bank. Over 1, 500 cans were collected during this annual drive.  Based on the number of cans collected, Atlanta Food Bank stated that it will provide at least 1, 213 meals to needy families. Every year many schools within the Atlanta Public Schools district participate in this event.  This year, Parks Middle School received top honors for collecting the most can goods by a school for the Atlanta Food Bank. Mrs. Natascha Hampton’s 7th grade homeroom was recognized with a holiday meal for collecting over 500 cans.   Mrs. Patrice Mapson’s 8th grade homeroom was also recognized for collecting over 280 cans.

Great job, Parks Middle School!

written by Yashica Green, Media Specialist, Parks Middle School


West Manor Robotics Team Develops Solution to Help the Elderly

photoOn Saturday, December 15, 2012 the West Manor Robotics Team competed in the First Lego League 2012 Senior Challenge Qualifier.    Every year over 200,000 students worldwide, between the ages of 9 to 14 participate in a three part challenge to develop a unique solution to a real problem and score points by programming an autonomous robot using the LEGO MINDSTORMS robot set to complete missions on a 4’x8′ playing field, while being guided by the FLL Core Values. These three elements – the Robot Game, Project, and FLL Core Values – make up the yearly Challenge.

Over 35 million Americans are age 65 or older.  The FLL 2012 Challenge topic is about keeping senior citizens Engaged, Independent, and Connected. The West Manor Robotics Team put an announcement in the Weekly Wolf asking for grandparents and volunteers 60 years and older to participate in a survey to gather information on problems they face as a result of getting older. The  top three issues identified by the 12 participants were:

  1. Completing household chores / errands
  2. Walking
  3. Memory

As a result of the information collected from the survey and other research, the Wolf Pack Team’s unique solution was to develop a Driverless – Global Positioning Transportation System (GPTS) Vehicle to assist senior citizens and others with mobility problems in completing their neighborhood errands.

photo3The GPTS Vehicle prototype utilizes the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Set and sensors to recognize and respond to traffic conditions, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles while transporting senior citizens along neighborhood streets.  After notifying the registered guardian or responsible adults, the GPTS vehicle could transport one to six senior citizens to any of a list of programmed destinations.  It is projected that the GPTS Vehicle will reduce traffic accidents caused by elderly drivers and increase safety for all while helping seniors to remain independent and engaged. The West Manor Robotics Team was commended for outstanding presentation during their first competition.

Chick-fil-A Foundation Partners with APS through the Washington Mentorship Program

This week, the Chick-fil-A Foundation kicked off its partnership with Atlanta Public Schools through the adoption of Booker T. Washington High School. Washington High School-Early College and the Chick-fil-A Foundation are partnering together to develop a mentoring program that will ensure that each student graduating in the Legacy Class of 2013 has a solid plan for the future.

On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, several students from Washington High visited Chick-fil-A headquarters for a “Corporate Day” and an opportunity to meet with their mentors.  The students were graciously greeted by the Chick-fil-A staff as they entered the front doors of the building, followed by a backstage tour of the facility. During the day students spent time with their mentors and experienced “A Day in the Life” with their designated staff member.

“I had the pleasure of taking my mentee to a meeting with the design and construction department,” explained Darrlynn Brister, Associate Director of External Relations at the Chick-fil-A Foundation. “She had a chance to really see what goes into the process of picking out a site for the store, the meetings that are held with various government officials and the things that go into play before a Chick-fil-A restaurant can be placed in a city.”

The mentorship program will help 12th grade students at Washington High enhance relationships, network, and get a glimpse of working in the corporate world.

“I am gaining a mentor who can lead me and help me prepare for college and the real world,” said Nickolas Alexander, a student at Washington High.

The mentorship program is near and dear to many of the mentees, but for Sonya Collier, Sr. Supervisor-Supply Chain at Chick-fil-A, the program hits close to home. As a graduate of Booker T. Washington and a former resident of Southwest Atlanta, Collier is dedicated to seeing each of the mentees succeed and learn valuable information and life lessons as participants in the program.

“I consider these students my children,” she said. “This is important to me because I want to give back and I want to pour into the lives of these young people so they know that success is attainable and they can do anything they set their minds to.”

Rodney Bullard, Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, says the foundation is dedicated to helping young people have the opportunity to be all that they were created to be.

“We want to do everything we can to support them,” he explained. “Perhaps this experience with a mentor will broaden their horizons. We are happy to provide this experience and we are very excited about this partnership with Atlanta Public Schools and with Booker T. Washington High School.”