Posts tagged ‘Atlanta Public Schools’

Six APS Teams Advance to Round 2 of State Basketball Playoffs


The Maynard Jackson girls defeated Clarke Central (Athens-Clarke County), 62-50, in the first round of the Georgia High School Association basketball state playoffs. Five other APS teams won their first round games as well.


The chance of a state championship trophy being brought back to Atlanta is still very much alive as six Atlanta Public Schools (APS) teams advanced to the second round of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state basketball playoffs last weekend.

The Carver boys (16-13) have gotten hot at the right time. The Panthers won their fifth consecutive game last Saturday, defeating Loganville (Walton County), 54-45. Leading by just four points at halftime (20-16), Carver blew the game open by outscoring the Red Devils 16-7 in the third quarter. The Panthers, the Class AAAAA-Region 6 champs, will host Dutchtown (Henry County), the No. 2 seed from Region 2, Thursday at 7 p.m.

The South Atlanta boys (25-1) continued to roll, blasting Elbert County last Saturday, 85-51. The Hornets, the Class AA-Region 6 champions, will host Butler (Richmond County), the No. 2 seed from Region 4, Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Douglass girls (18-7) defeated Putnam County, 53-47, last Friday. The Astros, the No. 2 seed from Class AA-Region 6, will travel to Augusta to take on Laney (Richmond County), the Region 4 champs, Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Maynard Jackson girls (22-2) continued their attempt to get back to the Class AAAAA title game by beating Clarke Central (Athens-Clarke County), 62-50, last Friday. The Jags will host Wayne County, the No. 3 seed from Region 2, Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The Mays girls (18-9) went to Alpharetta (Fulton County) last Friday and came home with a 58-54 win. The Raiders, the No. 3 seed from Class AAAAAA-Region 5, will now host Greenbriar (Columbia County), the No. 4 seed from Region 3, Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The South Atlanta girls (12-11) went on the road to Banks County and claimed a 68-62 win. The Hornets, the No. 3 seed from Class AA-Region 6, will go back on the road to face Bryan County, the top seed from Region 2, Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Tickets to all second round games are $7.

Unfortunately, the season came to an end for five APS teams over the weekend:

The Maynard Jackson boys (19-9), the No. 3 seed from Class AAAAA – Region 6, were defeated at Cedar Shoals (Athens-Clarke County), the No. 2 seed from Region 8, 64-47.

The Mays boys (10-15), the No. 4 seed from Class AAAAAA – Region 5, fell at Pope (Cobb County), 59-51.

Both teams from Therrell lost. The boys’ squad (16-8), the No. 3 seed from Class AA-Region 6, dropped a close game at Monticello, 61-56, while the Panther girls (6-14), the No. 4 seed from Region 6, were defeated by Rabun County, 70-40.

The Washington boys (8-20), the No. 4 seed from Class AA-Region 6, were beaten by Banks County, 53-34.

February 20, 2017 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment

11 APS Teams Begin Basketball State Playoffs this Weekend

The South Atlanta and Carver boys, and the Maynard Jackson girls enter this weekend’s Georgia High School Association state basketball playoffs as region champions and No. 1 seeds.

It’s playoff time!

Eleven Atlanta Public Schools (APS) teams earned spots in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state basketball playoffs last weekend with three – the Maynard Jackson girls and the Carver and South Atlanta boys – taking home region championships.

Here is a look at the first round playoff matchups for APS teams (Tickets are $7, all games begin at 6 p.m., unless otherwise noted):

Friday, February 17
The Douglass girls (17-7), the No. 2 seed from Class AA – Region 6, will host Putnam County, the No. 3 seed from Region 8. The Eagles have a record of 15-12.

The Maynard Jackson girls (21-2) will host Clarke Central (Athens-Clarke County). The Gladiators, the No. 4 seed from Region 8, have a record of 11-15.

The Mays girls (17-9), the No. 3 seed from Class AAAAAA – Region 5, will play at Alpharetta (Fulton County), at a time that has yet to be determined. Alpharetta, the No. 2 seed from Region 7, has a record of 18-10.

The South Atlanta girls (11-11), the No. 3 seed from Class AA – Region 6, will play at Banks County, the No. 2 seed from Region 8. The Leopards have a record of 19-8.

The Therrell girls (6-13), the No. 4 seed from Class AA – Region 6, will play at Region 8 champion Rabun County (25-2).

The Therrell boys (16-7), the No. 3 seed from Class AA – Region 6, will play at Monticello (Jasper County), the No. 2 seed from Region 8. The Purple Hurricanes have a record of 18-8.

Saturday, February 18
The Carver boys (15-13) will host Loganville (Walton County), the No. 4 seed from Region 8, at 3 p.m., in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs. The Red Devils have a record of 13-14.

The Maynard Jackson boys (19-8), the No. 3 seed from Class AAAAA – Region 6, will play at Cedar Shoals (Athens-Clarke County), the No. 2 seed from Region 8, at 5 p.m. The Jaguars have a record of 23-8.

The Mays boys (10-14), the No. 4 seed from Class AAAAAA – Region 5, will play at Pope (Cobb County), the Region 7 champion. The Greyhounds have a record of 24-4.

The South Atlanta boys (24-1) will host Elbert County (14-14) in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs. The Blue Devils have a record of 14-14.

The Washington boys (8-19), the No. 4 seed from Class AA – Region 6, will play at Banks County (22-4), the Region 8 champs.

February 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

Brothers From B.E.S.T. Academy Prepare to Fence in Junior Olympics

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

Watch out, Venus and Serena.

Praze Harris and his older brother, GS3 – yes, that’s his real name – are ready to grab the spotlight and take the world of fencing by storm.

The brothers, who are students at B.E.S.T. Academy, will showcase their fencing skills in the USA Fencing Junior Olympics, Feb. 17-20, in Kansas City, Missouri. The four-day competition will include 12 individual competitions and six team competitions in all three weapons: epee, foil and saber. The Harris brothers will compete in the saber division.

If Praze and GS3 are able to defeat their challengers in the Junior Olympics trials, they will qualify for a spot on the U.S. national team, which competes at the 2017 Cadet and Junior World Championships in April in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Eight team members from B.E.S.T. are competing in the Junior Olympics trials this weekend. 

“Hopefully, we’ll make it to nationals, because we practice really hard,” said 15-year-old Praze, a sophomore, who began fencing two years ago, and was named the team’s Most Improved and Rookie of the Year.”We put teamwork in practice, and we try to help our team members.”

GS3, who is known as “G,” said teamwork is what makes the B.E.S.T. Academy fencing team so special. B.E.S.T. Academy is currently the only APS school to be a member of the Georgia High School Fencing League. B.E.S.T. is also the only African-American, all-male school in the league.

“Focus is what helps us push each other and helps boost our morale,” said G, 17, a junior at B.E.S.T.

The Harris brothers are pretty special themselves. Despite being new to the sport of fencing, GS3 and Praze clearly have a bright future ahead of them. Strong and athletic, the brothers have excelled in a strategic and competitive sport that has also drawn them closer as brothers.

“Fencing is fun, but it takes discipline and focus,” Praze said. “It’s also hard, and you have to train.”

Fencing coach Rod Walker said the Harris brothers’ character has actually made them better student-athletes. Walker described them both as intelligent, strong, and committed athletes.

“I’m very proud of these young men,” he said. “As a team, they have shown so much growth in their character and maturity. I feel they have a very good chance of moving forward.”

Despite their competitive nature, Walker said both brothers have an unbreakable bond.

“They have a genuine love for one another,” he said. “The bond of brotherhood is definitely there.”







February 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm Leave a comment

Douglass Girls, South Atlanta Boys Play for Region Basketball Titles


The Douglass girls basketball team will take on Hapeville Charter (Fulton County) for the Class AA-Region 6 tournament championship, tonight at 7 p.m., at Douglass.


Two Atlanta Public Schools (APS) teams will play for region tournament championships this weekend, while nine others have locked up slots in next week’s Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state playoffs.

The Douglass girls’ team will face Hapeville Charter (Fulton County), Friday at 7 p.m., at Douglass, for the Class AA-Region 6 tournament title. The Astros have compiled a record of 17-6 and have won eight of their last 10 games.

The South Atlanta boys’ team also will take on Hapeville Charter, Friday at 8:30 p.m., at Douglass for the boys’ tournament championship. The Hornets (23-1) entered the tournament as the No. 1-ranked team in the Atlanta Journal Constitution Class AA Top 10 poll.

Nine other teams have advanced to the final four of their respective region tournaments, thereby securing one of the four state playoff spots for the region. All will take the floor Friday night. Tickets to all region tournament games are $7:


  • Carver  vs. Maynard Jackson, 5:30 p.m., at Maynard Jackson, Class AAAAA-Region 6 semi-finals
  • Mays vs. South Paulding (Paulding County), 8:30 p.m., at Creekside (Fulton County), Class AAAAAA-Region 5 semi-finals
  • Washington vs. Therrell, 5:30 p.m., at Douglass, Class AA-Region 6 Third-place game


  • Maynard Jackson vs. North Springs (Fulton County), 7 p.m., at Maynard Jackson, Class AAAAA-Region 6 semi-finals
  • Mays vs. New Manchester (Douglas County), 4 p.m., at Creekside (Fulton County), Class AAAAAA-Region 5 semi-finals
  • Therrell vs. South Atlanta, 4 p.m., at Douglass, Class AA-Region 6 Third-place game

Middle School

The middle school championships were decided last week, as the KIPP Vision girls defeated Inman, while the Bunche boys took down Sutton.




North Atlanta senior Yannick Smith placed third in the 100 freestyle, fourth in the 50 freestyle, and swam a leg on the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, to pace the Water Warriors to their best finish ever at the GHSA State Swimming-Diving Championships.

North Atlanta turned in an outstanding performance at last weekend’s GHSA Class AAAAAA-AAAAAAA State Championships.

The Water Warriors placed 16th overall out of 77 teams. Among the Class AAAAAA schools, North Atlanta placed fourth, the highest finish in school history. The team is coached by Star Brackin (swimming), Alan Joel (swimming) and Julia Goode (diving).

Here are some of the team’s top performances:

  • Yannick Smith, a senior, placed third in the 100-yard freestyle and fourth in the 50-yard free style.
  • Drew Sheldon, sophomore, placed seventh in the 1-meter dive.


    Sophomore Drew Sheldon placed seventh in the 1-meter dive for North Atlanta at the GHSA State Swimming-Diving Championships.

  • The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Smith, fellow seniors Miles Jackson and Zeke Day, and sophomore Lucas Santiago placed 10th.
  • The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Smith, Day, Lucas and sophomore Bowdon “Bo” Maiellaro finished 17th.
  • Lucas placed 19th in the 100-yard freestyle.
  • The 200-yard medley relay team of Day, Jackson, senior Colin Forsyth and sophomore Ethan Roman placed 20th.

Also, the Grady girls’ team finished 20th overall in the Class A-AAAAA. The Grey Knights were paced by Melissa Brown’s fourth place finish in the 50-yard freestyle.








February 10, 2017 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

Morris Brandon Kindergartners Win ‘What Light Means to Me’ Essay Contest


Dr. Yolonda Patterson (back row, third from the right) and Tricia Foster (first from the left) of Acuity Brands celebrate with kindergartners, who were named winners in the “What Light Means to Me” essay contest.

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

Let there be light!

At least that’s what 25 kindergartners and one second grader at Morris Brandon Primary School declared this week, as they celebrated being named winners in the “What Light Means to Me” essay contest. Sponsored by Conyers-based Acuity Brands, one of the world’s largest lighting manufacturers, the contest encouraged students in grades K-5 to write about what lighting means to them.

In exchange, the winning classrooms received turnable, adjustable lighting for their classrooms to promote a calm learning environment and help improve students’ attention span. The winning students also received a plaque and a pizza party.


According to Tricia Foster, director of education market development with Acuity Brands, students in Dr. Yolonda Patterson’s kindergarten class wrote the most inspiring, creative essays among the 135 submissions the company received. Dr. Patterson’s students were the only kindergarten class to win the competition.

“Dr. Patterson’s class went above and beyond what we saw among other schools across the country,” Foster said. “Dr. Patterson engaged her students and taught them about light and the impact lighting has on the environment and learning. Studies reflect that light has a direct impact on helping students to stay calm, focus on reading, as well as help with mood and other behaviors. Our mission is to get this type of lighting in every classroom in the country.”

Dr. Patterson said she has studied brain-friendly classrooms throughout her 20-year teaching career. During the essay competition, she encouraged her 25 students to vote on whether they prefer dim or natural light over bright light. Of the 25 responses, 18 students voted that they preferred natural light.

“Lighting impacts children’s learning,” said Dr. Patterson, who keeps her room dimly lit. “Dim and natural light is the best light for assisting with cognitive learning and adjusting to different learning styles. It leads to a good, welcoming environment.”


Second grader Harris Woods’ winning essay. 







February 10, 2017 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

Atlanta Public Schools Announces Partnership with PUMA, David T. Howard High School Alumni Association


APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen (front row, third from left) is joined by David Ballin of PUMA (front row, first on the left) and Gloria Williams, president of the David T. Howard High School Alumni Association (front row, orange sweater) and the members of the Atlanta Board of Education at the announcement of a partnership between PUMA, the David T. Howard High School Alumni Association and Atlanta Public Schools at the February meeting of the Board.

Before there were Air Jordans, there was “The Clyde.”

Now that iconic shoe is an important link to a new and historic partnership between Atlanta Public Schools (APS), the David T. Howard High School Alumni Association and PUMA, the athletic shoe and apparel company. APS Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen officially announced the partnership on Monday at a morning press conference and again in the evening at the monthly meeting of the Atlanta Board of Education.

“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with PUMA and the David T. Howard Alumni Association, and to do it during Black History Month makes it extra special,” Dr. Carstarphen said. “David T. Howard High School and the David T. Howard Alumni Association are woven into the fabric of Atlanta. They are Atlanta. Additionally, PUMA, through its five-decade relationship with Walt “Clyde” Frazier, one of Howard’s and APS’ most accomplished and distinguished graduates, is inextricably linked to Atlanta as well. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”

Last week PUMA launched the rebranding of one of its first signature shoe and apparel lines, “The Clyde”, worn by Walt “Clyde” Frazier, a National Basketball Association Hall of Famer and graduate of David T. Howard High School, class of 1963. The line is called the “Puma Legacy Collection” and is designed to honor the history, legacy and contributions made to Atlanta by David T. Howard and David T. Howard High School.  The Collection may be found in Foot Locker stores around the nation and in special display rooms called “PUMA Labs” in selected cities, including Atlanta. The “Puma Labs” in our city are at Greenbriar Mall and South DeKalb Mall.

Historic partnership will benefit all children in Atlanta Public Schools

As a result of the partnership, APS will receive $30,000 in direct support of the Atlanta Public Schools/Atlanta Partners for Education Whole Child Fund, which provides experiences for students to support their academic and social/emotional development and well-being. Some examples of what this fund provides include field trips, cultural experiences and enrichment activities, and critical emergency support such as uniforms and MARTA cards.


Joshua Moore, head football coach at BEST Academy, models the PUMA Legacy Collection at the February meeting of the Atlanta Board of Education.

Additionally, as part of the terms of the partnership agreement, PUMA will pay eight percent royalties on net wholesale sales of all co-branded PUMA products worldwide to PUMA wholesale accounts, and four percent royalty on net retail sales of all co-branded PUMA products sold via PUMA-owned retail stores and PUMA’s online store. Each royalty payment made by PUMA will be split equally, with 50 percent paid to APS/Atlanta Partners for Education and 50 percent paid to the David T. Howard Alumni Association.

The David T. Howard Alumni Association will receive a $50,000 fixed-compensation payment as well as the 50 percent royalty mentioned above.

Historic Howard High School building to be reborn as a new APS middle school

Just as PUMA is reviving “The Clyde,” APS will refurbish the historic David T. Howard High School building (551 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue) and reopen it as a new middle school in the Grady High School Cluster. The construction project is scheduled to begin in July 2018 and is being paid for with funds from the recently-approved 2017 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).


Facts about David T. Howard

  • David T. Howard was born in 1849 as a slave.
  • Howard became a free man after the Civil War, and he used $200 inherited from his father to start his life.
  • Howard worked as a railroad porter in Atlanta before becoming a mortician. His mortuary business eventually made him one of the city’s first black millionaires.
  • Howard donated the land upon which David T. Howard High School was built.
  • Howard was a founder of the city’s first black-owned bank, Atlanta State Savings Bank.
  • Howard died in 1935.

Facts about David T. Howard High School

  • The building opened as the David T. Howard Colored Elementary School in 1924.
  • The school became a high school in 1948.
  • Prominent David T. Howard attendees and graduates include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta Mayor Maynard Holbrook Jackson, NBA Hall of Famer Walt Frazier, presidential advisor Vernon Jordan, Atlanta real estate entrepreneur Herman J. Russell, former Atlanta police chief and Clayton County Commission chairman Eldrin Bell and student civil rights organizer Lonnie King.



February 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

Schools Throughout the District Celebrate Black History Month


Mason Muhammad Royal portrays famed scientist and inventor Dr. George Washington Carver in the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.


The auditorium at Continental Colony Elementary School was transformed into an interactive, African American “wax museum” last week, as nearly 50 students posed as famous and influential African Americans in history.

The event is part of the school’s Black History Month celebration during the month of February. Continental Colony Principal Dr. Kristen Vaughn said the school always goes all out to pay homage to the great African American leaders and events of the past.

“Our school population is 98 percent African American. It is important for us to relate our history to our students,” Vaughn said. “If we don’t tell our stories, then who will? Also, we find that many of our parents learn a great deal from our programs and displays, and so it is good to know that we are educating the community as well.”


Tylar Woods portrays Atlanta’s first female mayor Shirley Franklin at the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.

In the wax museum, students took on the persona of individuals such as Louis Latimer (scientist, inventor), Hosea Williams (civil rights leader), Andrew Young (former Atlanta mayor and Secretary to the United Nations), Sarah Boone (inventor of the ironing board), Mary McCloud Bethune (educator, stateswoman and civil rights leader) and Sojourner Truth (abolitionist and women’s rights advocate). Visitors pressed a “button” located on the hand of the statues/students, which caused them to move and quote interesting facts about the characters they were portraying.

The top winner/performer in the wax museum was Jade Evans for her portrayal of Sarah Boone. Other students receiving awards for their portrayals were Kayla Sanders as Mary McCloud Bethune, Serena Booker as Serena Williams, Christian Murray as Andrew Young, Kevin Rose at Hosea Williams, and Jayla Graham as Sojourner Truth.


Zaire Parris portrays brilliant scientist and inventor Louis Latimer at the Continental Colony Elementary School Black History Wax Museum.

Additionally, Continental Colony is continuing its annual tradition of decorating its entire foyer with homages to African American history.

Here are several other Black History Month celebrations occurring throughout Atlanta Public Schools (in chronological order):

Forrest Hill Academy | February 1-28
Students are filming a documentary titled “What Black History Means to Me.”

Grady High School | February 1-28
Teachers are incorporating African-American history facts throughout the curriculum, and a date for the annual Black history play is being developed.

Morningside Elementary School | February 1-28
Reading quotes or brief bios on morning announcements and on the school’s daily message board; Kindergarten does a unit of study on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and creates hallway bulletin boards in his honor; Kindergarten and first-grade students are being taught a song about Dr. King and will read “Martin’s Big Words”; Books related to African-American history and heroes are on display in the media center; Fifth graders will analyze quotes by Dr. King as an ELA assignment.

South Atlanta High School | February 1-28
Black history facts are broadcasted over the public address system during the day.

Morris Brandon Elementary School  | February 3-28
First Street: Students are invited to research an African American who was the “first” African American to achieve a specific accomplishment. The student will create a poster detailing the individual and his/her accomplishment. The posters will be on display in the school’s “First Street” exhibit.

Mary Lin Elementary School/Inman Middle School | February 11
Psi Phi Beta Step Team performs at the monthly “SPARK Saturday” at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. This month’s “SPARK Saturday” event teaches youth about African American culture through rhythm and movement, and illustrates how today’s music and dance movements are inspired by African traditions.

Whitefoord Elementary School | February 16
(Grades 3-5) Guest speaker Nettie Washington-Douglass, great, great granddaughter of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass.

Young Middle School | February 20-24
“Celebrating Black History in Atlanta”: A series of performances and guest speakers throughout the week.

Bunche Middle School | February 23
“Sankofa – Go Back and Get It.” Performing arts performances featuring dance, drama and chorus.

Long Middle School | February 23
“Remember the Times”: Thematic, living timeline created by students, highlighting moments in African-American history.

Benteen Elementary School | February 24
Essay competition and family movie night.

Brown Middle School | February 24
“Sankofa”:The annual Black History Program (sankofa translates to “recovering or retrieving the past”).

Scott Elementary School | February 24
“Lift Every Voice”: The annual performing arts program for Pre-K through fifth grade.

Whitefoord Elementary School | February 24
Black History Bowl

Continental Colony Elementary School | February 28
Pantherville Poetry Café.

Hope Hill Elementary School | February 28
Annual Black History program.

West Manor Elementary School| February 28
Annual African-American history program.

Whitefoord Elementary School| February 28
Black History Performing Arts Program.









February 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

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