Category: Education

Buckhead’s Garden Hills Elementary field renovation gears up

The first phase of a $750,000 renovation of Garden Hills Elementary School’s field is gearing up as fundraising continues. Abbie Shepherd of the Buckhead school’s foundation, Acorns to Oaks, reported the plan to NPU-B on Oct. 2, saying the current field is a “mud pit and a disaster.” The first phase, budgeted at $350,000, would add a track, improve drainage and renovate the playground. The foundation is finalizing permits and preparing a request for proposals with the hope of starting work next summer, Shepherd said. A second phase, at around $400,000, would add a sports court, concession stand, outdoor...

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Exceptional Educator: Paula Boston, E. Rivers Elementary

Paula Boston, media specialist at E. Rivers Elementary, a public Buckhead school, is working to make the library the star of the school, transforming it from a quiet space to a place of collaborative information. Boston, who was nominated as “Exceptional Educator” by school Principal John Waller, has also partnered with a group to bring in trained therapy dogs for students to practice reading aloud. The activity is hoped to make any student a more confident reader, Boston said. Trained therapy dogs are used because they have been screened for behavior and temperament. She’s implemented “maker space” activities, which...

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Redistricting for Brookhaven’s new Lewis Elementary begins

A process to draw an attendance zone for Brookhaven’s new John Robert Lewis Elementary School began Oct. 2 with a community meeting. Named for the congressman and civil rights leader, the school is currently operating in a temporary location on North Druid Hills Road and will open in a new building on Skyland Drive in August 2019. Lewis Elementary currently has over 500 open seats, vacancies that the school district hopes to use to curb overcrowding at nearby schools. About 200 residents attended the Oct. 2 meeting, held at Cross Keys High School. Hans Williams, the director of planning...

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APS chief blasts Gulch deal funding at Buckhead meeting; calls for ‘TAD’ reform first

The Atlanta Public Schools chief issued a lengthy, blistering criticism of the city’s proposal to publicly finance a massive redevelopment of the Gulch, and suggested a possible legal challenge, at an Oct. 11 meeting of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods. “We can’t afford to do anything else… This will break the bank,” said Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. She demanded that APS have a role in deciding whether to use as an incentive a tax allocation district, or TAD, that would slash the school district’s share of Gulch-area taxes for decades, and suggested the plan would not survive a legal challenge....

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Fulton’s Riverwood cluster first in district to receive IB certification

Three elementary schools that feed into Sandy Springs’ Riverwood International Charter School have received International Baccalaureate certification, making Riverwood the first Fulton cluster to be completely certified. Heards Ferry, High Point and Lake Forest elementary schools have been certified by the elite education organization, the Fulton County School System announced Sept. 14. Riverwood International Charter School was certified in 1999 and Ridgeview Charter School in 2009, the district said in a press release. IB certification is a long process that includes consultations and verification visits from the international organization. Becoming an IB school allows it to be part of...

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New graduation rates mixed for local schools

Graduation rates for DeKalb and Atlanta public school districts increased last school year while Fulton’s remained the same, according to state data. Statewide, the graduation rate rose to 81.6 percent in 2018 from 80.6 percent in 2017. DeKalb County School District DeKalb’s graduation rate for 2018 was 75 percent, an increase over 2017’s rate of 74 percent. Chamblee Charter and Dunwoody high schools are two of nine schools in the district with rates above 80 percent. Chamblee Charter’s new rate is 83 percent, an increase over 2017’s 81.9 percent. Dunwoody’s is 86 percent, an increase over 2017’s 85.7 percent,...

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School safety committee nears end of research

The state Senate’s school safety study committee held its next-to-final meeting at Chamblee Charter High School on Sept. 18 as it begins to wrap up its research. The study committee has met with teachers, students, parents and local first responders across the state. Its members include local Sens. John Albers, who chairs the committee, Kay Kirkpatrick and Fran Millar. Following the meeting, where the committee heard mostly from Gwinnett County community members, Millar said he expects recommendations to center around needing more funding for safety improvements. That may include allowing schools to use special purpose tax, or EPLOST, funds...

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State school superintendent talks local control, start dates

State Superintendent Richard Woods spoke on his support for local control, including on trade-oriented classes and school start dates, during a Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon Sept. 14. Woods, who took office in 2015 and is running for re-election this year against Democrat Otha Thornton, has focused his platform on decentralizing control, saying he thinks local districts should make the big decisions for their schools, including school schedules. Legislation was introduced in the General Assembly’s last session that would prohibit schools from starting prior to the third week in August. A state Senate study committee is researching...

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Fulton’s Riverwood International Charter School budget rises by $5M

After expressing surprise and disappointment, the Fulton County Board of Education voted unanimously to increase the budget for a phase of the new Riverwood Charter International School in Sandy Springs by more than $5 million. District 5 Board Member Linda McCain said she understands that construction costs are rising nationwide, but is concerned that the Riverwood project has risen to encompass about 10 percent of the district’s capital budget for the next five years. “This is unbelievable,” McCain said. “Did we design this building to be one of the most expensive buildings we’ve done in Fulton County? That’s my...

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NAPPS to host property tax forum Oct. 3

A local education group has planned a property tax forum for Oct. 3 at Sutton Middle School. The North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments. The panel will include several Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education members and is set to start at 7 p.m. in the school’s theater, 2875 Northside Dr., NAPPS announced. The officials and candidates participating in the panel include Leah Aldridge, a candidate for state Senate District 6; Byron Amos, District 2 APS board; Lisa Bracken, the chief financial officer of APS; Cynthia Briscoe-Brown, at-large representative on the...

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St. Pius X volleyball team wins honor for academics

For the fifth year in a row, the American Volleyball Coaches Association has honored the St. Pius X Catholic High School volleyball team for academic excellence, the school announced. The team, honored for academics during the 2017-18 school year, has won the award eight times overall, the school said in a press release. The award honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.3 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.1 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0...

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New faces at local schools

Several schools in Reporter Newspapers communities have new leaders this year. Marist School starts the school year with a new president and a new principal. Father William Rowland was named president of the school and Kevin Mullally named principal earlier this year. Rowland had been serving as acting president prior to his appointment. Mullally started the 2017-18 school year as vice principal and academic dean and in the past had served as the dean of the faculty and assistant dean of students.               The Galloway School has a new head of school. James...

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