Category: Education

St. Martin’s spelling bee winners head to state competition

The winners of a St. Martin’s Episcopal School spelling bee are headed to the first round of a statewide competition. The Brookhaven school held its annual Middle School Spelling Bee Jan. 13 in a pandemic-altered version, according to a press release. The 24 contestants competed in the school gym, masked and distanced, while students, teachers and parents watched remotely on video. Sixth-grader Patrick Feagin won first place with a spelling of “voracious,” according to the release, while eighth-grader Drew Park took second place. They now move on to the Georgia Independent School Association Spelling Bee, which will begin its...

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Fulton County Schools plans to allow courses in Black and women’s studies

The Fulton County School System proposed allowing high schools to introduce courses in Black and women’s studies intended to address diversity and inclusion.  The classes, named “Introduction to African-American/Black Studies” and “Introduction to U.S Women’s Studies,” were discussed in a Jan. 12 Fulton Board of Education work session. Per policy, the proposal must be considered for a month. The courses will return to the board’s work session agenda on Feb. 9, Brian Noyes, FCS spokesperson said. If no changes or other issues arise, the board will put the proposal on its regular meeting on Feb. 18 for a vote....

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Atlanta Public Schools set to reopen in-person learning Jan. 25 despite COVID-19 surge

Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospital bed shortages, controversy over the vaccine rollout, and concerns from parents and teachers, Atlanta Public Schools plans to restart in-person education on Jan. 25. Around 13,000 of the district’s 52,000 students are expected to return to schoolhouses at the end of the month, according to school officials, as in-person learning would be optional, with virtual learning still available. It will be the first time students have been in classrooms since last March. Pre-K, grades 1 and 2, and special education students across all grade levels will be back at their desks on...

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Special COVID-19 vaccination date set for Fulton Schools employees 65 and older

The more than 2,000 Fulton County Schools employees age 65 and older will have an opportunity to get COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday. Fulton Superintendent Mike Looney told members of the Fulton County Board of Education during their Jan. 12 work session that the school district arranged with the Fulton County Board of Health for the vaccinations. “I’m pleased to announce that this Saturday, Jan. 16, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium there will be an exclusive opportunity for Fulton County School District employees that are age 65 or older to receive their first vaccine from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Looney said....

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DeKalb Schools delays return to in-person instruction, promises advance notice

The DeKalb County School District will delay the return to in-person instruction originally scheduled for Jan. 19 due to the spread of COVID-19 in the district. Families will be given a two-week notice prior to the expected return to in-person instruction, the school district announced in a news release on Jan. 12. The decision was announced by Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris and her staff during the Jan. 11 Board of Education meeting. A virtual town hall for parents to discuss the situation with Watson-Harris will be held Jan. 14 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parents can submit questions and/or...

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Fulton County Schools pushes back in-person instruction until Jan. 19 due to COVID-19 surge

All students in Fulton County Schools will continue remote learning until Jan. 19 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases that impacted the school district’s ability to sufficiently operate schools. Remote instruction resumed on Jan. 6. FCS had planned for elementary students enrolled in face-to-face instruction to resume in-person classes on Jan. 11. Middle and high school students were slated to resume in-person instruction on Jan. 13. But after consulting with state and local public health officials the delay in offering face-to-face instruction was made, the school district announced in a press release.   Now the remote learning will...

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Meet students who found ways to support the community in the pandemic

January is usually the month we present our “20 Under 20” honorees, recognizing the extraordinary work students do in the community and for nonprofits. But after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, divisive politics, and a new reckoning over racial injustice, it didn’t seem right to hold a competition. Instead, we decided to speak with young people who dedicated themselves to helping others and making a difference  — even from behind their computer screens — during an unprecedented year. Asanshay Gupta, Atlanta International School Atlanta International School sophomore Asanshay Gupta, 15, developed an app to help makeshift COVID-19...

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Dunwoody’s 2020 Year in Review

Beyond the history-making pandemic and racial justice protests in 2020, Dunwoody faced overcrowded schools, finding a new DeKalb Schools superintendent, police lawsuits and I-285 toll lanes that could take some residents’ homes. There was even controversy with the city’s unofficial motto “Everything Will Be OK.” 2020 had some silver linings, as plans for a new park got underway and several development projects came to fruition. Pandemic shutdowns and openings Dunwoody faced similar shutdowns and mask-mandate debates as the rest of the metro area. It was one of the first cities to start significant reopening activities, both official and cautious,...

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Brookhaven’s 2020 Year in Review

The city of Brookhaven grew by annexing more land and started a plan for a downtown “City Centre.” It pushed through the pandemic, requiring masks and closing City Hall at the first positive test of COVID-19. Following the racial justice protests across the country, the City Council formed a commission to take a closer look at the issues closer to home. Controversial annexation ends with Brookhaven win The city annexed approximately 28 acres at Briarcliff and North Druid Hills roads after an arbitration panel ended a challenge from DeKalb County. An arbitration panel rejected all the county’s arguments and...

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Sandy Springs’ 2020 Year in Review

In a monumental year, Sandy Springs dealt with the pandemic and was the scene of several racial justice protests. The city government embarked on processes that will continue into the new year, including racial dialogues and proposals for North End redevelopment. The pandemic strikes Tents at Medical Center hospitals were an early sign that the pandemic was becoming serious. The many shutdowns included the Performing Arts Center at City Springs, and the city manager and city attorney were among those who contracted and recovered from COVID-19. Sandy Springs joined 12 other Fulton County cities in a dispute over CARES...

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Buckhead’s 2020 Year in Review

A global pandemic. Protests. Rioting. Any recap of a historic year in Buckhead reads like a dystopian sci-fi novel. But the intertwined stories of racial justice protests, public safety policy and a revived cityhood movement are very real and may well influence 2021’s big story: a mayoral election. Also all too real in the still-raging pandemic are the lives lost and the livelihoods ruined. Racial justice protests and rioting When largely peaceful protests against the police killing of George Floyd came to Downtown in May, the first night spun off widespread rioting and looting in Buckhead for still-debated motives....

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A Q&A with advocacy groups about Atlanta Public Schools’ in-person return

The public school systems in Atlanta and DeKalb County are tentatively set to return to optional in-person classes in January, depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, after months of advocacy by parents, teachers and staff. Everyone agrees that in-person classes should resume, but when and how remains controversial. In Atlanta, a group called We Demand Safety APS has advocated for better safeguards before an in-person return. Another called Committee for APS Progress has advocated for an immediate in-person option. The Reporter asked those groups for their opinions about the return plan. The answers, which were edited for...

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