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It's the last day of school!

A peek at some worthy school news to use

School’s out for summer! Yes it is today, May 22, 2012 for traditional schools within the Atlanta Public Schools system. And for seniors, all there’s left to do is celebrate and receive their diplomas at Thursday’s 3 p.m. graduation ceremony at the Atlanta Civic Center.

On Tuesday, Class of 2012 valedictorian Julia Rapoport, and salutatorian Shaun Kleber were joined by their fellow classmates for a graduation rehearsal at the Civic Center. Midtown Patch says, “Job well done!” to all the Grady grads and don’t forget to congratulate your graduate on Midtown Patch here.

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Of course, the underclassmen will be returning in the fall. In case you missed the deadline to re-register or are new to Grady, the summer registration dates are July 25, 26, 27, and 31, plus Aug. 1 and 2. Hours of operation are 9 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. on the allocated days.

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Congrats to the 2012-13 PTSA Executive Committee:

Co-President                                Mr. Earl Cooper
Co-President                                Ms. Cassandra "Cassie" Coley
VP Programs and Activities       Ms. Erlese Caruth
VP Communications                  Ms. Christa Martin
Secretary                                       Ms. Abby Martin
Treasurer                                      Ms. Gigi Schwartz

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Grady PTSA will be raising funds at the 10th Street parking lot during the Atlanta Jazz Festival at Piedmont Park on May 26 – 28. They need volunteers, parents and students to collect the fees and direct cars to designated spots. If you can work two to three hours or more from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., sign up on the Google spreadsheet here   Please include email address or phone number. You may also send email to ghsfun20112012@gmail.com.

The Grady parking lots are the major fundraiser for Grady and the PTSA. Come out to volunteer, meet other parents, and then go enjoy the music.   

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Grady High School PTSA Fundraising would like to thank the following students, parents, teachers, and GHS administration, who organized and worked the parking lot fundraising for the 2011 - 2012 school year. Due to their hard work, PTSA fundraising was a huge success, and reached the budget of $32,000.00 (and more) for the school year. 
 
Dorian Green, Football, Student; Roberto Rojo Perela, Exchange Student; Joshanne Dar, Exchange Student; Stone Persons, Student; Phillip Steadman, JROTC Student; Lydia Justice, JROTC Student; Monique Reese, JROTC Student; Greg Tilman, JROTC Student; Corey Peterson, JROTC Student; Colin Kroner, JROTC Student; Allyah Dumas, JROTC Student; Titus Zeigler, JROTC Student; Russ & Sherri Caldwell, JROTC Parents; Master Sgt. Henry Bleach, JROTC; Lt. Col. Charles Johnson, JROTC; Earl Cooper, Football Parent; Calvin Ross, Football Parent; 21st Leadership, Ms. Van Atta & Students; Armenthia Johnson, PTSA, Mock Trial; Arlena Edmonds, PTSA, Soccer, Biomedical Science & Engineering; Wendy Kavanagh, PTSA, Robotics; Duggan Lansing, PTSA, Mock Trail; Beth Marks, PTSA, Soccer; Dana Persons, Community Representative; Jennifer Roorbach, PTSA, Athletic Booster Club; Cassandra Coley, PTSA, Chorus; Coach Ronnie Millen, Football; Coach Douglas Slade, Athletic Director; Robotics, Parents & Students; Ultimate Frisbee, Parents and Students; Boys Lacrosse, Parents and Students; Grady High School Administration

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Don't forget, Atlanta Public Schools has announced the availability of the 2012 Title II-A Parent and Community Member Surveys.

Information collected will be used to develop a plan surrounding the utilization of federal Title II-A funds for the 2012-2013 school year.

APS uses Title II-A funds for the recruitment, preparation, training and retention of teachers and principals. Each survey will remain posted until May 28. 

APS has encouraged all community members and parents to complete this important survey and give the district valuable feedback that will be implemented in neighborhood schools.

The parent survey can be found here and the community member survey can be located here.

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And finally, here is a letter from APS Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr. addressed earlier this month concerning the recent redistricting process:

Dear APS students, parents, employees, and supporters,

There is an old Chinese proverb that states a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Regarding the district’s redistricting initiative, that first step was taken nearly two years ago with focus groups from across the district that provided input into the process from the start at the grassroots level. 

From there, a demographic survey was posted on the district Web site and advertised throughout the district, inviting parents and community members to offer their opinions about redistricting. Later, independent demographer scenarios were posted and two sets of public meetings were convened in each district region, where parent and community input was received and incorporated into subsequent scenarios. More than 100 community meetings were held over the past year, where input was collected and incorporated into the evolving redistricting proposals.

It should be obvious to anyone who has even casually followed this process that the input received over the past two years was proactively used to continuously revise the redistricting proposals. It is certainly apparent that the initial redistricting proposals hardly mirror the final proposal that was approved by the Atlanta Board of Education in early April. Over the course of time, the number of proposed school closures was reduced by half; proposed preliminary clusters of schools were revised; and communities zoned into specific schools changed from what was originally proposed.

Our intention all along was to reduce the number of under-enrolled schools and consolidate students into a fewer number of schools to increase their capacities and make them eligible for additional resources to escalate student achievement. Severely under-enrolled schools are a drag on the system, wastes resources and negatively impacts student performance.

The final approved redistricting proposal effectively closes seven under-enrolled schools and creates ten clusters of schools, where students from the same neighborhoods stay together throughout their K12 educational careers. This makes for a more equitable distribution of available resources and provides the groundwork for achieving the goal of every school providing a similar quality education for every student, regardless of where they are located in the district.

Now comes the hard part. We have just a few short months to implement the approved redistricting plan prior to the start of the new school year in early August. This is no small feat, as we have to increase instructional and support staffing at schools that will be receiving additional students; allocate additional educational materials; and repurpose schools slated for closure under the redistricting plan. Our goal is to make this process as seamless as possible for students and parents. Our students are entitled to an uninterrupted continuity of their educations from year to year, regardless of changes and evolutions. Rest assured that this will happen, and we will launch the 2012-13 school year revitalized and in a much better position to take our student achievement to the next level.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr.

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