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Meeting to discuss middle school capacity issues

A peek at some local school news to use

The Virginia-Highland Civic Association will host a forum on June 27 to discuss middle school capacity issues in the Grady High School cluster.

The meeting is intended to give all Grady cluster communities a voice in the effort to address middle school capacity issues in the area.

The group will work with a facilitator to keep order in the meeting and notes from the forum will be shared with Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, the Grady cluster representative on the Atlanta Public Schools board of education.

“We're also reaching out to other neighborhoods to discuss how to promote dialogue throughout the cluster around this issue,” VHCA education committee chair Nicole Foerschler Horn said. “That's a process we hope to continue to develop in future weeks.”

Five elementary schools — , Hope-Hill Elementary, , and — feed into Inman Middle School, but there's just not enough desks for the growing student population in the area.

Inman was built for about 770 students but can hold about 900 students, principal Paula Herrema said at a meeting earlier this year.

Enrollment at Inman was around 900 students last school year, and Herrema said the school functioned well but wouldn’t be able to handle more kids without an expansion.

Future projected enrollment at Inman could hit nearly 1,400 students in 2017 when current kindergartners would attend sixth grade.

During the effort earlier this year to redraw school attendance zones and address capacity issues, Superintendent Erroll B. Davis, Jr. on Memorial Drive.

But parents vehemently opposed this plan, calling for more time to research the impact of the grade six academy model on student achievement.

Davis and the board of education instead before next school year to accommodate all students.

If you go: Forum on the Grady Cluster's middle school capacity, Wednesday, June 27, at the cafeteria, 774 Virginia Ave. - Jaclyn Hirsch

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Eleven metro Atlanta students, including Grady's Nadia Kendall will travel to the Galapagos Islands to study global warming.

The students were selected among 200 participants in an essay contest sponsored by the Georgia Aquarium.

To enter the contest, students wrote a 500-word essay in the form of a Presidential State of the Union Address about global warming — “A Global Warming Warning. America’s Issue and our Solution.”

The contest winners will spend a week in July on the Galapagos Islands, home of the Charles Darwin Research Station.

They will explore the area, which includes tropical environments and volcanic rock, and hear from experts about the environment.

Contest winners include:

Alexander Nichols, Lithia Springs High School
Anika Carter, New Manchester High School
Brandon Fountain, Marist High School
Dorian Minter, Rex Mill Middle School
Jaelin Watkins, Lakeside High School
Jonathan Fluellen, Columbia High School
Nadia Kendall, Henry W. Grady High School
Nicole Grizzle, Teasley Middle School
Richardo Hartley, Peachtree Charter Middle School
Sabree Harris, Parkview High School
Sania Chandrani, Parkview High School

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Two teachers were named 2012 Georgia Master Teachers by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission last month.

Sara Looman (sixth grade) and Mark Washington (seventh grade) were the only Atlanta Public Schools teachers to receive the master teacher certificates.

The certificate aims to recognize teachers who demonstrate excellence in the area of student gains. Teachers must have at least three years of experience on a Georgia Clear Renewable Certificate to be eligible.

Teachers must apply for the certification with the help of the district administration.

More information about the certification can be found at the Georgia Master Teachers website.

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An AP Summer Boot Camp will be held the week of July 23, 2012 from 8 am untill 1 pm daily at Grady High.

This AP/IB Summer Boot Camp is sponsored by the Small Learning Communities grant awarded to Grady, Mays and North Atlanta high schools.  The AP/IB Summer Boot Camp was developed in 2011 to help ensure students at these grant-awarded schools are successful in higher level courses.

Students will be engaged in hands-on activities through the intensive one-week camp. The objectives of the AP/IB Summer Boot Camp include preparation for AP and/or IB courses, increased proficiency in critical reading and critical writing and laying a foundation for success at post-secondary institutions. Grady and Mays students will focus on AP preparation, while North Atlanta students will focus on AP and IB preparation.

Space is limited. Please download the registration form here, then complete and return the form by June 18, 2012. Forms can be faxed to (404) 377-9183. If you have questions, please contact Grady's AP Coordinators - Ms. Sabb at bsabb@atlanta.k12.ga.us or Mr. McCurdy at lmccurdy@atlanta.k12.ga.us - or call  Yvonne Prater or Tamiko Hudson - office of high schools - at (404) 802‐5875.

The direct link to the registration form can be found here.

Requirements: This camp is for students who attend Grady, Mays and North Atlanta high schools and who are scheduled to take an AP and/or IB course during the 2012-2013 school year.

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