Good Evening to Everyone;
I share the Board’s excitement about the full accreditation status of our high schools and I thank the countless individuals – both inside and outside APS – who are deeply committed to building excellence across this system. I want to acknowledge Dr. Kirijan and the Organizational Advancement team for their efforts facilitating our accreditation work. Before we get to the consent agenda, I have two brief updates.
The Georgia Department of Education recently released its list of “reward schools” under the state’s new accountability system. Let me explain that reward schools rank among the top schools in the state for either having high performance or high progress made by students over the past three years.
○ High-performing reward schools are the top 5 percent of Title I schools.
○ High-progress reward schools are the top 10 percent of Title I schools.
Rankings are based on tests scores, graduation rates and progress in closing achievement gaps.
Six APS schools met the criteria to become a 2012 reward school:
1. B.E.S.T. Academy Middle School
2. Carver Early College
3. Drew Charter School
4. Inman Middle School
5. South Atlanta School of Law and Social Justice
6. Washington Senior Academy
Please join me in congratulating students, teachers, parents and administrators from these reward schools.
Strategic Plan Reminder and Rollout
As we recognize and glean best practices from our reward schools, we cannot overlook that our system also had schools named earlier this calendar year as “priority” or “focus” schools.
To achieve success for ALL of our schools, we have begun rolling out our Five-Year Strategic Plan. Our Strategic Plan is a roadmap to provide us with a clear direction for moving forward and to hold us accountable for specific outcomes from now until 2017.
In fact, as part of its decision to restore our full accreditation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools positively cited the District’s Five-Year Strategic Plan.
To sum up the Plan at its simplest, we are focused on four guiding principles (excellence, ethics, equity and engagement). The Plan also includes 10 objectives that all lead to one top objective: improve student achievement (11 objectives in all). As part of the plan, we are closely and publicly monitoring such areas as higher graduation rate for ALL students, more inclusion of students with special needs, Advanced Placement achievement, and much more. We are making the plan available to employees, parent groups and community members; and the entire Strategic Plan can be downloaded from our homepage (APS Strategic Plan 2012-2017) or with assistance from the Parents As Partners Academic Center.
I encourage everyone to take some time to review it, understand it and embrace it – so that all of us who care deeply about this school system can work together toward the success of every school/every child.
COW Presentations and Special Presentation
Earlier today, the board heard two presentations during the committee of the whole meeting:
○ Monthly financial update from CFO Chuck Burbridge
○ 2013 proposed legislative priorities from Associate Superintendent Steve Smith
Both presentations will be posted online, as well as accessible from the Parents as Partners Academic Center.
At this time, we have a special presentation to pay tribute to some outstanding educators in APS.