October 6, 2008
APS celebrates all-time high of 50 schools that met 70% or more of their academic targets for 2007-08
ATLANTA – APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall Monday congratulated an all-time high 50 schools that met 70 percent or more of their academic targets for 2007-2008. At the current rate of improvement, she said, the achievement gap with the state will be eliminated in a few years and by mid-2011, APS will be celebrating three more milestones.
APS Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall (center) with Atlanta Board of Education members, Coan Principal Dr. Andre Williams (second from left), SRT3 Executive Director Dr. Gloria Patterson (second from left) and members of school leadership team celebrate Coan’s achievement. (Photo by Scott King)
Top awards at the 9th APS Convocation festivities in the Georgia Dome -- complete with marching and mariachi bands, pom-poms and wild cheering -- went to East Lake Elementary, and Coan and Parks middle schools, for meeting 100 percent of their targets last year.
Superintendent Dr. Beverly L. Hall (center), SRT3 Executive Director Dr. Gloria Patterson (right) and Board Members Kathleen Pattillo (left), Vice-Chair Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, Emmett Johnson and Chair LaChandra Butler Burks congratulate East Lake Principal Gwendolyn Benton (second from left) and her leadership team on their school’s achievement. (Photo by Scott King)
Speaking to the school system’s 6,400 cheering employees at the annual district pep rally, Hall acknowledged that it wasn’t easy for those three or the other 47 schools to meet targets “that are more difficult than the Adequate Yearly Progress standard under the federal No Child Left Behind,” but she believes they accomplished it “one student at a time.”
“You developed targeted student interventions based on ongoing student assessments ... identified gaps in your comprehensive school reform models and refined them as necessary … leveraged common planning time and support from model teachers and instructional coaches … designed regular incentives to celebrate student and faculty achievement … and empowered parents and community members to partner with you in order to cultivate a rich learning environment for students,” said Hall.
Using those tactics, she said, APS has come very far in the nine years of her superintendency and people are taking notice.
Parks Middle School staff celebrates their achievement of meeting 100 percent of their academic targets for the 2007-2008 school year.
“Our schools have piqued the interest of people from around the world -- including Brazil, China, Columbia, the European Union, Japan, Mali and more,” said Hall. “And here on the home front, we’ve received coast-to-coast admiration – from New York to Minnesota, from Washington D.C. to Washington state.”
She said APS has become a model for success because “very few urban school districts can match Atlanta’s rate of growth in student achievement over the past nine years.”
“If we continue to implement best practices and strive for the summit,” Hall added, by the end of the 2010-2011 school year APS will be celebrating three more milestones: elementary school students will have eliminated the achievement gap with the state, middle school students will have reduced the achievement gap with the state in all grades and core subjects tested, and high school students will have a 60 percent or better pass rate on the End of Course Tests.”
Peyton Forest Elementary student Kenneth Russell Laster, as conductor of the APS train tells Convocation the district is ‘on track for a remarkable turnaround.’ (Photo by Scott King)
At the rate APS is improving, Hall said, “I’m confident that in a few years, the achievement gap with the state will be eliminated, and the percentage of our students performing at the highest levels – that is, exceeding state standards – will be the headline about APS.”
The Whitefoord Elementary School ‘Eagle Essence Dance Group’ performs for Convocation 2008. (Photo by Scott King)
Principals and the leadership teams of each school trooped up on stage in ascending order of accomplishment to receive a banner proclaiming their achievement level and have their photos taken with Hall, other district officials and members of the Atlanta Board of Education. In addition to the banners, the employees at each school received financial incentives based on the level of their school’s accomplishment.
At those schools that met 100 percent of their targets, each certified employee gets a $2,000 bonus, classified employees get $1,000 each, hourly and part-time employees $300 and bus drivers $200. At schools that met 90-99 percent of their targets, the bonuses ranged from $1,500 to $150; for those that met 80-89 percent of targets, $1,000-$100; and, for schools that met 70-79 percent of targets, the incentives ranged from $500 to $50 per employee.
The schools that met district targets:
100 percent – East Lake Elementary, Coan Middle, Parks Middle
90-99 percent – Capitol View Elementary, C. W. Hill Elementary, Mary Lin Elementary, Peyton Forest Elementary
80-89 percent – Beecher Hills Elementary, Benteen Elementary, Brandon Elementary, Centennial Place Elementary, Connally Elementary, Cook Elementary, Dobbs Elementary, Finch Elementary, Garden Hills Elementary, Gideons Elementary, Herndon Elementary, Jackson Elementary, M. Agnes Jones Elementary, Miles Elementary, Morningside Elementary, Scott Elementary, Sarah Smith Elementary, D. H. Stanton Elementary, Toomer Elementary, Towns Elementary, Whitefoord Elementary, Brown Middle, Inman Middle, Kennedy Middle, Young Middle, South Atlanta High School of Leadership and Economic Empowerment
70-79 percent - Bethune Elementary, Cleveland Elementary, Fain Elementary, Fickett Elementary, Hope Elementary, Humphries Elementary, Hutchinson Elementary, Kimberly Elementary, Parkside Elementary, E. Rivers Elementary, Usher Elementary, West Manor Elementary, White Elementary, Woodson Elementary, Long Middle, Sutton Middle,
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