The impact on educators, parents and students constitutes an ongoing storyline.
On the hot-button standardized testing front, the state is no longer using the Criterion Referenced Competency Test to test students’ knowledge in reading, English/language arts, math, science and social studies. The Georgia Milestones Assessment System — better known as Georgia Milestones — replaces it as well as End-of-Course Tests and the writing assessment administered to third-, fifth- and eighth-graders.
Other notable new happenings abound.
Atlanta Public Schools
The district welcomed new superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen in early July. Her purview includes about 50,000 students projected to enroll for the school year.
o The opening of Atlanta Classical Academy, a charter school serving kindergarten through eighth grade
o Students in grades three through 12 now have access to a secure Microsoft Outlook email account through the district’s student portal.
o The district has created an ombudsman’s office to address student, parent and community issues.
Fulton County Schools
Superintendent Robert Avossa returns to lead the state’s fourth largest school district. Enrollment for 2014-15 has been tabbed at 96,300 students.
o The school board approved a 5-cent increase to the student lunch meal price and a 10-cent increase to the adult lunch price. Breakfast prices will remain the same.
o The multiple-phased renovation project at North Springs Charter High School, funded by eSPLOST, the 1 percent sales tax approved by county taxpayers.
o In addition to school resource officers already in place at middle and high schools, campus security associates — trained professionals — are being added to some locations.
o Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School recently completed the largest fundraising campaign in its 55-year history. The record $22.5 million raised will go toward construction of a new state-of-the-art math, science and dining room building at the upper school.
o At Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Peter Schultz has assumed the position of lower school principal.
Schultz has served as principal in both private and public schools, including, most recently, as principal of St. John and St. Paul School, a K-8 Catholic school in Larchmont, N.Y.
o Whitefield Academy added a significant technology infrastructure over the summer to enhance classroom use of technology by students. The school continues to experience significant growth, with an enrollment at over 750 — an anticipated bump of more than 10 percent over last year. That influx includes its first legacy student, the daughter of alumni and Whitefield teacher Megan LeCraw Beard. The school also continues to add the necessary faculty to keep its student/teacher ratio at 11 to 1.
Whitefield is also implementing a new program to improve reading and comprehension. The program was tailored specifically for Whitefield based on the latest research in neuroscience.
Editor’s note: Information from other schools was not submitted by press time Monday, but is expected to be included in future editions.