CINS Awards Grants to Grady, Inman, SPARK

cinslogo.4.2.10.1Congratulations to Grady High School, Inman Middle School, and Springdale Park Elementary School for being among those awarded grants by the Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools. A complete list of this year’s award winners follows.

If you want to learn more, you’re invited to attend the CINS Grant Showcase on Wednesday April 30, 2014 at 6:30 PM  at Hope-Hill Elementary School. There will be a special performance from Hope-Hill’s Pre-K class, and grant recipients will make brief presentations on their projects.

2014 Grant Awardees

  1. Instructional Personal Access Device Strategies (IPADS): Centennial Place Elementary
  2. Connecting to Literacy in a Technological Age: Hope-Hill Elementary
  3. For the Love of (Leveled) Reading: Intown Academy
  4. Yoga in the Classroom: Mary Lin Elementary
  5. Study Island: Mary Lin Elementary
  6. “There’s an App for That”: Mary Lin Elementary
  7. “So You Think You Can Cluck?”: Morningside Elementary
  8. SPARK science kits: Springdale Park Elementary
  9. Study Island: Inman Middle School
  10. Epson Document Camera: Inman Middle School
  11. Tracking the Rotational Rate of the Sun: Grady High School

Education Update: April 1, 2013

Inman Middle School

By: Nicole Foerschler Horn

There are several changes being proposed as well as updates for schools within the Grady Cluster. Following is a summary:

Significant Changes Proposed for Springdale Park Elementary (SPARK)

Ending Spark’s Extended Day

SPARK is one of a handful of schools with 30 minutes of additional instructional time. APS is considering ending extended day for SPARK. The Spark Parent Teacher Organization opposes this change for several reasons, including the potential impact it would have on recess, concerns about teachers’ planning time, and the extra time needed for SPARK students to transition between multiple buildings on campus.

Cutting Early Intervention Program (EIP) Teachers From 5 to 1

APS has announced it’s changing how schools will be allocated teachers for the Early Intervention Program (EIP), which will result in Spark losing 4 of its current 5 EIP teachers. The EIP teachers help students keep pace with the academic rigor of SPARK. There are more than 80 students currently served by EIP teachers and this population (as with SPARK’s overall population) is expected to increase next year. Without these teachers, SPARK will have a large community of children who will receive diminished academic support in the coming year. The SPARK PTO believes that cutting 4 of the 5 EIP teachers will have serious consequences for all of SPARK’s students.

If you have concerns or questions about the above topics, please email Superintendent Davis at ebdavis@atlanta.k12.ga.us; Karen Waldon, the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at kwaldon@atlanta.k12.ga.us; Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, Board of Education at chkinnane@atlanta.k12.ga.us; and David White, East Regional K-12 Executive Director at dwhite@atlanta.k12.ga.us.

Davis Seeks Input on Inman Middle School Overcrowding

APS is seeking public input on Inman overcrowding through the end of April 2013. Superintendent Erroll Davis advised the Grady Cluster community that trailers will remain at Inman to provide additional classroom capacity needed for the 2013-2014 school year. APS has asked for public input on the Inman overcrowding situation. Comments and suggestions should be emailed before the end of April to InmanComments@atlanta.k12.ga.us. For additional information on the Inman capacity issue see http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/21525472/aps-seeks-public-input-to-fix-overcrowding-at-inman-middle-school.

Inman Principal’s Coffee on Safety and Transportation

April 2, 2013; 6:00 PM; Inman Media Center

Please join Ms. Herrema for the next Principal’s Coffee. This month’s session will be held Tuesday April 2 from 6-7 PM to accommodate those that cannot attend the morning sessions. Topics to be discussed include safety and transportation. Elementary school parents from the cluster are welcome to attend.

Changes Across the Cluster: School Start Times

APS announced it is considering changing the start times for schools. APS said its goal for the new start times is to improve student safety, on time arrival, and avoid the purchase of 50 new buses. The proposed changes are:

Current Proposed New
Springdale Park Start time 8:00 am, Dismissal at 3:00 pm (this includes extended day) Start time 7:45 am (with bus drop off from 7:00 – 7:15 am), Dismissal 2:15 pm
Inman Start time 8:45 am, Dismissal at 3:45 pm Start time 9:05 am (with bus drop off from 8:35 – 8:50 am), Dismissal 4:05 pm
Grady Start time 8:15 am, Dismissal at 3:15 pm Start time 8:30 am (with bus drop off from 8:00 – 8:15 am), Dismissal 3:30 pm

The Springdale Park PTO and Local School Council (LSC) wrote a joint letter to APS in opposition of the new start times for SPARK. The PTO and LSC are concerned that children would begin to be picked up around 6:50 am, at which time it is still dark outside for most of the school year. The organizations are also concerned this earlier start time (and bus pick up time) will cause more parents to drive their children to school, which will create additional traffic problems on Briarcliff.

The Inman and Grady PTAs and LSCs have not taken a position on the earlier start times for their respective schools.

If you have concerns or questions about the earlier start time, please email John Lyles at jlyles@atlantapublicschools.us.

Springdale Park Registration for 2013-14

Registration for the 2013-14 school year will be held April 1 – April 4 from 5:00 – 7:00  pm in the school cafeteria. APS allocates resources to schools based on enrollment so it is imperative that the school has accurate counts of who will be attending.

Suggested evenings to register are:

If your last name begins with A – H: April 1; I – P: April 2; Q – Z: April 3; any/all last names: April 4.

Again, these are suggested times only so please come when your schedule allows. Additionally, a notary will be available all evenings for a $2 fee per stamp.

Please park at 803 Briarcliff Road or 1246 Ponce de Leon Avenue or legal street parking – do not park next door at the Druid Hills United Methodist Church.

If you have any questions, contact Mary Stouffer at mrs30306@bellsouth.net.

Grady High to Host “State of the Cluster” Meeting

The location of a future new 6th grade academy and other capacity issues are expected to be on the agenda when Grady High hosts a State of the Cluster meeting this Thursday February 7 at 6:30 PM. The meeting is open to the public and all interested parties are invited to attend.

Click here to read a Patch story about the upcoming meeting and to view a January 31 letter from APS Superintendent Errol Davis to the Inman Task Force regarding capacity issues. In the letter Davis acknowledges last week’s meeting with members of the VHCA board of directors and their discussion of concerns raised in an analysis of the three Task Force-recommended academy sites. The analysis was done by Aaron Fortner of the planning firm Market & Main at the request of the VHCA.

Click here to read VHCA board president Jack White’s comments about their meeting last week with Davis and to view a copy of Fortner’s presentation. Fortner will provide insight on his analysis at this month’s regular meeting of the VHCA board (Mon. Feb. 11, 7 PM, Ponce library).

VHCA Board Members Meet With APS Superintendent; Discuss Overcrowding Task Force Recommendations

Inman Middle School

By: Jack White, VHCA Board President

In December, the Inman Task Force formed by school board representative Cecily Harsch-Kinnane issued a report on the two issues it was asked to consider: (1) whether a 6th or 8th grade academy would be a better short-term solution for the Grady Cluster’s overcrowding, and (2) potential sites for such an academy. The Task Force preferred a 6th grade academy and named three possible sites, two of them in Virginia-Highland (one next to the existing Inman building, and the other being the block south of Cresthill Avenue and west of Monroe now occupied by about eight private homes that would be torn down.)

The VHCA Planning Committee asked Aaron Fortner – the principal at Market & Main and our municipal consultant for several years – to analyze a number of important factors outside the purview of the Task Force, particularly the traffic, policy, and planning implications and impacts of construction at the two VaHi locations. His firm compared such outcomes at those two sites to a third location also recommended (less enthusiastically) by the Task Force: the Howard School located in the Old Fourth Ward.

The Market & Main analysis is available here.

Well aware that APS will consider many factors in reaching this decision and facing an announced end-of-January deadline, we very much wanted this information and these concerns to be in front of APS Superintendent Erroll Davis before he acted. Accordingly, members of the VHCA Planning Committee met with Superintendent Davis and other APS officials last week to present the findings contained in the Market & Main report.

Our discussion with Superintendent Davis was cordial, detailed, and thorough; he specifically asked about the history of the neighborhood, the Civic Association, and its historic support of public education. Davis spoke carefully, as he always does, making several key points: (1) His anticipated January deadline for a decision will not be met; (2) He is looking for a site that could accommodate a middle school in the future, though he did not say that one would be built; (3) None of the locations recommended by the Task Force is ideal, and APS is reviewing many options, including the original three sites.

The Market & Main report makes no recommendation as to what location should be picked, but we are aware that the conclusions in it may not be welcomed by anyone who believes that expansion at the Inman or Monroe sites is the only acceptable outcome to the attendance challenges facing the Grady cluster. The report focuses on the overall impacts of building in VaHi – increased traffic, non-conforming land use, congestion – and the implications that flow from them, specifically those that might contribute over the long run to permanently altering the residential character of the neighborhood.

Such challenges exist in many contexts independent of possible new school construction. The popularity of the Beltline has heightened traffic/pedestrian conflicts on an already-stressed Monroe (where both the Piedmont Heights Master Plan and the Beltline Plan suggest changes), and pedestrian safety on Briarcliff is a very real concern for those walking to SPARK. A separate public meeting next week at Inman Middle School will hear about pending traffic changes intended to relieve congestion on Ponce.  The neighborhood has existing un-built commercial and residential capacity, the eventual utilization of which is very likely to exacerbate today’s traffic challenges.

The permanent impacts of unplanned construction in our neighborhood outside the Comprehensive Development Plan require especially thorough consideration. Our primary goal – as it is frequently is in such matters – was to examine the traffic and policy issues in a professional context with an independent planner, and that is what Market and Main provided.

As always, please let us know your thoughts about the report. Aaron Fortner will be at our next VHCA meeting (February 11th, 7 PM, Ponce library) to amplify on his work.

Education Committee Update: January 15, 2013

  

 

By: Nicole Foerschler Horn

Atlanta Public Schools’ Calendar Community Input

APS is seeking community input on next year’s school calendar.  The School Calendar Forum in our community will be held at Inman Middle School on Monday, January 28th from 5:30 PM until 7 PM.

Click here to see the proposed calendar: http://www.boarddocs.com/ga/aps/Board.nsf/files/933T2S754BB0/$file/20130114%20calendar%20draft%20final.pdf

As reported in The Buckhead Patch last year, the three general models for school calendars are:

Balanced Calendar: A “balanced” calendar features 8-9 week blocks of instructional days with weeklong breaks evenly distributed throughout the school year. A balanced calendar usually includes a 9-10 week summer break.

Traditional Calendar: A “traditional” calendar features long blocks of instructional time with limited breaks during the school year. A traditional calendar usually includes a 10-11 week summer break.

Year Round Calendar: A “year round” calendar usually features 8-9 week blocks of instructional time with 3-week breaks distributed throughout the year. In a year round model, intersessions are provided for students during these breaks with opportunities for catch-up and enrichment, if funding is available. A year round calendar usually includes a 5-week summer break.

School Start Times: Proposed Changes

APS announced last week it is considering changing the start times for schools. The proposed changes are:

Elementary:  Start time 7:45 (with bus drop off from 7:00 – 7:15), Dismissal 2:15

Middle School:  Start time 9:05 (with bus drop off from 8:35 – 8:50), Dismissal 4:05

High School:  Start time 8:30, Dismissal 3:30

The proposed changes were presented to the Atlanta Board of Education on January 14 and will be voted on during the February 4th meeting.

For more information about the proposed changes, read the Midtown Patch article: http://midtown.patch.com/articles/aps

If you are interested in speaking at the upcoming BOE meeting, you may sign up at 5 p.m., prior to the board meeting.

Navigating through Common Core: An Interactive Workshop for Parents

APS will host an interactive discussion with parents about Common Core. Discussion topics include:

  • Common Core – State Standards, the impact on my child and me
  • Common Core – Resources to help my child at school and home
  • Common Core – It’s easy as “ABC”

The two regional meetings for the Grady Cluster are scheduled for January 31:

10 AM – Noon: Crim High School, 256 Clifton Avenue, SE, Atlanta GA 30317

6 PM – 8 PM: Drew Charter School, 301 East Lake Boulevard, Atlanta GA  30317

If you have questions, contact APS Family Engagement Specialists Shelia Cornelius or Renee Shields at 404.802.3820.

Congratulations to Grady High School’s Posse Students

Three of the twelve APS seniors recently named 2013 Posse Scholars (each earning a four-year, full-tuition scholarship worth approximately $100,000) are from Grady High School. The awards come from The Posse Foundation, which recruits students who demonstrate extraordinary academic and leadership potential and sends them to college in supportive, multicultural teams called “posses.” Join us in congratulating Grady High seniors:

  • Autumn Rivers, who will be attending Bard College
  • Diana Powers, who will be attending The College of Wooster
  • Bill Vaughn, who will be attending Syracuse University

Named in December, Posse Scholars will spend the rest of their senior year and the summer – January to August – participating in intensive college-preparatory training sessions every week. Then, throughout their college years, scholars will continue to receive support and development in the form of mentoring, retreats, internships and other meaningful activities. The Posse Foundation administers a rigorous college access and youth leadership program that boasts a college graduation rate of 90 percent.

Again, best wishes and congratulations to the 2013 Posse Scholars across APS!

Education Committee Update: January 2, 2013

By: Nicole Foerschler Horn

Grady Debate Tournament, Traffic and Volunteering

Grady’s debate team The Jesters is getting ready to host their big debate tournament of the year, “The Quest for the Dream” regional tournament on January 11th and 12thThis tournament enhances the prestige of the Grady High School speech and debate team and is a major fundraiser for The Jesters.

What does the tournament mean for Virginia-Highland? The tournament is held at both Grady High School and Inman Middle School, using hundreds of classrooms and common facilities at both schools. Tournament preparation begins at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, January 11. First rounds of the tournament start at 5:00 p.m. and conclude by around 10:00 p.m. Friday.  The tournament resumes on Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. (with preparation starting at 6:30 a.m.) and lasts until about 9:00 p.m.

According to Grady, 500 debaters and 150 judges from Georgia and nearby states will participate in the tournament. The entire debate team and many parent and community volunteers will also participate. Expect heavier than normal vehicular and pedestrian traffic and overflowing parking lots at each school.

This is an amazing event for the Grady Jesters and a wonderful opportunity for students from across the country to experience the unique beauty of our neighborhoods and schools. If you’d like to volunteer to help with the tournament, contact Janet Kishbaugh at janetkishbaugh@gmail.com.

Books for SPARK Kids

If you have gently used books, appropriate for children in grades K-5 (especially 3-5), please consider donating them to Springdale Park Elementary. SPARK keeps several shelves of books in the cafeteria which students can enjoy each day during their lunch period. We are in need of a few more books, particularly for our older children. Both fiction and non-fiction books are needed. You can drop off any books you care to donate at the SPARK front office.

Grady Knights of Sound Pure Essence Dancers Win Gold

Congratulations to the Grady Knights of Sound Pure Essence Dancers for winning a trophy in the Gold category on November 11 in the Battle of Dance Line competition at the Georgia World Congress Center. The competition between Atlanta-area high schools judges stand routine, attire, technique, choreography and dance routine.

The Southerner – High School Journalism Hall of Fame

The staffs of the Grady publications and broadcast programs traveled to San Antonio November 15 – 18 to attend the National Scholastic Press Association’s (NSPA) fall convention. The Southerner was inducted into the NSPA Hall of Fame for receiving All-American ratings for 10 of the past 11 years. Additionally, the Southerner received its eight Pacemaker Award, widely considered the Pulitzer Price of high school journalism.

College & Career Connection Spotlighted

The Atlanta Intown newspaper featured the College & Career Connection  (CCC) in its December edition. It’s a great article on the history of the CCC and how the organization seeks to help all students at Grady High School. Check it out at www.atlantaintownpaper.com, page 39, for.

Grady Book Club

Join the Grady Book Club for discussions of recent and classic books. Meetings are on the third Monday of each month at 6:15 p.m. in the homes of members. See the Gradygram for meeting locations, or contact gradywritingcenter@gmail.com. Upcoming meeting include:

• January 21 – Everybody Was So Young:  Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story by Amanda Vaill

• February 18 – The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

 

Education Committee Update: December 2, 2012

By: Nicole Foerschler Horn

Register Now for the Inman Frosty 5K!

Inman’s annual fun run is Saturday, Dec. 8 at 10 AM. Sprinters, runners, joggers, and walkers are all welcome both for the race and the after-race festivities. You can do it!  Register now at www.InmanFrosty5K.com. Students can enter the password “eagles” to register for only $10.

Springdale Park Elementary School Prospective Student Parent Tour

Parents of prospective students are invited to learn more about Springdale Park Elementary School. The tour will be held on Wednesday, December 4th at 1 PM. If you are interested in attending, please contact Jeanine Rousso at jrousso@atlanta.k12.ga.us.

Principal Evaluation Survey

APS is conducting an evaluation survey for each of its principals. To take the survey through the Internet, you must first opt in by filling out an online form that requests your name, school, e-mail address, and identification as parent or community member. A link to the survey will then be sent to you by e-mail, though not immediately.  If you do not receive the link within 24 hours of completing the opt-in form, contact Deandra Crumpler, 404.802.2711 or dcrumpler@atlanta.k12.ga.us. You may also fill out a survey for a school in your community, even if you do not currently have a child at the school, but you may have to opt in on separate days. Paper copies of the survey are also available in the front office and should be returned to the front office. To get started, go to Principal Survey Opt In. For more info, go to Flyer on Principal Survey

Upcoming CINS (Council of Intown Neighborhoods and Schools) Meetings

What: APS’ Human Resources – Hiring, Staffing, Leveling and Professional Development

When: December 12, 2012 – Noon

Where: Springdale Park Elementary School, 1246 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30306

What: 2013 Legislative Agenda for Education

When: January 16, 2013 – 7:00 pm

Where: Centennial Place Elementary School, 531 Luckie Street, Atlanta, GA 30313

Joggers on busy streets

I received 3 e-mails this week about joggers using the streets around the Inman School in the morning while there is heavy traffic in this area what with parents dropping off kids, and school buses on the streets also. I know, I know, our sidewalks are terrible, but joggers also do have to remember they can be a serious hazard as they weave in and out of traffic. Anybody have any suggestions for dealing with this problem?

Voice – Fall 2009

Download PDF (2.8 MB)

- Summerfest success
- Safety: our neighborhood connection VHList with 331 members
- President’s corner: past year’s achievements
- Streetscape Phase II (Triangle area) update
- Neighborhood arboretum coming to VaHi
- History part IV
- School news: MES, Inman
- New Highland Park fundraising update
- Join the New Highland Park Conservancy
- Neighborhood feels impact of Callanwolde construction
- New afterschool program (Garrison)
- City Storage
- Col. Mustard reviews D.B.A. Barbeque

Voice – Summer 2009

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- Summerfest
- Neighborhood preservation committee update
- Planning for 2009 Tour of Homes
- Historic Fourth Ward Park under construction
- President’s Corner: fundraising for new park
- News from MES and Inman
- SPARK gets name and principal
- Join New Highland Park Conservancy
- New businesses: Glamour Paws, D.B.A. Barbeque, Silverstein, Thomas & Carter
- VHCA wants you!
- Rufus Henry Stansell (1929-2009) neighborhood folk artist
- Col. Mustard reviews Belly General Store
- History of Virginia Highland Part III

Voice – Spring 2005


Download as PDF (5.4 MB)

- President’s Address, by Keving Cronin: preparing for Summerfest
- Summerfest 2005 needs you!
- Volunteer in our green spaces, by John Wolfinger
- Our survey says, by Chip Gallagher (results of community survey)
- Summer sizzles at Zoo Atlanta, by Helen Grebe
- Summerfest twenty years ago, by Tinka Green
- Strong academics and achievements at Inman Middle School
- 2005 state legislative actions
- Visit Piedmont Park for two new activities (Saturday safari for kids, Historic tours)
- Gear up for National Bike Month, by Mike Goodman
- Home Tour builds on 2004 success
- The Green Market at Piedmont Park returns
- School rezoning in our future? by Chip Gallagher
- If you love ‘em, leash ‘em by Officer W.J. Butcher
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Voice – Spring 2004

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President’s Address, by Kevin Cronin
- City council honors Aaron Gross for his leadership
- City council passed sewage and water bill
- Sidewalk reimbursement program
- Grand opening of Cunard Memorial Playground March 28, 2004

Parking and transportation are major issues for the business community, by Tinka Green, VHBA president
- permit parking may be introduced in Atkins Park

- What’s happening at Inman Middle School (renovation), by Liz Coyle
- Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes planned
- Remember to recycle, by Nan Hunter

Why cities don’t matter and why Virginia-Highland does, by Chip Gallagher
- Cities are losing out to suburbs in political power
- VaHi and intown neighborhoods will weather the fiscal storm due to social organization

- Atkins Park Garden Club celebrated 75th anniversary, by Tinka Green
- The Southeastern Flower Show provides great landscaping ideas, by John Wolfinger
- Anatomy of a property tax assessment challenge
- Cunard Memorial Playground park cleanup and grand opening
- How can I remove graffiti?

Voice – Winter 1992

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- VHCA amends its bylaws
- Parking survey opinion
- Planning Summerfest ’93
- Get “street smart” about safe bicycling
- Officially speaking: Handgun control, by Mayor Maynard Jackson
- Recycle today: save your “waste”, by Nan Hunter
- Home sweet Virginia-Highland home: portrait of longtime residents, by Jeni Evans
- John Howell Park renovation plans still under review, by Jerry Bright
- Col. Mustard reviews Neighbors Pub
- You can HELP! (fight crime), by Joyce Gross
- Neighborhood profile: Inman Middle School, by Betty Wells and Joan Walters
- Neighbors join to protect our streets: how to get off-duty police patrol coverage for your block, by Yvette Weatherly
- Crime statistics
- Personal safety tips from Pro-Tech Security Systems
- Learn about composting
- Traffic islands get make-over by Kathy Couch
- Parking survey

Voice – Spring 1991

Download PDF(part 1, pages 1–10, 6.4 MB)
Download PDF (part 2, pages 11–20, 5.0 MB)

In part one:
- A VaHi pioneer (Richard C. Todd) and his legacy to this neighborhood, by Jeni Evans
- Franklin Garrett speaks at March meeting. He will be presenting a history of the Virginia-Highland neighborhood.
- Being a security-conscious neighbor, by Ken Lavine, VHCA public safety co-chair
- Grady students speak out: Essays by Grady 9th and 10th graders on homelessness, war and other current issues
- The VOICE – ten years ago, by Beth Marks
- Variances and how to get one, by Steve Jagger
- Inman Middle School, by Ellen England and Janice Giddens
- New playhouse at library
- Good neighbor policy, by Kathy Couch
- St. Patrick’s Day 5K race, by Doug Sligh
- About the Ponce de Leon Task Force survey

In part two:
- Ponce de Leon Task Force survey form
- Inman wants more tutors
- CINS awards mini-grants to area teachers, by Laurie Del Martin
- Grady High School news, by Laurie Del Martin
- Help support CINS when you get your emmision test
- Top sellers at Morningside Elementary gift wrap sale
- And the pick-up goes on…recycling in 1991! By Nan Hunter
- Help for the Highland homeowner, by Virginia Temple
- Be on the lookout for the “ACORN” man!