Kennedy Middle School
Kennedy Middle School has developed a morning tutorial program to ensure all students are provided with adequate support and resources to exceed their academic goals.
Each morning as students arrive, they are given a grab-and-go breakfast and escorted to their assigned tutorial class for the day. On Mondays and Tuesday students attend math tutorial. Reading tutorials are held on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Fridays are designated for club and organization meetings.
“This phase of instruction was devised as a means to support students’ individual needs,” said Keisha Johnson, the graduation coach at Kennedy Middle. “We utilized data to assess the needs of each student. The leadership team met on several occasions to devise a plan that would accommodate students accordingly.”
For example, students that excel in both math and reading were placed in an online coordinate algebra tutorial that allows them to dig deeper to reach for higher target goals.
This school year, the Logan Wilkes Foundation developed a new component to their partnership with Kennedy Middle School. The Logan Wilkes Foundation, in conjunction with GPAN (Georgia Coalition for Physical Activity and Nutrition), is currently offering a Cooking Matters class for Kennedy Middle students.
Twelve students are currently participating in the six-week program that teaches teens how to plan, purchase, and prepare healthy, tasty, and affordable foods at home. During the first session students learned the basic principles of safe cooking and healthy eating and made delicious fruit and herb smoothies.
Logan Wilkes Foundation Founder Anthony Wilkes and Cooking Matters voluntary culinary nutrition experts teach the students how to prepare meals through hands-on lessons. Each class focuses on the importance of selecting nutritious and low-cost ingredients to create healthy and nourishing cuisine.
“The students are really receptive to the program,” explained Mr. Wilkes. “This program inspires them to make better eating choices.”
School: Carver High School- Health Sciences & Research
Grade: 12th Grade
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
Edward Curney III, a 12th grader at Carver High School- Health Sciences & Research, tries to live by this quote each and every day.
“Since birth my parents have raised me to soar like an eagle and to be distinct,” Edward explained.
And Edward is certainly flying high.
Edward is a dedicated and ambitious scholar athlete with a current GPA of 3.7. He is also ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. In addition to scoring big in the classroom, Edward is also a phenomenal athlete. He is currently ranked as the 4th Best Inside Linebacker in the state of Georgia.
Several colleges are working to recruit Edward for his athletic ability and excellence in education, including Georgia State, Marshall, Appalachian State, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Virginia Tech and Yale.
Edward says is most excited about his offer from Yale.
“I want to major in business finance and own my own private institution one day,” Edward said. “I am looking forward to stepping out on faith and tackling the world on my own.”
Edward is determined to be successful and achieve his goals in life, and according to him, only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatness. Edward says that he has the made the choice to not be afraid to try unrealistic things, but instead, he will step out on faith, trust in God and persevere.
School: Kennedy Middle School
Grade: 8th Grade
Antionette Shannon is definitely a shining star at Kennedy Middle School. Her favorite subject has always been math, as she has always exceled in the subject.
Antionette works hard in the classroom, and she is determined to make her teachers and family proud. She attributes her success to the love and support of her family.
“Despite what I’ve lacked in life, I can replace that lack with love and support,” she said.
Antionette says that she doesn’t measure her success in material things, but instead, she values her education and focuses a lot of her time on studying and learning.
Antionette is an active participant of the Raising Expectations program, an after school activity at Kennedy Middle School. Since joining the program she has been afforded additional academic support to help meet her academic goals for the school year. Antionette has been recognized as an honor roll student, serves as the treasurer for the SGA club, and she was on the Principal’s List for the 2012-13 school year.
Antionette plans to attend Washington High School next year and participate in the Early College program. She lives by the Kennedy Theme for this school year, “staying the course, digging deeper, and reaching higher.”
Grade: 8th Grade
School: King Middle School
Marquis was selected as one of 25 student leaders from King Middle to participate in The Academy with DJ Drama, Don Cannon, DJ Sense, and DJ Era. The guests shared encouraging messages to the students, and awarded each student with a certificate for their leadership. “They shared different obstacles that they went through in order to succeed, and how education helped them get to where they are now,” Marquis says.
Marquis exemplifies great behavior, strong leadership, and makes good choices. He is an honor student, and his best subjects are language arts, math, and social studies. Marquis does the right thing even when no one is looking. He enjoys helping others, by encouraging them when they are feeling down, or helping them with their schoolwork. “I like to help other people, and to see them do well in school,” he says.
Marquis is also active in after school program, football, basketball, and swimming. He enjoys outdoor adventures in the woods, especially camping. His goal is to become an athlete and a motivational speaker in the future, and hopes to continue doing what he loves and serving others.
School: Scott Elementary School
Mention the name Ashley Naji to any staff member at Scott Elementary, and your words will be met with enthusiasm. When asked to describe the fourth-grader, Laura Woods, the school’s media specialist, instantly rattled off a long list of accolades without pausing.
Woods calls Ashley a “go to” person who is always ready for any task; as proof of this, Woods cites the time Ashley was asked to deliver the school’s morning announcements.
“She didn’t hesitate when we approached her, she jumped right in,” recalls Woods. “In fact, she even recruited other students to read the announcements for future broadcasts.”
Ashley is also a “go to” person when it comes to completing tasks away from school. Her grandmother owns a parking lot near Turner Field, and calls on Ashley to sell cold beverages to thirsty patrons headed to and from Braves games. Ashley admits that even though she enjoys doing her part to support the family business, there are times when she would rather be doing something else — especially when the games finish late.
“Sometimes they go all the way to the 16th inning, and 16 innings is a long time!” she says emphatically.
But even when the games end late, the Challenge student hangs in there, and keeps a positive spirit. “Besides,” she says, “You can make some real good money too.”
Ashley’s positive, can-do spirit is one reason she performs well in school. At the end-of-year awards ceremony last year, Ashley won awards in math, reading, science, social science and perfect attendance.
She says achieving perfect attendance was not hard, because she enjoys school so much.
“Well, I don’t like waking up to go to school, but once I’m there, I love it, because there is so much to do.
She loves math — especially multiplication – even when she comes across problems she doesn’t understand, like multiplying two-digit numbers by two-digit numbers. She says it was hard, but she kept studying and practicing until she got it – she never gave up.
Ashley also enjoys reading, so she visits the public library regularly. She recently finished reading “BFG: The Big Friendly Giant,” a book she now calls one of her favorites.
“I love it, because the author is so creative,” says Ashley. “He makes up silly words like, ‘scrumpdillyumptious’ and ‘snozzcumber.’
Ashley also participates in the school orchestra and P.O.W.E.R., Scott’s performing arts club.
This year, students and teachers from Drew Charter School share a building with Kennedy Middle School students. Kennedy students will share their campus with Drew for one year while Drew Charter’s Senior Academy is being constructed.
Recently, students at Kennedy Middle School and Drew Charter School participated in student swap day. Student swap day was developed to allow students from each school to share experiences, best practices and learning opportunities with one another.
Student ambassadors from each school swapped classroom seats and schedules for an entire day and experienced an eye-opening “day in the life”.
Following swap day, both schools participated in a Friendship Friday Dance where students were able to mingle and spend time meeting new friends.
Kennedy Middle was among the 13 schools selected to participate in the event. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the day full of play, sports, leadership and learning.
Rashan Ali (Sporty Girls) was one of the special guest speakers who encouraged the girls to focus on their health and wellness. Community leaders and sports enthusiasts gave speeches that spoke to the girls’ self-esteem and confidence, while encouraging them to remain true to who they are.
During the day, the girls split into groups as they participated in a variety of sports and activity stations. In each station the girls learned the techniques, skills, and strategies needed to maintain a level of success for each sport.
Submitted by the Office of Innovation
On Tuesday, July 30, Drew Charter School students started their first day of school on two campuses. The elementary students were welcomed to their original campus, in the East Lake community, with open arms by their principal, Mr. Don Doran. The students were enthusiastic and eager to learn as they familiarized themselves with new classes and teachers. The middle and high school students experienced their first day of school in a new environment, Kennedy Middle School. Kennedy students will share their campus with Drew for 1 year while their Senior Academy is finished being constructed. The students are looking forward to the opportunities to interact with each other during lunch and other social activities.
Drew Charter School’s transition into Kennedy Middle School was extremely smooth. It was great to see the welcoming exchanges between both students and staff alike. The middle school principal, Mr. Gregory Leaphart, greeted the majority of the students by name. He stated, “We are a family here. The students respond better when you know them by name.”
Drew Charter School had a terrific first day of school and is excited about this school year. Embodying the spirit of their mascot, they will soar like Eagles!
Kennedy Middle School recently hosted its first Academic Night for parents and students. Academic Night consisted of dynamic student-led classroom presentations, an informative PTA meeting, and a gourmet spaghetti dinner.
Students served as hosts and hostesses, and they provided parents and community stakeholders with a wonderful welcome. Each parent was given an opportunity to walk in the shoes of their middle school student as they followed their child’s daily schedule and routine throughout the first hour of the evening. Students walked their parents to each class, and parents received valuable information and viewed presentations detailing the content and curriculum their child has learned throughout the school year. Each presentation was hands-on and allowed for the parents to gain a better understanding of academic standards and expectations at Kennedy Middle School.
Following the classroom presentations, the parents were escorted to the cafeteria, where they enjoyed the gourmet meal of the night. As parents ate dinner they were also greeted by Interim Principal,Andrea Dziengue, West Region Executive Director, Clay Hunter, APS Distrist 2 Board Member, Byron Amos, and Executive Director of Innovation, Allen Mueller. During the PTA meeting parents and community stakeholders were given the opportunity to discuss future plans for Kennedy Middle School and upcoming changes for the 2013-2014 school year.
The Logan Wilkes Foundation recently sponsored the “Tell Me Your Story” essay contest at Kennedy Middle School. Kennedy Middle School students were encouraged to formulate their essays as if they were describing their life story to a complete stranger.
The Logan Wilkes Foundation aims to educate, empower and enrich the lives of youth. The foundation is founded by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Wilkes and provides programs designed to produce a positive transitional growth for youth as they develop into young adults. Kennedy Middle School is one of the foundation’s partnering schools in Atlanta Public Schools.
The purpose of this exercise was to help students enhance their descriptive essay writing skills and process their lives. Additionally, the essay contest aimed at helping students develop coping skills to better handle specific circumstances that could have a direct impact on the outcome of their academic success.
The overall goal and mission of the exercise was to provide a therapeutic experience for students and to encourage them by letting them know they are not alone. Students attended an assembly where guest speakers shared their life stories and discussed specific topics that were identified in the essays submitted for the contest. The speakers provided students with a formula to assist them as they navigate through the many decisions and obstacles they will face in life—stop, think, and decide.
The essay contest results were announced immediately following the assembly, and in the end, Jasmyn Combs and Kalveion Heard were recognized as the first place winners. Essay contest participants were also honored with a reception, complete with pizza and drinks. During this time, students were able to address additional questions with the guest speakers.