Monthly Archives: October 2018

Marietta Reads! Announces Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair as this Year’s ‘One Book’

OneBook.2018.JPG“Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair,” a children’s book by Patricia Polacco, was unveiled this weekend by Marietta City Schools (MCS) Superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera as the district’s Marietta Reads! One Book.

Marietta Reads!, the MCS citywide effort to foster reading and literacy in the community, celebrates its 16th year anniversary this school year. The One Book Marietta project was created to provide the entire Marietta community with a common experience of reading the same book, encouraging impromptu book discussions and shared inquiry between students, schools, and the general public. “Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair” was selected by MCS Media Specialists due to its simple message that encourages self-discovery and overcoming challenges.

Marietta Reads! activities throughout the year, such as the Annual Reading Bowl and daily reading incentives for meeting reading goals are supported through the generosity of donors and supporters. Sponsors can give the gift of literacy through donations that contribute toward the purchase of books, literacy supplies, and literacy programs in MCS schools. District partner, The Credit Union of Georgia, presented a check of $500 during the unveiling to support literacy efforts in MCS.


MHS Marketing Students Place at Fall Conference


(L to R top photo): Dylan Schied, Abby Jacobs, Karena Grigenas, Maggie Smith, Faith Kumi, Allison Hidalgo, Sam Judd, and Nayna Shah (not pictured). 

Marietta High School’s marketing students recently competed at the DECA Fall Leadership Conference and received the 3rd-Place trophy in the Membership Recruitment contest.

Marietta students participating in the district’s DECA club have an interest in or are preparing for careers in fields such as management, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, and hospitality.  By participating in this pathway, students have the opportunity to create their own business ideas as well as assist local businesses with their marketing efforts. In doing so, they are able to build an impressive online portfolio and resume while also receiving money, scholarships, job placements, and internships.

Students can also compete in DECA marketing competitions and the annual Devil Tank competition for a chance to win money and prizes. The Marketing Communications & Promotions program is “industry certified” by the American Marketing Association (AMA). Marketing Communications & Promotions is one of eleven MHS Career Pathways that has been approved as IBCP.

On the same day, MHS DECA members all made a perfect score on the DECA Statesman Exam at the leadership conference and entered a float in the homecoming parade.

The national organization has 200,000 members on over 3,500 high school and college campuses.

With nearly a 70-year history, DECA has impacted the lives of more than ten million students, educators, school administrators, and business professionals since it was founded in 1946, according to the DECA national website.

Marietta High School Theater Department Wins 2nd Place in Regional Competition

Anatomy of GrayThe Marietta High School Theatre Department can’t stop winning – bringing home multiple awards this weekend during the Regional One Act Competition and a cash prize for their recent award-winning jingle.

This weekend, the cast of “Anatomy of Gray” competed at the Georgia Regional One Act Competition, winning Best Ensemble, Best Costumes, Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Napier), 2 All-Star Cast members (Calvin Rausch and Katie Lloyd), and 2nd place OVERALL in the Region.

Thanks to an overwhelming amount of support from the community, the Marietta High School’s Theatre Department also recently won third place in the statewide Hope for Jingle Contest.  The department was awarded $1500 based on a combination of their creativity and number of votes cast by the community.
Anatomy of Gray2

Marietta City Schools Shows Continued Growth on Newly Designed CCRPI

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“At Dunleith…I made the commitment to support our staff’s professional growth opportunities and ‘get out of the way’ so that they had the opportunity to teach in ways they know will work for students. We treated our staff like professionals and our families like partners.” -Jeff Mosley, Principal, Dunleith Elementary School

Schools in Marietta City Schools (MCS) showed a continued focus on student achievement and growth on the newly redesigned Georgia College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), based on data released today from the Georgia Department of Education. Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA) (95.9), West Side Elementary (90.5), Dunleith Elementary (83.4), Marietta Sixth Grade Academy (81.9), and Marietta High School (76.3) scored above the state average on Georgia’s education accountability tool that measures how well its schools, districts, and the state are helping students achieve their goals. MCS earned an overall score of 75.2.

“Our teachers, counselors, and principals have an exceptional commitment to supporting all students and closing the achievement gap,” said Grant Rivera, Superintendent of Marietta City Schools. “Getting better scores isn’t enough here in Marietta. We continue to meet the needs of the whole child through innovative classroom learning, family engagement, and a relentless focus on student achievement data.”

According to the Georgia Department of Education, the redesigned CCRPI is simpler and streamlined, measuring five components – Content Mastery, Progress, Closing Gaps, Readiness and Graduation Rate (high schools only). The number of indicators within each component was reduced in this redesigned version of the assessment. Due to the changes in CCRPI components and indicators, as well as the weighting of components, a comparison between CCRPI scores from last year to this year is not appropriate.

The real Marietta story of improvement lies in the progress scores, which show that MCS schools are significantly closing the achievement gap. Five schools demonstrated significant progress, proving that students are growing academically at a higher and faster rate than similar students throughout the state: Dunleith (99.0), MCAA (90.5), West Side Elementary (87.7), Marietta High School (87.4), and Marietta Sixth Grade Academy (86.0).

“At Dunleith we saw an increase in our CCRPI scores due to our intentional engagement with our students and their families,” said Jeff Mosley, Principal of Dunleith Elementary. “We made sure our teachers not only felt valued and appreciated but also empowered to do the work that needed to be done to improve the academic lives of their students. We focused on learning targets, maximizing instructional time and student engagement, and I made the commitment to support our staff’s professional growth opportunities and ‘get out of the way’ so that they had the opportunity to teach in ways they know will work for students. We treated our staff like professionals and our families like partners.”

Of the five schools recognized for progress, Dunleith (100.0), Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (100.0), and Marietta Sixth Grade Academy (100.0) had extraordinary Closing Gaps scores, which measures how all students and all student subgroups are making improvements in achievement rates. A total of five MCS schools outperformed the state in the area of Closing Gaps: Dunleith, MCAA, West Side, Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, and Marietta High.

MSGA Principal Corey Lawson spoke to his school’s progress, “MSGA received the highest possible score on “Closing Gaps” – 100%.  The data is a glimpse into the ongoing and complex work of intentional and purposeful focus on growth for all of our students. Our achievement gains speak to the team effort, which includes all staff, students, and families, focused on the success of every child,” said Lawson.

Five Marietta schools received a five-star climate rating: A.L. Burruss Elementary, Lockheed Elementary, West Side Elementary, Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, and Marietta Middle School. The school climate star rating is determined by a combination of criteria which includes discipline, attendance, survey data, and safe learning environment. Each school receives a School Climate Star Rating, which is calculated using data from the Georgia Student Health Survey 2.0, Georgia School Personnel Survey, Georgia Parent Survey, student discipline data, and attendance records for students and staff.

The Georgia Department of Education provides a more detailed explanation of CCRPI and individual school scores at

Blue Devil Pride Shines Bright During 2018 Homecoming Parade

The Marietta High School Student Council brought the entire community together to demonstrate Blue Devil pride during the 2018 homecoming parade.

Dubbed the “crème de la crème” of MHS Homecoming events, the “GAME ON” themed event was the most successful parade yet with 25 float participants and 100% participation from Marietta elementary schools.

MHS Student Council faculty advisor Ms. DeJarnett says the winning floats were judged and selected according to the “technological theme integrated with Blue Devil Pride portraying School Spirit.”

Now for the winners:

Elementary Category

Distinguished Judges Award – West Side Elementary

1st Place – Hickory Hills  

2nd Place – Dunleith Elementary

3rd Place – Sawyer Road Elementary

Honorable Mention – Lockheed Elementary

The High School, Middle School, MSGA Category:

1st place – Marietta High School DECA

2nd place – Marietta Sixth Grade Academy Football Team

3rd place – Marietta High School Spanish Honor Society

Congratulations to the MHS Student Council, volunteers and the community for coming together to show support for our Marietta Blue Devils, who came out with an impressive victory against North Cobb on Friday night. See you this Friday when MHS takes on Hillgrove!

Five Marietta Middle Scholars Receive $50,000 in REACH College Scholarships

REACH_MMS_20191025_00058Marietta Middle School Students Christine Baker, Christopher Hernandez, Odalis Marcial, Naidellin Marquez Cordero, and Joanna Zarco Lorenzo joined a select group of distinguished eighth-graders this week when they were named REACH Georgia Scholars by Governor Nathan Deal.

The  Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Georgia program pairs each student with an academic coach and mentor throughout their high school career. Upon graduation and successful completion of the program, each student will receive a college scholarship worth up to $10,000. This award can be matched by Georgia HOPE-eligible post-secondary institutions for a total of $20,000 per student. This year’s awards to MMS students was made possible by contributions from East West Bank, Marietta Schools Foundation, Zaxby’s (John Silvey), and The Honorable Jim Morris, retired Cobb County Judge

The Marietta Mentoring for Leadership program facilitates the program and matches each student with a community member to mentor them through high school as part of the REACH Georgia program. Parents and guardians, in support of their children’s education, also sign the contract.

Representative Sam Teasley, Associate Superintendent Dr. Belinda Walters-Brazile and Marietta Middle School Principal Dr. Dayton Hibbs all offered words of encouragement to the students and their families.

Cliffhangers! Third Graders at West Side Learn Strategies for Engaging Writing (Video)

Watch as Mrs. Young’s Third Grade class at West Side Elementary discovers the excitement of cliffhangers while reading the book “Stone Fox.” Mrs. Youngs says that reading aloud helps students hear the same strategies out loud that they are using in their writing. “They have been really caught off guard by the cliffhangers that the author leaves each chapter with. And they are thinking, “Am I engaging my readers in the same way with my writing?”

Marietta City Schools Outpaces State and Nation in SAT Scores and Gains


African-American, Hispanic, and White Students all show greater gains than their counterparts throughout the state and nation.

SAT mean scores for Marietta City Schools (MCS) when compared to other public schools in the nation, outperformed other districts by 23 points. Students saw significant score increases in both Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math.

Compared to other districts in Georgia, Marietta outperformed the state in EBRW (+9) and Math (+8). Overall, Marietta High School (MHS) students not only outscored their counterparts throughout the state and nation but also grew significantly with a gain of 15 points overall from 2017. When compared to private/independent schools as well as public schools, Marietta’s class of 2018 also outperformed the state (+8) and nation (+4).

SAT2Comparing scores from 2017 to 2018 in public and private schools, Hispanic students across the nation saw no change in SAT mean scores and the same subgroup only saw a 6 point increase in the state of Georgia. In Marietta, however, Hispanic student’s scores surged with a 17 point increase, outpacing both the state and nation in growth. The same can be seen with African-American students who moved up 9 points, higher than the (+5) increase in the nation and (+8) increase by the state. MCS White students saw the largest jump in scores with that same subgroup increasing nationally (+5) and in Georgia by (+11), but in Marietta by (+37).

The class of 2018’s Erin Griggs, a third generation Marietta graduate and freshman Psychology major at Florida A&M University attributes her preparedness for the SAT to the rigor of her classes at Marietta High School. “At Marietta, we had the opportunity to take a diverse offering of classes including International Baccalaureate, AP, and Honors,” said Griggs. “The tough classes plus the academic support provided by our college advisor and tutors in the Student Life Center gave me a lot of confidence as I prepared for the SAT exam.”

Marietta also saw an increase in the number of students taking the examination with 251 students sitting for the test for the cohort of 2018, an increase of 35 students.

“While it is exciting to see our students performing better on game-changing exams suchClassof2018Stats (1) as the SAT, it is equally exciting to me to see more students being encouraged to take the test,” said MCS Superintendent, Grant Rivera. “When students are learning to their fullest potential, instead of being intimidated by these types of exams they embrace them, knowing that they are well prepared by our high school to succeed.”

Currently, 300 juniors and seniors are enrolled in the district’s new for-credit SAT prep course offered during the school day, and that number is expected to climb each semester. The Board of Education’s choice to hire a full-time college advisor also contributed to the number of students taking the exam.

“Access equals an increase in opportunity,” said Marietta Schools Board of Education chair Jason Waters, “And here in Marietta where our mission is to prepare students in such a way that they can maximize their career, college, and life opportunities, it is important that all students are encouraged to take high-stakes exams if they have dreams of attending post-secondary institutions.”

MHS Class of 2018

MCS Employees and Students Celebrated by Kiwanis Club for Going the Extra Mile

The GEM Award honors Marietta City Schools (MCS) employees and students who regularly “go the Extra Mile.” The Kiwanis Club of Marietta recognized the Fall 2018 MCS employees named as GEM Award Recipients at their luncheon, October 25, 2018. The following individuals were honored for their enthusiasm and dedication to MCS.

Full List of Fall 2018 GEM Winners

A.L. Burruss Elementary Staff – Sherri Monger

Student – Santana Brooks

Dunleith Elementary Staff – Carine Venzen

Student – Eder Brindis-Rodriguez

Hickory Hills Elementary Staff – Danielle Binkauskas

Student – Pollen Coates

Lockheed Elementary Staff – Emily Ovalle

Student – Giovanna Oliveira de Almeida

Park Street Elementary Staff – Jerrennis Varner

Student – Denise Becerra-Becerra

Marietta Center for Advanced Academics Staff – Elaine Reisenauer

Student – Charlotte Common

Sawyer Road Elementary Staff Sterling Garner Martinez

Student – Catalina Rivera

West Side Elementary Staff – Minnie Follrath

Student – Fuller McNeel

Marietta Sixth Grade Academy Staff – Valarie Gutierrez

Student – William E. Bennett

Marietta Middle School Staff – Marlene Martin

Student – David Foster

Marietta High School Staff – Julie Barreno

Student – Carson Shearer

Central Office Staff – Sonja Waters

Early Learning Center Staff – Allison Bebout



Red Ribbon Week Comes to Marietta

Students throughout Marietta City Schools will make the pledge to remain drug-free as they celebrate Red Ribbon Week, October 23 – 31. The Red Ribbon Campaign® is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the Nation and a way for people and communities to take a visible stand for healthy lifestyles.

Burruss Elementary is hosting a ‘dress up week’ with themed days such as Pajama Day and Hats Off day. Additionally, every student will be invited to sign the Red Ribbon Week pledge and a school banner, as well as to wear red ribbon week stickers.

Over at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy and Dunleith Elementary, students and staff will celebrate by wearing crazy socks and shoes – Dunleith’s principal, Jeff Mosley, says that the socks remind students that just like their “special” attire, they are special too and taking care of themselves and their belongings is a big and important responsibility. Students will be encouraged to eat healthily and take care of their bodies and brains.

The theme this week at Hickory Hills Elementary is “Life is Your Journey. Travel Drug-Free.” Each day this week students will hear important information about being drug-free during Dragon News. The school is also hosting a Drug-Free Poster Contest. On Wednesday, students are encouraged to “Do Hugs, Not Drugs” by bringing a small stuffed animal to school.

On Thursday at Lockheed Elementary, students will dress up as their future career to promote the theme “My Future IS Bright: Drug-Free!!” Later in the week, they will “Team Up Against Drugs” by wearing team jerseys and college gear.

We all know “Real Heroes Don’t Do Drugs,” so Park Street Elementary is encouraging students to dress as superheroes this week. Sawyer Road students celebrated last week, giving drugs “The Boot” as they dressed out in western gear to usher in Red Ribbon Week.

Visitors may do a double-take at West Side this Friday when students show up in backward clothing, but just remember, they are “Turning their backs” on bullying and drugs.

The MCAA student council has named their celebration “Healthy Habits Week.” The Council solicited ideas from their classmates to determine what it means to be “healthy” and they will concentrate on how to keep their minds and bodies healthy.  During a pep rally on Monday, Atlanta United players were on hand for activities and reminders about the importance of physical activity.

A speaker from the Navy will present to Marietta Middle School students to encourage positive behavior, and at Marietta High, students will take the celebration into next week with a “Costume for a Cause” event on Halloween. Check school newsletters for more details.

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