Category Archives: School News

Marietta Center for Advanced Academics Receives 2019 National Blue Ribbon Recognition

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) named Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA) a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. Part of Marietta City Schools, MCAA is one of the 362 schools in the nation to be recognized in 2019 and was previously recognized in 2013.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, announced the list of schools today. The National Blue Ribbon Schools program celebrates school excellence and recognizes the overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. MCAA is recognized as an “Exemplary High Performing School” placing it among the state’s highest performing schools based on state assessments and nationally normed tests.

“It is my honor and privilege to serve the students, staff, and community of MCAA,” said Principal Dr. Tricia Patterson. “Being named a National Blue Ribbon School gives all those who work hard to remain Above the Line the recognition deserved. As an innovative model of STEAM education, we focus on developing students to be able to communicate and collaborate as they think critically to solve real-world problems in a creative way.”

Profiles of the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools can be found here:

All of the recognized schools will be honored by the Secretary and the Department of Education at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November.

Lockheed Martin Awards STEM Grant

Marietta City Schools (MCS) is proud to announce that Lockheed Martin recently awarded the MCS Office of Academic Achievement with a grant to provide funding for STEM projects for the district.
Last year, Dr. Jennifer Hernandez, Executive Director of the Office of Academics Achievements, wrote and received a grant from Lockheed Martin for $25,000 to strengthen the STEM pipeline. The grant focused on teacher professional learning and curriculum development.
And this year, Dr. Hernandez wrote and received a $10,000 extension to the grant, focusing on elementary STEM labs.
“The Office of Academic Achievement will collaborate with STEM lab teachers to create STEM resource boxes for school check-out that will be distributed to the STEM cohort of teachers for use on various projects,” said Dr. Jennifer Hernandez, Executive Director of Academic Achievement at MCS.
The resources boxes will contain curriculum and materials aligned to grade level standards, and the boxes will be available for school checkout in an effort to impact students at all schools.
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The Future Home of Lemon Street Campus

Marietta City Schools (MCS) announced plans to relocate its Central Office to the site of the old Lemon Street High School, creating a new educational campus for the District (coming in 2021).

  • Central Office designed to replicate the c. 1930 Lemon Street High School building, which had been demolished in 1967.
  • Plans for Central Office include a new museum, developed in conjunction with Kennesaw State University’s Department of Museums, Archives,and Rare Books, to tell the story of MCS from 1892 to the present, including the segregation era, with a special exhibition on the surrounding community.
  • Marietta Performance Learning Center relocates into the c. 1950 Lemon Street Grammar School across the street.
  • The new Performance Learning Center will preserve the building’s exterior and key architectural features while rehabilitating the interior, making it conducive for today’s learning.

“We have always known, due to its unique history, that the Lemon Street Grammar School was worth saving. The question was whether we could afford to save the building while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We are pleased to say that,

after careful study, we will be able to do both.”

-Grant Rivera, Superintendent

Letters of Love from MHS’ Air Force JROTC to Veterans

Valintines 2Learning about what is really important. . . . What an amazing experience for the Marietta High School Air Force JROTC cadets who wrote letters to our Veterans at the Greenwood Assisted Living Facility last month.

The 165 cards that were delivered and read to the Veterans brought tears of joy and happiness to everyone in the room, including the cadets.

Quoting Master Sgt. Victor Graham, 92 years old, who Landed on Omaha Beach (AKA Bloody Omaha) on June 6th, 1944 (D-Day)……..”young people have just made my day!”
He and the other Veterans were grateful for the visit from the high school cadets and had many memories to share with the students.
Our Marietta community is better because of these brave men and women who call it Valentine's Day 3home.
The mission of Marietta’s AFJROTC program is to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community. The goal of the program is to instill in high school cadets the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.
The JROTC program will educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals. AFJROTC is one of eleven MHS Career Pathways that has been approved for the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), an innovative education framework incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into a unique programme specifically tailored for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.
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MCS Continues Relationship with Comer Yates and Atlanta Speech School

IMG_2861Marietta City Schools continued its commitment to advocating for strong practices to enhance literacy development in young learners during the month of March.

The district welcomed Comer Yates, Executive Director of the Atlanta Speech School, to collaborate with leaders from across the district during visits to Park Street Elementary School and Burruss Elementary School.

Mr. Yates and his team of experts spent the day conducting learning walks, reflecting and leading powerful conversations around language acquisition, and the building of the reading brain. Mr. Yates commented on the positive rapport between teachers and students evident in his walks at both schools.

He also congratulated administrative teams at both schools on the strong foundations built around phonological and phonemic awareness. Mr. Yates has been an active part of the conversation on best practices around the phonics and reading classrooms. He was the keynote speaker on the professional learning day on January 4, 2019, and spoke to all kindergarten teachers and paraprofessionals about the importance of building a phonological map for all students. He was a featured speaker at the district’s Get Georgia Reading Summit also held during the month of March.

Mr. Yates has been an incredible addition to the Blue Devil family, helping to plan and develop teaching strategies at the Emily Lembeck Early Learning Center, as well as the development and next steps for “phonics matters” and reading initiatives currently in place in the district. Marietta values this strong partnership as we continue to provide the best instruction for all our students.


Trae Busby: March Student of the Month

BOE_March_2019_00104The Marietta City Schools March Student of the Month, Trae Busby, is a quiet leader and a 5th grader at Lockheed Elementary. He encourages others to do well and takes on tasks that he sees need to be accomplished without being asked. He is a committed student who strives to do his best in all classes, including MILE and specials, and on Lockheed’s school news show, WJET.

Trae is always willing to take on new challenges. He was uncertain about being an anchor and publicly speaking for the school broadcast in front of the whole school, but he confidently rose to the challenge when the main anchor was absent. He has since learned how to independently operate the broadcast equipment including the teleprompter, sound, and the tricaster. When new students join the news team, Trae is encouraging and helpful, and always willing to “show them the ropes.”

A straight-A student, who reads above grade level, Trae is an avid reader who continues to push himself, increasing his Lexile level by 220 points from the Fall to Winter MAP reading assessment.

“Trae puts forth his best effort in and out of the classroom,” said Coretta Stewart, the principal at Lockheed Elementary. “He mentors and coaches other students with reading, and teaches others how to operate the equipment for our broadcast news show. Trae recently earned the SOAR award for outstanding model behavior, as well as the Drama and Art Specials awards for exemplary work ethic and performance.”

Outside of the classroom, Trae is an active member of his church. Along with his family, he helps younger children participate in events at the church, including the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Trae leads by example and models appropriateness for other students, and he continuously seeks opportunities to learn. He is quiet, humble and always respectful towards others, in words and in actions. He treats each new situation with a positive attitude, pushes himself daily, and believes that school is valuable.

Congratulations to Trae Busby, the Marietta City Schools Student of the Month!
Please note that during the month of March, Marietta honored two deserving students with this special award.

Marietta Middle Orchestra Plays a Sweet Song at District 12 Competition

MMSOrchestra2.pngNAfME (National Association for Music Education) designates March as “Music in Our Schools” month, so it is only fitting that we honor our orchestras at Marietta Middle School this month.

Earlier this month, both MMS orchestras attended the District 12 LGPE (Large Group Performance Evaluation) and for an audience and a panel of judges.

The 7th-grade orchestra received a rating of superior from all 3 judges and a superior in sight reading,

The 8th-grade orchestra received an overall rating of excellent, receiving 2 excellent ratings and 1 superior rating, as well as a superior in sight reading.

LGPE is sponsored by the Georgia Music Educators Association, and each middle school in Cobb County must take one ensemble to LGPE for evaluation.

The judges have score sheets for each ensemble. Each of the elements of judging criteria is based on the National and State Music Standards, and ensembles can receive a rating of superior, excellent, good, fair, or poor.

There are many elements that go into the evaluation, and it is no small feat to earn superior or excellent ratings. Congratulations to all Marietta Middle School orchestra students and directors for a job well done!


Grant Broeckelman: March Student of the Month

BOE_March_2019_00106.jpgThe Marietta City Schools March Student of the Month, Grant Broeckelman, models and embodies the qualities of a thinker, and he is open-minded, respectful, and reflective. He has a quiet confidence which leads him to consistently do the right thing even if it is not the most popular. He is often described by his friends as “principled,” and his teachers could not agree more. Grant, a 5th grader at A.L. Burruss Elementary, is always willing to help other students.
Grant sets high expectations for himself and looks for the best in others. He is kind and generous to all. He treats his teachers and the school with respect. When the school recently welcomed a new student, Grant volunteered to help make him feel comfortable in his new surroundings.
Academically, Grant is thoughtful and in tune with his strengths and weaknesses; he always gives his personal best. Through his successes, he recognizes that persistence pays off, and he quietly encourages others to be the same way.
Outside of school, Grant enjoys assisting with all kinds of tasks and chores regardless of size. For example, after a large rainstorm several months ago, he turned down an invitation to hang out with friends to help an older neighbor shovel her dirt-filled front walkway and clear out several large branches. Putting others before himself is something Grant instinctively does.
Grant is also very involved in his community and with organizations. He is a proud member of Scout Pack 144, and he has participated in countless activities throughout the community, including honoring fallen soldiers by placing flags at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day, packing dry meals to be shipped overseas, and cleaning up various parks. In addition, Grant is involved in his parish at St. Joseph Catholic Church. He participates weekly in Sunday School and helps his dad care for the church grounds several hours a month. He loves the outdoors and takes pride in improving outdoor spaces in any way he can.
Teachers, neighbors and scout leaders comment that he is a positive and creative self-starter who appreciates the differences in others, which is evidenced by his circles of friends in and out of school. He possesses a humility of someone well beyond his eleven years, and he represents his family, school, scout pack, and community with an endearing and gracious spirit that makes all, grateful to know him.
Congratulations to Grant Broeckelman, the Marietta City Schools Student of the Month!

Meet Genesis: One of Many Exceptional Students in Marietta City Schools

Genesis_Exceptional students_00025Marietta Middle School student Genesis Juarez loves watching videos of her favorite boy band, Adexe y Nau, communicating with friends on Instagram and SnapChat, and socializing with her peers.  Normal behavior for most teen girls her age, but something that takes a little more effort for a student with Cerebral Palsy (CP).

Cerebral Palsy is a condition that affects a person’s muscle tone and ability to coordinate body movements and control their muscles. Genesis requires a wheelchair and is only able to control her left leg and foot.

“Although CP impacts her speech, that hasn’t stopped Genesis from being able to communicate,” says Marietta Middle School teacher Susan Donlin. “With the use of communication software on a tablet, she can access the software she needs for class by either selecting the correct icons with her left big toe while the tablet is on an easel or by using a joy stick attached to her left foot plate.”

And her teacher also tells us that Genesis has a great sense of humor and enjoys making the other students laugh.

“Genesis’ positive spirit and perseverance are a daily inspiration to those lucky enough to know her,” said Donlin.

Genesis is bilingual and speaks Spanish to her family at home.  The school downloaded the same communication software in Spanish on her personal device so that she can communicate more effectively with her family.

This effort is in line with services provided to students with special needs in the district through the Department of Special Services (DSS).

“Working closely with students, their parents and guardians, and educators, DSS works to create building blocks for successful students,” said Michele Bealing-Sayles, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at MCS. “Through transition programs designed to provide soft skills, work, career, and employment-training opportunities, we want students like Genesis to graduate from high school better able to be successful citizens.”

DSS of Marietta City Schools serves 924 students with disabilities in grades Pre-school through 12, ages 3 through 22. MCS offers services in every area of exceptionality, including visual impairments, autism, blindness, deaf hard of hearing and learning disabilities. The district provides assistive technology at all grade levels, like the technology used by Genesis, enabling students to better participate in the general education setting

Marietta City Schools is using March 4-8, 2019, known as Exceptional Children’s Week across the country, to highlight our incredible and exceptional students and their teachers.

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