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Marietta City Schools Shows Unprecedented Growth on Georgia Milestones

Marietta City Schools Shows Unprecedented Growth on Georgia Milestones
MCS demonstrates growth across grade levels and content areas

Marietta, GAMarietta City Schools (MCS) demonstrated unprecedented growth across grade levels and content areas, as measured by student performance on the Georgia Milestones. For the first time since the implementation of the Georgia Milestones, the district surpassed or matched the state in English Language Arts (ELA) for all grade levels tested (grades 3-10; refer to Table

Table 1
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District elementary school performance in ELA, as measured by students scoring “proficient” and “distinguished”, showed gains across all grade levels. The same pattern of success was achieved at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, Marietta Middle School, and Marietta High School – every grade level had more students scoring in “proficient” and “distinguished” (compared to previous school year; refer to Table 2).

Table 2
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Of particular note, relative to mean scale score, double-digit gains in the mean scale were achieved for students in English Language Arts at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy (10-point increase) and Ninth Grade Literature at Marietta High School (17-point increase).

Additionally, MCS continues to close the achievement gap for students identified in the following subgroups: Black, Hispanic, Students with Disabilities (SWD), and English Learners (EL).

  • Black students – demonstrated positive gains in 18 out of 24 assessments (grades 3-12; all content areas)
  • Hispanic students – demonstrated positive gains in 20 out of 24 assessments (grades 3-12; all content areas)
  • Students with Disabilities – demonstrated positive gains in 14 out of 23 assessments (grades 3-12; all content areas)
  • English Learners – demonstrated positive gains in 16 out of 22 assessments (grades 3-12; all content areas)

The most improved MCS schools include:

  • L. Burruss Elementary School
  • Dunleith Elementary School
  • Hickory Hills Elementary School
  • Sawyer Road Elementary School
  • Marietta Sixth Grade Academy
  • Marietta Middle School
  • Marietta High School

As the MCS elementary school demonstrating the highest gains in achievement, Hickory Hills Elementary School achieved an average double-digit gain across all grade levels and content areas. Principal Kristen Beaudin stated, “Our staff has been relentless in their efforts to support the academic and social-emotional needs of every child. We focus on the whole child, encouraging each to reach their fullest potential.”

In comparison to the previous school year, A.L. Burruss Elementary School showed an increase of 15 percentage points for students identified as “distinguished” on the third grade ELA End of Grade assessment. Dunleith Elementary School increased fifth grade student performance in “proficient” and “distinguished” across three content areas: 11 percentage points in ELA, 17 percentage points in math, and 22 percentage points in science. Sawyer Road Elementary School demonstrated a 15-percentage point gain in third grade math and an 18-percentage point gain for fifth grade science in students scoring “proficient” and “distinguished”.

Marietta High School posted gains of 12 percentage points (compared to the previous school year) for students scoring “proficient” and “distinguished” in each of three End of Course assessments: 9th Grade Literature, Algebra I, and Physical Science.

Superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera acknowledged the continued achievement gains of MCS, “In looking at student achievement over the last two years, we see unprecedented growth across grade levels and content areas. This does not happen without the phenomenal dedication and talent of our staff who work each and every day to support our students and families.”

Board of Education Chair Jason Waters said, “Marietta is committed to providing the resources that every teacher needs to be successful. Our success demonstrates these resources are having an impact in the classroom.”

What is the Georgia Milestones Assessment System?
The Georgia Milestones is a comprehensive summative assessment program for grades three through twelve. Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined in the state content standards in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Students in grades three through eight take an End of Grade (EOG) assessment in each content area. High school students take an End of Course (EOC) assessment in eight courses.

How are the results of the Georgia Milestones scored?
Your student’s performance on the assessment is reported in one of four achievement levels: (1) Beginning Learner, (2) Developing Learner, (3) Proficient Learner, or (4) Distinguished Learner. Students also received a scale score for each test. Using the scale score, you can compare a student’s performance with the average student in the school, district, and state. A student’s performance in each subject is described in greater detail using domain categories for each subject area.

Where do I obtain more information about the Georgia Milestones?
The Georgia Department of Education has provided school-by-school results for the Spring 2019 administration for Marietta City Schools and other schools/districts in the State of Georgia. To access this information, visit this link.

 

 

 

Marietta High School Girls’ Basketball Welcomes New Head Coach

Marietta City School announced Derrick DeWitt as the new head varsity coach for the girls’ Blue Devil basketball team at Marietta High School.

Coach DeWitt joins the Blue Devil family from Cherokee County School District after coaching the Sequoyah High School Girls Basketball Program for seven years and taking them to the State Playoffs for the past six consecutive years. His teams have 147 wins and 61 losses and shattered five team records.

Coach DeWitt earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Stetson University and holds a Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education from Brenau University. DeWitt received Academic All-Conference honors in basketball as an undergraduate.

Over the past ten years, Coach DeWitt has successfully been a head coach of highly competitive basketball teams for Class 5-A and 6-A high school athletic programs. DeWitt played Division-1 Basketball for Stetson University where he ranks #2 in all-time three-pointers made and played in more than 100 games.

“Two things that stand out immediately about Coach DeWitt are his enthusiasm for working with young people and his commitment to doing things with integrity,” said Craig McKinney, Athletic Director, Marietta City Schools. “His personality and value system fit the culture of the Marietta Basketball program.”

Coach DeWitt is married to Renee DeWitt, also a Stetson graduate who played for the Lady Hatters. Coach DeWitt and Renee have two daughters, Leah and Alana. The district will formally introduce and welcome Coach DeWitt and his family Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at Marietta High School in the Seminar Room.

Parents, students and community members with an interest in girls’ basketball or who want to support the program are invited to attend.

 

MARIETTA TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALIST PROFILE: KAREN KRESAK

Emily Lembeck Early Learning Center teacher Karen Kresak didn’t always aspire to be a teacher. In fact, her career choice throughout college was to be a therapist who worked with children. She went to graduate school and earned a Master’s in Counseling Psychology.

Karen Kresak“I loved working with the children during my internship at a school for children with emotional disorders,” Ms. Kresak explained. “I also worked full time in a psychiatric hospital with young children. It was stressful at times, but I learned a lot from the children and my colleagues.”

When she returned to Georgia, it was difficult to find a job in her field. So, she went back to school and earned a Master’s in School Psychometry, hoping she would be more marketable if she had assessment skills. Ms. Kresak began working with Northwest Georgia RESA as a teacher in one of their satellite classes for students with severe emotional behavior disorders, and she obtained a provisional certificate and then earned the credits she needed to be certified. The position allowed her to use some of the skills she had learned in her graduate program and opened up a whole new world for her. She quickly realized she loved teaching! It was then that she knew that teaching was the right career choice for her.

Ms. Kresak started her career at Marietta City Schools teaching in the self-contained emotional behavior disorder (EBD) classroom with grades 2-3. She obtained the endorsement for preschool special education and began teaching in the special needs preschool program. She had finally found her niche.

“Being able to intervene early and teach the skills that the children need to learn is very rewarding,” she explained. “Their accomplishments at this age are always reasons to celebrate, no matter how small. Knowing that I am having a lasting effect on a child’s growth and development makes me thankful that I chose this path.”

Karen Kresak (1)

Additionally, Ms. Kresak serves on several committees that allow her to meet and collaborate with different organizations and members of the community and provide knowledgeable input regarding young children and their development and education. She has served as the representative for MCS to the Metro Preschool Coordinators’ Consortium since 2003. She also serves as a member of the Marietta High School Career Pathways Community Advisory Committee, the Cobb Early Learning Initiative Committee, and the Cobb County Head Start School Readiness Committee, and she is a member of the Cobb Douglas Interagency Coordinating Council. She has also served on the Local Arrangement Committee for the 2015 Division of Early Childhood Conference Committee.


Ms. Kresak believes that we have to take a more balanced approach to teaching and learning that develops the whole child; supporting students’ social, emotional, and cognitive development produces positive student outcomes.

“Teaching preschool can be loud, chaotic, and unpredictable,” Ms. Kresak explained. “It is also greatly rewarding because I get to witness the growth and development of young minds. Knowing that I am helping build those connections in their brains is a remarkable feeling. I am not only a teacher, but a brain architect, helping to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning.”

Ms. Kresak one of three Teacher of the Year finalists for Marietta City Schools. The district will celebrate its award winning teachers and employees May 28, 2019 at its annual Teacher of the Year and Employee Awards Luncheon at Roswell Street Baptist Church.

2019 TOTY Finalist Announcement.Final (1)

Marietta Students Place First in State at Georgia Literary Contest

Marietta High School (MHS) students Calvin Rausch and Carson Shearer took home 1st place State wins at the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) State Literary Meet, held at Buford High School, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

The GHSA Literary competition, created to advance sportsmanship and an appreciation for the study of music, speech, and other fine arts through Region and State competitions. This was the first time in 15 years that Marietta has competed in this prestigious competition.

Marietta High School finished 2nd overall with three students advancing to the State competition as region champions.

Calvin won 1st place in the International Extemporaneous Speaking category, and Carson won 1st place in the Humorous Interpretations category.

Congratulations and job well down to our MHS Literary team led by Coy Dunn, Fine Arts Director, and a special thank you to the team’s coaches and instructors – Lars Grevstad, Carla Mills, Shannon Lawson, Theresa Duarte, Tim Nielson, Holly Smith, and Craig McKinney.

Four MCS Students Place in Georgia PTA State Reflections Competition

This year celebrates 50 years for the National PTA Reflections Program, a National PTA and Georgia PTA cultural arts competition.

The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for students to express their creative ideas and talents through their own original works. The excitement and enthusiasm that the program generates for students, parents, schools and communities is unmatched with the majority of Georgia PTAs participating in the program at all PTA levels. The 2018-2019 Reflections theme was “Heroes Around Us.”

Marietta City Schools is proud to recognize the students who won at the state level of the competition:
* Julian Tam, Grade 2 – Photography 2nd place, and Literature 2nd place, from A.L. Burruss E.S.
* Wynn Shoemaker, Grade 5 – Photography 3rd place, from West Side E.S.
* Anna Kate Oglesby, Grade 4 – 3D Visual Arts 1st place, from West Side E.S.
* Quadriyah Williams, Grade 9 – Film 1st place, Marietta High School

Students from MCS participated in all 6 PTA Reflections categories including, Visual Arts, Photography, Literature, Music Composition, Dance Choreography and Film Production.

The PTA Reflections Celebration is a powerful tool for encouraging students to explore and be involved in the arts. Together, school leaders and families offer positive reinforcement for participation in the National PTA Reflections program.

The Students will be honored at the High Museum, this Sunday, March 24 with the other state winners, at which time they will find out if they are moving on to Nationals.

MHS Students, Two of Twenty Georgians Chosen as Pages at Georgia State Capitol

On March 14th, the Georgia State Capitol hosted the 4th Annual Type 1 Diabetes Day and invited children living with Type 1 Diabetes between the ages of 12 to 18 to apply to serve as Pages to the Georgia Senate or House for the day.

Marietta High School seniors, Breanne Barco and Aili Fisher, were two of only 20 students selected to participate in Georgia’s Senate Page Program and serve as a Page to several Georgia State Senators.

This day was sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, with the goal of raising awareness of issues facing diabetics in the state of Georgia to our legislators. These include step therapy, Kevin’s Law and insulin pricing awareness.

The Senate Page Program offers students a first-hand opportunity to visit the Capitol to observe and participate in the legislative process. Senate Pages serve the Senators by delivering important information and messages to them in the Senate Chamber during the legislative session day.

Aili and Breanne were chosen from a record number of applicants to page and both were honored to be part of a Senate Resolution recognizing March 14th as Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day at the Capitol.

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Stephanie Grogan: March Employee of the Month

EOM2Stephanie Grogan serves as a paraprofessional at Park Street Elementary where she has a continuous impact on the lives of students, staff, and families. Stephanie has a kindhearted and genuine spirit, and her love and commitment for MCS runs deep.

“Ms. Grogan works very hard for Park Street,” said Diona McIntire, the principal at Park Street Elementary. “She goes above and beyond and consistently does all she can to meet the needs of students. Not only is she a Park Street alumna, but she regularly serves the Marietta City community. Ms. Grogan’s care and passion for education shows in her work every day. She is a role model for students and staff and is always willing to lend a helping hand where needed. We are truly blessed to have Ms. Grogan as part of our Park Street Family.”

Stephanie has worked at MCS for 33 years, but MCS has always been a huge part of her life and who she is. She, along with her family, have all attended Marietta City Schools.

“After graduating from college I came back to Marietta to put back what Marietta gave me–a solid foundation of encouraging students and teaching them that they can do and become anything they want to,” she explained. More than anything, Stephanie loves the students she gets to interact with and impact every day.  She enjoys seeing their progress inside and outside the classroom, and she is always excited to go to a game or see a play that her students are performing in at MCS.

Stephanie often goes above and beyond, lending a helping hand beyond the parameters of her role. One example of this is when a child was choking in the cafeteria during lunch and Stephanie immediately administered the Heimlich maneuver. Now, every day when the child sees her he thanks her for helping him.

In her free time, Stephanie is very involved in her church and community. She serves as a Daughter of Zion, a member of E.L. Keys, Zion Women’s Ministry, The Pastor’s Aid, the Food Ministry, Transportation Ministry, and the sick and shut-in ministry.

“It is truly a great honor to be selected as employee of the month for Marietta City Schools,” Stephanie said. “I attended Marietta City Schools which makes it an even greater honor. I have seen many changes throughout Marietta City Schools as a student and as an employee. I would like to say thank you to Marietta City Schools and the community at large. Go Big Blue because we are #AllIn !”

We congratulate Stephanie Grogan for being recognized as the March District Employee of the Month!

 

Board of Education Approves K-11 Math Adoption

The Marietta Board of Education approved the purchase of the Pearson Math Program for kindergarten through 11th-grade students. During the 2018-2019 school year, the Office of Academic Achievement and Programs worked with various MCS departments, administrators, teachers, and community members to recommend the purchase of a district mathematics program (K-11th grade).

A Request for Proposal (RFP) was posted in October 2018 and interested vendors submitted proposals. These proposals were vetted by a review team comprised of school-based coaches, district coordinators, executive directors, and the deputy superintendent. This collaborative team worked to ensure alignment of the MCS Balanced Mathematics Framework and the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE).

In accordance with Policy IC, quantitative data and qualitative input were used to narrow the interested applicants to three vendors: Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Math. In the next phase of the adoption process, 40+ MCS staff (including but not limited to teachers, coaches, assistant principals, principals, and district leaders) viewed formal presentations by each of the three vendors.

The review committee selected two vendors for public review: Pearson and McGraw Hill. Student and teacher math resources from both vendors were made available for public review from February 4-15, 2019.

All stakeholders were invited to complete a survey (see results below). Survey results from both the math committee and community members support the adoption of the Pearson Math Program.

Grades K-5 – Math Curriculum Overview<https://www.boarddocs.com/ga/mcs/Board.nsf/files/B9QRHT570D64/%24file/enVision_K-5_OverviewBrochure_1.pdf>

Grades 6-8 – Math Curriculum Overview<https://www.boarddocs.com/ga/mcs/Board.nsf/files/B9QRHX570EDB/%24file/enVision_6-8_OverviewBrochure_1.pdf>

High School – Math Curriculum Overview <https://www.boarddocs.com/ga/mcs/Board.nsf/files/B9QRHZ570FD9/%24file/enVision_AGA_OverviewBrochure_1_.pdf>

Math Committee Voting Results – Math Results<https://my.visme.co/projects/jwvrpewv-ke7lp9q363wg29mw>

Math Community Voting Results – Community Math Adoption<https://my.visme.co/projects/z4yroo6o-18r27v38zyen26qz>

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!

Marietta Students Win Big at Local Art and Music Showcase

Marietta City School students participated in the Kiwanis Club of Marietta’s 4th annual Art & Music Showcase at the Marietta Performance Art Center on Sunday, March 17th.

The showcase provided students from the local community in grades 6-12 with the opportunity to demonstrate their talents in a competitive atmosphere, along with the opportunity to win scholarships in recognition of their talent and effort.

48 students participated, and all first place winners were MCS students, collectively winning over a thousand dollars.

See a list of our winners below.

Music

First Place – Nailah Williams, Senior – Vocal Solo

Second Place – Rebecca Goodwin, Senior – Violin

Third Place – Jocelyn Floryance, Junior – Vocal Solo)

Art

6th grade – Holly Hudson

7th grade – Gabriella Kern

8th grade – Nicole Alexa Munoz

9th grade – Fiona Vanwinkle

10th grade – Luis Badillo

11th grade – Jenaya Scott

12th grade – James Welch

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