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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: https://ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.

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.

MCS Board of Education Recognizes Community Partner: Marietta Pizza Company

Marietta City Schools (MCS) is fortunate to have community organizations and individuals who continuously go above and beyond what is expected for our schools and students.
MCS recognized Marietta Pizza Company, at September’s Board of Education meeting, for continuously contributing their support to MCS students.
The Marietta Pizza Company, and owner Howard Wolfson, have been serving our school community and the city of Marietta for many years. For more than 13 years, the Marietta Pizza Company (MPC) has supported our District Student of the Month program, by donating a $20 MPC gift card to each Student of the Month.
MCS recognizes 13 students each year, one from each school, and even as the district has added schools and locations, like the Early Learning Center and the MAPS program, Marietta Pizza Company has not wavered on its commitment and support.
As an added bonus, Howard also awards each Student of the Month with a $10 gift card to Hawg and Ale Smokehouse in Marietta. This support of MCS students speaks volumes, and our students light up when they hear they have just been given a gift card to the Marietta Pizza Company and Hawg and Ale Smokehouse.
MCS is extremely appreciative of the Marietta Pizza Company of Marietta and Howard Wolfson for their continued support.

MCS Board of Education Recognizes Community Partner: Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home

The Board of Education is proud to recognize members of the Marietta community for their work and contributions in continually recognizing MCS staff.
MCS recognized Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home, at September’s Board of Education meeting, for continuously supporting and donating funds to benefit MCS.
Mayes Ward-Dobbins is a family owned and operated business that has been in existence since 1923. Mr. Terry Pendley and his three sons have owned the business since the 1980’s.
At every regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, MCS recognizes an Employee of the Month by providing a plaque and check for $100. For more than 18 years, Mayes Ward-Dobbins generously donates this check to the MCS Employee of the Month.
In total, Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home has donated more than $16,000 to Marietta City Schools. MCS is extremely grateful to Mr. Chad Pendley, Director of the Marietta location, and Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home for their continued support of MCS staff.

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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Kimberly Custance Named Marietta Community School Director

Kimberly Custance is a career educator who has served the children of our community since 2001. She is a results-driven and innovative leader with Pre-K through 12th grade experience. Kimberly served the Cobb County School District as a high school Social Studies teacher, Instructional Lead Teacher, high school and elementary school Assistant Principal, and Human Resources Supervisor for Elementary Schools. She is a dedicated servant leader, holding a belief that the schools are the foundation of any community, and as such, should be our greatest investment.
Kimberly earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Education degrees at the University of Georgia. She completed her Educational Leadership endorsement program at the University of West Georgia and earned a Specialists in Educational Leadership from Berry College.
Kimberly and her family have resided in Marietta City for the last 18 years. She has a kindergartner in Marietta City Schools and three-year-old twins who are future Blue Devils.   kim

MHS AFJROTC Receives a Myriad of Awards

Marietta High School (MHS) has one of the largest, most decorated JROTC programs in the southeast United States. Their proud tradition of awards continued this past summer at the Converse College Leadership School, held in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Forty-four Marietta High School JROTC cadets attended the Converse College Leadership School, where they trained and competed against 307 cadets from 22 other schools from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The MHS JROTC program received a myriad of awards and recognitions including:
  • Cadet Kimberly Alvarado, received Overall Best Room Inspection
  • Cadets Kimberly Alvarado, Fatima Badillo, Danielle Davern, Flory Jimon-Castro, Erika Jimon-Castro, Crystal Martinez and Kaylee Vicente were selected as Outstanding Flight Drill (Seven out of 12 cadets selected)
  • Cadets Kimberly Alvarado, Rayshell Ali, Fatima Badillo, Erika Jimon Castro and Melissa Amaya were selected as Honor Graduates
  • Cadets Prosper Allen, Hector Barocio and Brittany Perez selected Outstanding Flight Cadre
  • Cadets Jamila Hughes, Vanesa Mijes and Brandon Reyes selected as Outstanding Logistic Officers
  • Cadets Khamari Chambers, Hayden Hicks and Viviana Rodriguez were all Leadership School Outstanding Evaluators
  • Cadets Jasmine Barker and Olivia Gould won Outstanding Squadron Commanders
  • Cadet Meagan Alfaro won Outstanding Group Commander Award
  • Cadet Charlotte Hettrich was presented with the Commander Eagle, the highest award given at Leadership School
Marietta City Schools is immensely proud of all 44 MHS cadets for their outstanding performance and wonderful display of leadership during the 2019 Converse College Leadership School.
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Financial Services – Earns Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Marietta City Schools’ Financial Services Department recently received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 2018 by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
This is the fifth consecutive year the department has received this recognition.
The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. Receiving this Certificate of Achievement for Excellence shows a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. The goal of the program is to recognize entities that must meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to plainly communicate its financial story while motivating potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.
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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 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.

Marietta Teacher of the Year Finalist Profile: Barbara Esquijaro

Burruss Elementary teacher Barbara Esquijarosa did not always dream of becoming a teacher. In fact, teaching was an unlikely career option for this English as a Second Language (ESOL) teacher. As a student, Ms. Esquijarosa struggled academically throughout her elementary school years.

Barbara Esquijarosa“Like so many families whose children attend Marietta City Schools, my mother and father did not get beyond a high school diploma and worked tremendous hours to support our family,” says Ms. Esquijarosa. “My parents exemplified hard work.”

A turning point in her education was the attention paid to her by her tenth-grade math teacher, Ms. Haney.  “She was the first one to give me confidence. She had a no-nonsense approach, knew how to keep my attitude in check, and I grew to love her.”

Taking an unconventional path to the classroom, Ms. Esquijarosa started her career as a school secretary in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and after completing her Bachelor’s degree in education, she obtained a fifth-grade teaching position. It was a challenging class that had seen a lot of inconsistency with its leaders, but that didn’t deter Ms. Esquijarosa.

“The students were angry, disconnected, and the data showed that they were performing below expectations. Their issues made me determined to reach them. I pushed through and saw amazing results, socially, emotionally, and academically. At the end of the school year, we all cried together. I fell in love with teaching. I sought to progress through professional development, constantly reflecting on how to be better. I began coaching and mentoring other teachers. By my third year of teaching, I won Village Green Elementary School’s Rookie Teacher of the Year award.”

When Ms. Esquijarosa joined Marietta City Schools, she set out on a mission to learn as much as she could about her new school community. She became a mentor and advocate for students, families, and teachers. She implemented mentorships between teachers and English Language Learner students and led professional development sessions on best practices and culturally responsive pedagogy. Her goal was to ensure that teachers were equipped to support students whose first language was not English. She saw great success academically with her students, and while she does celebrate the data that supports her efforts, nothing compares to the human impact that validates her work.

“Seeing the face of a first grader from Mexico read a story for the first time, and the ah-ha moments’ teachers experience after professional development are priceless. I heard statements like, “Barbie, I had no clue, thank you!” and “This strategy you recommended has been working!” The hugs of appreciation received from a new teacher who whispered, “Thank you for being there for me in my hardest times!” and the words, “Gracias Ms. E,” from a parent after many tears will never be forgotten. Lastly, the phrase I hear from students whom I have never taught as I walk down the hallway, “Ms. E, when will you come into my class?”

Ms. Esquijarosa is 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

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