Tag Archives: APS

Snowpocalypse 2014

Snow Jam 2014.  I love a good snow day and this one will certainly be remembered until the end of time.  Somewhat like where were you when JFK was shot, the Challenger exploded, the planes hit the World Trade Center?  Like all good Realtors on a Tuesday morning I was out looking at houses.  Very reluctantly, I headed to Tucker with a co worker to see his new listing as the first snow flakes fell in Buckhead.  I was feeling unsettled as my LaGrange Facebook friends were already reporting the freezing rain that was falling fast.  My dad had finished his morning walk at the LaGrange Mall to find ice had covered his car.  My son’s school had called an early dismissal.  I had made the executive decision to cancel my own caravan so the young family in the home would not be out in the snow that was being predicted to fall late morning. There were so many signs yet everyone was moving forward with their day in their normal Tuesday fashion.

Heading back to Buckhead down 285 it was becoming obvious this Tuesday was no longer business as usual.  After a very slow trek down the highway and growing very short on patience we decided to abort mission to return to the office and just get home. Having run most of the roads around Chastain Park, I thought I knew every hill within a 5-mile radius.  I did not know Powers Ferry was a roller coaster of winding hills.  Four miles seemed to last an eternity as we witnessed the calamity that was unfolding around us.  Almost 5 hours after beginning the 15-mile journey we arrived safely at my home to find my Michigander husband shoveling the driveway.  I guess you can take the Yankee out of the north, but you can’t take the north out of the Yankee.

I’m sure stories will be told for years to come.  Fingers will continue to be pointed looking for someone to blame, many will be thankful for new friends made in makeshift shelters and unexpected acts of kindness, children will forever remember the night they got to spend the night at school, and northerners will have fun laughing at our snowpocalypse caused by 2 inches of snow.

The snow is slowly melting and next Tuesday caravan will go on as usual with all good Realtors lunching in beautiful homes around Atlanta, and the south will rise again.



Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Education Guide Hits Newstands Today

Each year I look forward to the latest Education Guide from the Atlanta Business Chronicle to see how each school’s test scores changed from the previous year.  The scores on my blog will be updated to reflect the latest scores for all the school districts featured here, but here’s a preview of Fulton County’s High Schools ranked by SAT scores.  To receive the new edition of the Education Guide, email me at dede@atlantafinehomes.com and provide a mailing address and I’ll be glad to get one in the mail to you.

Jan 23, 2013, 11:39am EST

Fulton County public high schools ranked by SAT score

Senior Online Editor- Atlanta Business Chronicle

Who tests the best in the metro?

Atlanta Business Chronicle’s annual Education Guide hits newsstands on Friday, Jan. 25, and it will certainly shed a lot of light on metro schools. But we also have some data that you will only get online. We will publish high school SAT scores by region so you can see the best and worst performers.

Today, we take a look at Fulton County public high schools:

  1. Northview High School — 1,769
  2. Johns Creek High School — 1,729
  3. Milton High School — 1,681
  4. Roswell High School – 1,677
  5. Chattahoochee High School — 1,674
  6. Alpharetta High School — 1,660
  7. Riverwood International Charter School — 1,631
  8. Centennial High School — 1,582
  9. North Springs High School — 1,459
  10. Independence High School –1,377
  11. Westlake High School — 1,316
  12. Tri-Cities High School — 1,299
  13. Creekside High School — 1,250
  14. Langston Hughes High School — 1,231
  15. Frank McClarin High School — 1,198
  16. Banneker High School — 1,160

For high schools, we show the mean scores for the SAT of the 2012 senior class. This score is calculated by using the student’s most recent test administration. The highest possible score is 2,400.

Source: Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

Click here for Atlanta’s public high schools ranked by SAT score.


Georgia Students Show Improvements in CRCT Scores

More Georgia students than ever are exceeding standards on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

The 2012 CRCT results show the performances of students in grades 3-8. The biggest overall gains were in Grade 5 Social Studies (six percentage points) and Grade 8 Science (seven percentage points).

“The best news in the 2012 CRCT report is that more of our students are exceeding the standards,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. “Teachers are doing a great job teaching the more rigorous Georgia Performance Standards and they are to be applauded for raising expectations for all students.”

However, there were a few decreases in 2012, including Grade 3 Science (two percentage points), Grade 4 Mathematics (one percentage point), Grade 5 Mathematics (three percentage points) and Grade 8 Mathematics (one percentage point).

Percentages did not change on six of the content-area tests.

“While I am pleased to see an increase in the majority of the exams, I am concerned about those where we saw decreases or no change at all,” Dr. Barge said. “As we begin teaching the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards next school year, we know the curriculum and the tests will be more difficult, so we must continue to focus on successfully implementing the new standards.”

State law requires third, fifth and eighth grade students to meet or exceed expectations on the Reading portion of the test in order to move to the next grade. Fifth and eighth grade students must also meet or exceed expectations on the Mathematics portion.

Results for Atlanta Public Schools include:

Grade 3 Reading * 4,072 students tested * 16.2 percent did not meet the standard * 44.6 percent met the standard * 39.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 English/Language Arts * 4,080 students tested * 16.5 percent did not meet the standard * 50.6 percent met the standard * 33 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Mathematics * 4,088 students tested * 32.3 percent did not meet the standard * 35.3 percent met the standard * 32.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Science * 4,190 students tested * 35.1 percent did not meet the standard * 35.1 percent met the standard * 29.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Social Studies * 4,179 students tested * 28.9 percent did not meet the standard * 43.9 percent met the standard * 27.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Reading * 4,055 students tested * 16.7 percent did not meet the standard * 48.3 percent met the standard * 35 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 English/Language Arts * 4,047 students tested * 14.9 percent did not meet the standard * 55.5 percent met the standard * 29.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Mathematics * 4,019 students tested * 33.3 percent did not meet the standard * 41.5 percent met the standard * 25.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Science * 4,153 students tested * 30.2 percent did not meet the standard * 37.8 percent met the standard * 32 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Social Studies * 4,150 students tested * 32.9 percent did not meet the standard * 46.4 percent met the standard * 20.7 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Reading * 3,977 students tested * 14.9 percent did not meet the standard * 58.5 percent met the standard * 26.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 English/Language Arts * 3,980 students tested * 10.2 percent did not meet the standard * 56.5 percent met the standard * 31.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Mathematics * 3,953 students tested * 28.7 percent did not meet the standard * 45.3 percent met the standard * 26.1 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Science * 4,135 students tested * 33.2 percent did not meet the standard * 34.3 percent met the standard * 32.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Social Studies * 4,132 students tested * 36.4 percent did not meet the standard * 42.6 percent met the standard * 20.9 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Reading * 3,423 students tested * 7.8 percent did not meet the standard * 59.9 percent met the standard * 32.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 English/Language Arts * 3,417 students tested * 11.7 percent did not meet the standard * 64.9 percent met the standard * 23.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Mathematics * 3,398 students tested * 34.8 percent did not meet the standard * 50.2 percent met the standard * 15 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Science * 3,524 students tested * 44.7 percent did not meet the standard * 41.7 percent met the standard * 13.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Social Studies * 3,515 students tested * 43.9 percent did not meet the standard * 29.3 percent met the standard * 26.8 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Reading * 3,320 students tested * 9.8 percent did not meet the standard * 71 percent met the standard * 19.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 English/Language Arts * 3,309 students tested * 9 percent did not meet the standard * 54.4 percent met the standard * 36.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Mathematics * 3,279 students tested * 17.9 percent did not meet the standard * 54.8 percent met the standard * 27.3 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Science * 3,395 students tested * 24.8 percent did not meet the standard * 44.5 percent met the standard * 30.7 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Social Studies * 3,386 students tested * 39 percent did not meet the standard * 30.6 percent met the standard * 30.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Reading * 3,283 students tested * 7.9 percent did not meet the standard * 61.6 percent met the standard * 30.5 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 English/Language Arts * 3,287 students tested * 7.1 percent did not meet the standard * 62.1 percent met the standard * 30.9 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Mathematics * 3,271 students tested * 40.7 percent did not meet the standard * 44 percent met the standard * 15.3 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Science * 3,386 students tested * 46.2 percent did not meet the standard * 42.7 percent met the standard * 11.1 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Social Studies * 3,380 students tested * 41.3 percent did not meet the standard * 39.8 percent met the standard * 18.9 percent exceeded the standard

See all the results here

Atlanta, DeKalb, and Fulton School Boards facing tough budget choices this year

Reported by Dan Whisenhunt at Reporter Newspapers

Local boards of education will be cutting costs and making do during the next budget year in an effort to deal with stagnant property values and increased expenses.

All three systems in the Reporter Newspapers area – Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Public Schools and Fulton County Schools – will begin the Fiscal Year 2013 on July 1. Only one, Fulton County Schools, doesn’t plan significant cuts and can balance its $810 million budget with $20 million from its reserves with no tax increases.

Officials with each school system said lower property tax collections and increased health care costs for employees are making it hard for local school boards to balance budgets.

“It’s the economy for the most part,” Atlanta schools spokesman Keith Bromery said. “The economy has not recovered to the point where the state can fully fund education … you find school districts have to cut back in relation to what they’re getting in terms of funding from the state.”

DeKalb County Schools is considering a $760 million budget but faces a $73 million budget shortfall. The school system has nothing in its reserves and the board is being asked to consider a 2-mill increase in property taxes, meaning a $200,000 home would see taxes increase by $160 a year.

Atlanta plans a $605.2 million budget but will need to fix a $47 million budget gap. The school board is considering cutting between 285 and 475 jobs across all departments.

So how did Fulton County start the year in a better position than its neighbors? Several reasons, Fulton School officials say. District 3 Board of Education member Gail Dean said in 2010 the school board voted to cut 1,000 jobs. Also, the board recently opted not to renew the charter of Fulton Science Academy after school board members and school officials could not reach an agreement. That saved the school system $3.8 million, Dean said.

Marvin Dereef, executive director of budget services for Fulton County Schools, said the school board’s earlier actions made this year’s budget process less painful. The school plans to keep 18 percent of its operating expenses in reserves, he said.

“We made the big choices early,” Dereef said. “We saw the writing on the wall and took action significantly enough where we could weather the storm for awhile.”

DeKalb County Schools BOE members are looking for alternatives to the proposal to raise taxes, spokesman Walter Woods said. DeKalb County schools during the last few months leaped from one crisis to another. Prior to the $73 million shortfall, it faced an unanticipated $36.5 shortfall in its sales-tax funded school construction account.

The BOE found a way to move sales tax money around to cover it.

Woods said the BOE is weighing its options to deal with the latest dilemma, saying “everything is on the table.”

Woods said it’s too early to discuss whether the system will be able to replenish its reserve account.

“We have to balance the budget first and then we’ll talk about a reserve,” Woods said.

Like DeKalb, Atlanta Public Schools faced daunting challenges within the last year. The system continues to deal with the fallout from a cheating scandal that found some teachers manipulated test results to boost scores system-wide. Recently, the BOE angered many in the community with plans to close and rezone schools.

The school system in April voted to close seven schools. Bromery said “there may be some savings” as a result, but said it will mostly be a non-factor.

“It wasn’t to save money,” Bromery said of the school closures. “It was to focus more of our enrollment into a fewer number of schools. To a degree, this will be offset by the additional resources that will be placed in these schools that will see increases in enrollment.”

Bromery said there is also a planned 10 percent cut across all departments in the Atlanta Schools system, except for curriculum and instruction, which will see a 7 percent cut.

“The revenues have not kept up with spending we need to reduce that or eliminate it,” Bromery said.

Metro Atlanta’s Top Education Leaders Recognized in Atlanta Business Chronicle

Date: Friday, May 11, 2012, 6:00am EDT – Last Modified: Friday, May 11, 2012, 10:53am EDT

Welcome to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s annual Who’s Who in Education guide. Each year we offer a look at some of the top leaders in the education field — from those vested with government responsibility for our education system to the leaders of public and private primary and secondary schools, and the heads of our top colleges and universities.

Within this section you will find names and faces of key leaders of metro Atlanta and Georgia educational institutions and programs. To deliver this listing, we rely on our annual Book of Lists, so it includes names from our 25 Largest Colleges and Universities, our 10 largest private schools, our 10 largest business schools and our largest technical schools.

We also included other area colleges and universities, top government officials, top law schools and top MBA programs, along with names of metro school superintendents.

In this section, you will also hear from education icon Ron Clark, co-founder of the Ron Clark Academy, who talks about the important relationship between business and education.

To quote Clark, “As the Atlanta area schools seek help from the corporate and philanthropic community, it is imperative that they develop relationships and realize that strong bonds, sincere appreciation and a connection to the impact they are making will turn minor support into substantial donations over time.”

Clark also notes that while there may be a tendency to become cynical in the wake of the recent cheating scandal, all schools and educators should not be painted with the same brush.

“With so many stories of cheating scandals and negative incidents, it is easy to forget that the worst is always sensationalized and that within each of our local schools you will find pockets of outstanding educators who are devoting their lives to the children of Atlanta,” he writes.

Click here for the entire article and rankings of Education Leaders

Atlanta High Schools Ranked by U.S. News and World Report

U.S. News and World Report reviewed 21,776 U.S. public high schools; 77 Georgia schools made their rankings.

Of the Georgia schools ranked in 2012 for the U.S. News Best High Schools, 8 were awarded gold medals, 30 earned silver medals, and 39 received bronze medals.

To be eligible for a state ranking, a school must be awarded a national gold or silver medal.

Top Ranked GA Schools

615 12TH ST, AUGUSTA, GA 30901
10625 PARSONS RD, DULUTH, GA 30097
3737 BROCK RD, DULUTH, GA 30096

See complete Georgia High School Rankings



Latest Report on APS Redistricting

“Best schools are those with intense parent engagement. Parents that are relentless make our schools, us and our principals better,”  stated Erroll Davis at last nights meeting.

APS created a great blog to keep updated on the latest meeting regarding redistricting

Click here to search for homes by school district

Buckhead School Districts could remain in Place

Davis Plan Keeps Buckhead School Districts in Place

Construction of new E. Rivers Elementary to begin in fall 2013

By Louis Mayeux with The Buckhead Patch

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. late Sunday night released his preliminary redistricting plan, which said “there will be no boundary changes” for elementary schools in the North Atlanta High cluster.

Along with meeting community demands that no neighborhoods be moved to different schools, Davis’ plan says that construction on a new E. Rivers Elementary will begin in the fall of 2013, also the time when the new North Atlanta High is to open on Northside Parkway. Sutton Middle School students will move to the present North Atlanta building that fall, and E. Rivers students will move to the present Sutton building for 18 months.

The plan says that the “Brandon and Garden Hills populations will be monitored, and decisions on temporary versus long-term solutions will be determined at the appropriate time.”

Davis also said that the Sutton site may eventually be “repurposed as a sixth grade academy for the cluster.”

In another issue that had drawn neighborhood opposition, Centennial Place Elementary school is not included in the North Atlanta cluster, one of 10 around the city in a proposed new system that will replace the division into four School Reform teams. Centennial Place will be in the Grady cluster.

Here is the link to Davis’ complete report, which will be received by the Atlanta Board of Education at its Monday meeting. The report is also available in the attached PDF. Maps accompanying Davis’ report will be available March 9. A public hearing on Davis’ plan will be March 12 at North Atlanta.

Search here for homes by School District


Bank Owned Home in Brookwood Hills Under Contract

This home in the popular Brookwood Hills neighborhood went under contract in less than two weeks.

Search here for other homes in Brookwood Hills

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GA 400 Trail in Sarah Smith School District

This proposed trail will greatly enhance the outdoor enjoyment options in the Buckhead area running through the Sarah Smith School District neighborhoods.

The Georgia 400 Trail

The Georgia 400 Trail

A planned 5-mile multi-use path weaving its way through Buckhead will become the backbone of a new green space plan for Atlanta’s ritziest office and shopping district.

It’s also going to help Buckhead work toward ending an unflattering distinction — it has the least green space of any intown office market.

The Georgia 400 Trail, a proposed multi-use path for bicyclists, skaters, walkers and runners, will connect to parks, trails, schools and Buckhead’s business district, an amenity that Buckhead, the most suburban of the intown office markets, has lacked, its leadership says.

It’s also the most high-profile project within the overarching plan to add 106 acres of green space in coming years. The initiative is known as The Buckhead Collection, a mix of plazas, parks, trails and greenways, and street and sidewalk improvements.The Georgia 400 Trail will add 13 acres by itself, plus another 17 acres of additional parks along the trail.

The trail is in the early stages, though preliminary design just began. Livable Buckhead, an organization that focuses on sustainability, has started meeting with homeowners along the trail to discuss their concerns about the project.

It could be started by 2014.

Search for homes in the Sarah Smith School District