Adolescent Parenting Program Celebrates Black History

The Adolescent Parenting Program celebrated its annual Black History Program on Friday, February 19, 2010. The theme of the program was “YES WE CAN”. The students, faculty, staff and guests were entertained and inspired by poetry, music, and inspirational words.

Mrs. Miki Hooper, who was accompanied by her husband, Mr. Percy Hooper, shared several poems she had written. The APP Dancers did a tribute to Michael Jackson. Mr. John Sanders, a local musician, presented a musical selection. The Brothers of Onyx from Hanley Elementary School shared their tribute to black history through music, stepping and quotations of famous African-Americans.

Mrs. Irma Sanders, a retired Memphis City School teacher shared an inspirational and challenging message. She recounted some of the challenges from her youth and college years. They didn’t stop her because she was determined to make it. She challenged the students to encourage their peers by saying “Yes You Can” and to encourage themselves by saying “Yes I Can”.
Ms. Hopson (2nd from left) and Mrs. Irma Sanders (center)
Guests at Black History Program

The Brothers of Onyx from Hanley Elementary
Adolescent Parenting Program (APP) Dancers

val174.gifAPP Enjoys a Special Valentines Day Gift

“Choices”, a group from Christ Community’s outreach ministry, comes to The Adolescent Parenting Program once a week. The purpose of “Choices” is to provide mentorship and pregnancy prevention strategies to our students. Their leaders, Reginald White and Sholenda Askew, meet with our young ladies in a group setting to discuss the importance of making good decisions. The girls seem to take pleasure in participating in this weekly collaboration with the group leaders and their peers.

Annually, the group hosts a Valentine’s Luncheon for the students and staff of The Adolescent Parenting Program. This year’s luncheon was held at The Holiday Inn at The University of Memphis. The program’s agenda opened with prayer. First, the “Choices” staff gave each attendee a rose, a teddy bear and chocolates. Next, the staff and students were able to help themselves to a delicious, buffet-style lunch. They gave a brief message to the students on what it means to be special. The program ended with games and giveaways to the students and staff. It was indeed a special Valentine’s gift!

Northeast Prep Academy’s “NEW” Library

Just in time for the arrival of spring, the library at Northeast Prep Academy will experience a metamorphosis. Our collection will soon blossom with the imminent addition of more than 600 new titles. Instead of asking, “Have the books arrived yet?” students will be deciding which book to borrow next.

There is a great deal of pent-up demand among our students and faculty. Although we currently have only 56 holdings in our collection, we’ve circulated 24 items in the past few weeks. Students have been surprised and delighted to discover our small, but excellent selection of books.

Mrs. de Wit, the school librarian, has been getting to know the students by introducing information literacy skills into the curriculum and by assisting with Capstone and ThinkShow projects. She is also avidly engaged in sharing free and relevant web applications with teachers to supplement the curriculum.

Northeast Prep has its own Pagecast feed reader which links from the school OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). Designed for both students and faculty, this site provides a wealth of news and updates from educational websites and blogs. There is also a Northeast Prep Library Blog which is positioned to share information about the latest acquisitions, discoveries, and news from the library.

Patience has been the watchword at the Northeast Prep Library. We will soon be able to change our motto to “Watch us Grow!”

Cat in the Hat at Westhaven Success Academy Read Across America catinthehatWESTHAVEN.jpg

Cat in the Hat and MEA (Memphis Education Association) president,
Stephanie Fitzgerald's visit at Westhaven Success Academy.

Click to view slideshow:

School Board Commissioner Martavius Jones Visits Westhaven Success Academy

School Board Commissioner Martavius Jones visited Westhaven Success Academy on March 16, 2010. He spoke to the students about being positive, finding and pursuing goals, walking away from negative people, and doing their best in school. Commissioner Jones was very encouraging and the students were very receptive. We are always looking for a positive influence for our students and he brought that to us.
Commissioner Martavius Jones speaks to Westhaven Success Academy.
Westhaven Success Academy students with Ms. Sandra Johnson, principal (left),
Commissioner Martavius Jones, and permanent substitute teacher
Dr . Valerie Barksdale (right).

Hamilton Success Science Department Gearing up for TCAP

Grades 6-8 students are gearing up for TCAP. Students are examining several TCAP style questions implementing various styles of learning. The sixth grade class is exploring Earth’s atmosphere as well as comparing and contrasting the terms temperature and heat as it relates to the layers of Earth’s atmosphere. The seventh grade class is examining heredity using Gregor Mendel’s Punnett’s Square. This particular skill will also be utilized and further examined for our Fall Exhibition. The eighth grade class is exploring biodiversity and the importance of conservation. Students complete daily assessments which assist in measuring their academic growth from a closer perspective and more effectively pin-point their weaknesses. Those students who are experiencing difficulties are assigned to after-school tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday for reinforcement. So as you can see, the Hamilton Success scientists are very engaged in preparing for success.

Capstone at Northeast Prep Academy by LeMarcus Farmer capstonelogo.png

The 2009-2010 academic school year is titled “The Year of High School.” Apropos the label, Drs. Cash and Hamer have implemented a new and exciting initiative: Memphis City Schools’ High School Capstone Project. A key component of the district’s ThinkShow, the Capstone, is a four-pillar experience combining rigor and creativity, hallmarks needed to thrive in the post-secondary setting. As a senior English teacher at Northeast Prep Academy, I was and am responsible for shepherding the students through this new, unfamiliar and yet altogether thrilling experience. Thus far, the outcomes associated with this project have been more than pleasing and the students’ confidence grow daily as they research and write on topics important to their secondary studies.

Northeast Prep is an innovative school on the 4X4 block schedule. Thus, I have the opportunity to work with the students daily on the Capstone experience. We follow a proven formula for our thesis-driven research paper. By now the students may be tired of the ABBCC format, but they know it. Moreover, the students know how to use it well. The ABBCC format includes the following: Argument, Background, Body, Counterargument, and Conclusion, the five parts of any persuasive paper. When the students realize the parts coalesce into a whole, their self-efficacy indeed grows. The students are in the English IV classroom daily, where they have more time to develop and hone their skills.

Last semester’s theme was Powerful Women. This year, we include topics that intersect culture and society and the American Dream. Students have chosen topics and are ready to begin the research process, akin to last year’s routine. As such, I remain pleased at the students’ ability to synthesize and integrate all the new material so quickly. Because of our accelerated schedule, I feared the students might find the process daunting or overwhelming. Letting me know they cared about the Capstone just as much as I, the students finished on time with above average results. As last semester’s theme was Powerful Women, I secretly though proudly, dubbed it Powerful Students.

In sum, a new district-mandated project thrust upon a new teacher in the beginning of the school year might send some running. However, I was surrounded and encouraged by a great principal who monitored the steps, an instructional facilitator who attended the meetings with me, and a skilled librarian who demonstrated research and citation. The students know the Capstone’s importance, and not merely as a graduation requirement. They too see it as preparation for after high school graduation. Employers or college admissions want to know that these students can commit to and create a personal product that was the result of analytical rigor. I was and am pleased to see it from the beginning. Even more than that, I am excited to lead the Capstone at Northeast Prep Academy.

Northeast Prep Service Learning Project


Northeast Prep's spring Service learning project,
benefiting Pennies for Pasta (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)
raised $81.00. Northeast students, staff and friends raised $81.00
in just two weeks with spare change. Thank you for supporting our efforts.
We expect to participate again next year.

Ida B. Wells Academy News

Mrs. Nance and the Performance Pod performed in Germantown
at the Germantown Performing Arts Complex (GPAC).

Alphonso Galloway, Jakesia Sutton , Kedarius Pope and Courtney Carter
were named this month’s Reading and Rap Winners!

Ida B. Wells Academy 1st Athletic Award Ever!

On Saturday, March 6, history was made. IBWA has had athletics since 2004 and is still in the building process athletically. The program got a boost Saturday when the IBWA Cheer Squad placed second in the Cheer/Majorette competition at Lanier Middle School. Students and staff members were there in force to support our young ladies. The Cheer Squad made history by bringing IBWA its first athletic award ever! Congrats ladies and well done! Are you ready for the Eagles?

"I Need My Money!"

On February 25, the IBWA Social Studies department hosted its annual Parent Power meeting. The theme was “I Need My Money!” which was geared toward informing parents on how to keep their money in this time of economic recession. The speaker for the meeting was former MCS teacher and current entrepreneur/financial advisor, Roderick Peterson.

Jubilee/Juneteenth Celebration

The IBWA family hosted Mr. Larry Batchlor, executive director of the
Jubilee/Juneteenth Celebration. Mr. Batchlor engaged the students and teachers with
readings from his book and performances that included the students and staff. What a week!

Ida B. Wells Academy Thank You Michael!

At the end of homecoming week, the eagle family received a truly inspirational gift. Students and staff members came together at Studio on the Square Movie Theater, to view The Blind Side. This movie features the life story of our very own, former IBWA Eagle and current Baltimore Raven, Michael Oher. Over the years Michael has come back to IBWA to hang out with the staff members and students of IBWA. In fact, last year before Ole Miss traveled to Dallas to play in the Cotton Bowl, the IBWA media team went to Oxford to interview him. He told the media correspondents that the next chance he got, he would come visit the students at IBWA. Two days later, Michael came through on his promise. He went from class to class talking to students, taking pictures and signing dozens of autographs! The IBWA family is so proud of you Michael!


Martin Luther King Transition Center Colleges and Universities Visit MLK Transition Academy

Martin Luther King, Jr. Transition Academy has been fortunate to receive many visitations from local colleges and universities. Seniors and graduating juniors were provided information and the opportunity to apply to these institutions. In many cases applications fees were waived. The visiting post-secondary education institutions included everything from small colleges, to HBCU’s, to large universities, to trade schools. Military recruiters were also given the opportunity to reach our students, provided the parents were in agreement. With such a wide-range of possibilities, there should be something for everyone. The goal is to make sure every student has a plan of action for after s/he graduates. Students know that they can contact the guidance office at MLK Academy even after they graduate, should they change their plans and need assistance. MLK cares very much about producing productive citizens. Colleges and universities who have visited include:
Lane College
ITT Tech
University of Memphis
Lemoyne Owen College
Mississippi Valley State University
Tennessee Technology Center-Memphis

Urban Smiles Visits Martin Luther King Transition Academy

Dental students from UT Memphis came with permission of parents to clean students’ teeth. This was organized by Mr. Juan Fisher (MLK Exceptional Children’s Teacher). This was a service provided for all students who had proper permission. We would like to thank UT, students who participated and their parents. We hope we can have them back next year.
Principal Daniel posing with dental students at UT Memphis.
Juan Fisher (MLK Exceptional Children’s Teacher) looking at MLK Academy
student while UT Memphis dental students clean participant's teeth.

Student Ambassadors at the National African American School Board Members Association

(L to R) Mare’le Johnson; Dr. Felicia Watson, of New York City;
Timothy White; Tyran Pryor; and James Amps III
(who was portrayed in the movie …Remember the Titans! )
Mare’le, Timothy, and Tyran, students at Martin Luther King Transition Academy
were all chosen to serve as student ambassadors at the
NAASBMA Careers and Technology Fair back in February.

(R to L) Dr. Jeffrey Taylor, Tyran Pryor, and Tyran's mother (Mrs. Townsel)
at the Superintendent’s Reception for the NAASBMA
Careers and Technology Fair in February.
Ms. Willie Slate, Executive Director of the Memphis City Schools
Division of Careers, Technology & Adult Education,
recognized Tyran for his outstanding GPA and ACT scores.

Financial Aid Workshop at MLK Academy

On January 27, 2010, seniors and graduating juniors from Martin Luther King, Jr. Transition Academy had the opportunity to apply for financial aid for college before the February 1st deadline. We would like to thank Felicia Orr from Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) in Nashville, TN.

University of Memphis Emerging Leaders Volunteers at MLK Academy

The University of Memphis Emerging Leaders Program has been collaborating with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Transition Academy to help students from everything from improving their ACT scores to developing effective interviewing techniques. Recently, the Emerging Leaders, which consists of students who are currently working toward various degrees at the University of Memphis, implemented a session that included mock interviews and discussions about the do’s and don’ts of interviewing for a job. The students were very appreciative and called it one of the best sessions ever. Additionally, scholars Stacy Simmons and Deddrick Conley provided their peers with useful advice that was well received.

Dr. Taylor receives Secondary Counselor of the Year for West Tennessee

Congratulations to Dr. Jeffrey T. Taylor who was awarded Secondary Counselor of the Year by the West Tennessee Counseling Association (WTCA). This distinction was awarded on the evening of Friday, April 16, 2010, at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis. Dr. Taylor was selected from among high school counselors in all of Memphis City Schools, Shelby County Schools, Fayette County Schools, and Tipton County Schools. Dr. Taylor is the professional school counselor at Martin Luther King, Jr. Transition Academy.

MCS Alumni Gives back to His School District

In January of 2010, Brandon Cooper, who is currently a freshman at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, returned to Memphis City Schools to provide useful information on how to survive on a large university campus as a freshman. Brandon, who graduated from Central High School in 2009, provided useful information that generated meaningful discussions among the students at MLK Academy. He advised students that although you have more freedom in college, you also have more responsibility and are held to a higher degree of accountability. Thank you Brandon for giving of your time and experiences to the students at MLK Academy. Brandon is the cousin of Dr. Jeffrey Taylor.

Congratulations High School Graduates MLK Academy

John Davenport with Mom
Anthony Johnson with Mr. Daniel, Principal
Chirstopher Fullilove

Civil Rights Museum Visit

MLK Academy students attended the Civil Rights Museum on February 10, 2010. We were awarded a scholarship through the museum called the Wexlar Scholarship in which various schools within MCS were awarded to take a guided 2 1/2 hour tour of the museum. Fifteen students went on the tour of the museum. The scholarship provided MLK Academy with free transportation to and from the museum as well as a free guided tour.

MLK Academy Teen Parenting Conference

Two young men from MLK Academy attended the Teen Parenting Conference at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church on Thursday, April 22. They learned from expert the importance of pre-natal care, what true 911 emergencies are and what they aren't, how to hold a baby, how to protect the baby, and what their rights and responsibilities as a father are. The conference was open to all students who are or will soon be parents. All students throughout the district displayed excellent behavior and seemingly took advantage of the information that was being offered at the conference. A special thanks goes out to Memphis City Schools Parent and Community Engagement and LeBonheur who sponsored this conference. According to the students' verbal reactions, the conference was a great success!

Innovative Edge Online:
January, 2010
October, 2009