Test scores below averages

North Atlanta had the second-best SAT and ACT test scores among Atlanta Public Schools in 2009, but both figures were below state and national averages.

In the SAT, North Atlanta’s average score of 1375 was significantly below both state (1460) and national (1509) figures, and slightly lower than in 2008, when the school scored 1378. Grady High averaged 1498 points to lead city schools.

The SAT is designed to test high school students in the areas of critical reading, mathematics and writing. Test participants can score a maximum of 800 points for each of the three sections. A perfect score is 2400.

In the ACT, which tests English, Math, Reading and Science, North Atlanta had a composite (or average) score of 19.9, which trailed state (20.6) and national (22.1) scores. Grady’s ACT composite of 20.2 was the school system’s best mark. ACT scores range from 0 to 36.

N. Atlanta students are Scholars

Eight North Atlanta High students were among the 32 students who have been accepted into the W.E.B. Du Bois Society as 2010 Class of Du Bois Scholars.

Michael Byrd, Briana Franklin, Arielle Leonard, Jacoby Shipmon, Austin Smith, Marquis Turner, Amber Weber and Kendall Willias were selected based on academics and their willingness to eliminate the academic achievement gap between black students and their white and Asian peers, according to the Society.

The list of Du Bois Scholars also included Kendall Thomas of Westminster, Katani Franklin of St. Pius X, and Nailah Ogle, Rekeyia Sherrell and Katriana Simmons of Holy Innocents’.

“These are economically and geographically diverse groups of students who, in addition to excelling in the classroom, are musicians, athletes, dancers, writers, actors and more,” said Etienne LeGrand, president and co-founder of the W.E.B. Du Bois Society. “Through their participation in the WEB, they will not only acquire the skills, support and motivation to advance their own academic pursuits, but they are also joining a student-led movement to transform the way black teens, black families and black communities think about and reward academic achievement.”

St. Pius teacher visits Israel

Carrie Stockard, a French and English teacher at St. Pius X High School, completed a two-year program co-sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League with a trip to Israel this summer to visit the Holy Land and listen to presentations from religious and government leaders.

Stockard was one of 19 U.S. teachers to participate in the Bearing Witness Advanced Program, a professional development opportunity for Catholic School educators. In Israel, the group visited the Old City of Jerusalem, Nazareth, the Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Western (or Wailing) Wall and the Golan Heights.

The participants heard from the Papal Nuncio (head of the Catholic community in Israel) and the Director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, as well as Holocaust survivors at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Stockard also celebrated Shabbat, a Jewish day of rest, holiness and rejoicing.

Stockard will share her experiences with her students to “help them be tolerant of other religions and to understand their own more clearly.”

Marist raises funds for hospice

Marist’s volleyball team is raising money for the Hospice Atlanta, a division of Visiting Nurse. Proceeds from ticket and T-shirt sales from an Aug. 22 event and from an Oct. 1 match that includes St. Pius will benefit the non-profit organization, which offers quality home and end-of-life care to patients and their families both in their homes and at the 36-bed Hospice Atlanta Center in Brookhaven.

“Several people connected with Marist School have been touched by hospice recently,” said Stanley A. Sharp, a member of Visiting Nurse/Hospice Atlanta’s board of directors and chairman of the Parent Annual Fund of Marist School, “including Lady War Eagle coach Anna Bush, whose mother was lovingly cared for by the Hospice Atlanta team at the end of her life. This is one small way for us and the girls to give back.”