All Ivy Prep parents must attend a Parent Academy session before the 2014-2015 school year. Please see the dates and times below for your campus.
- Saturday, July 26
- 6th Grade – 10:00 a.m.
- 7th/8th Grade – 2:00 p.m.
Kirkwood (Girls and YMLA)
- Tuesday, July 22 – 4:00 p.m. (all grades)
- Thursday, July 24 - 6:00 p.m. (all grades)
- Thursday, July 31 - 6:00 p.m. (all grades)
Ivy Preparatory Academy is now seeking qualified candidates for teaching and support positions for the 2014-2015 school year. Qualified candidates can apply by visiting: www.ivyprepacademy.org/careers/ If you think you’re ready to change the lives of our scholars in Gwinnett and DeKalb County, apply today.
- Gwinnett Campus
- 9-12 Mathematics
- Special Education
- High School Success Coach
- Kirkwood for Girls
- 1st Grade Teacher
- 3rd Grade Teacher
- 6-8 Science
- Success Coach
- Young Men’s Leadership Academy
- 1st Grade Teacher
- 2nd Grade Teacher
- 3rd Grade Teacher
- 4th Grade Teacher
- 5th Grade Teacher
- Middle School English / Language Arts
- 8th Grade English / Language Arts
- 8th Grade Math
- Special Education
- Kirkwood Shared Staff
- Ivy Bound
- High School English / Language Arts
- High School Math
- Ivy Prep Network
- Director of Technology
IPA Network Schools will more than triple its high school enrollment in 2014-2015 when the blended learning program that exposes scholars to the rigor of college expands at both the Gwinnett and DeKalb campuses.
School registrars say the enrollment will spike to 120 scholars – 60 at Gwinnett and about 70 at IPA Kirkwood in the expansion next school year.
Parents and scholars accepted into the innovative program recently attended a High School Open House to learn more about the opportunity.
IPA’s blended learning model provides scholars with a collegiate environment, independence, and a laptop that opens the doors of their classrooms to cyberspace. Scholars take core math and language arts classes with an Ivy Prep teacher in a classroom. All other courses are taken virtually at high schools and colleges from across the country.
Natalya Galvan, a rising senior in Gwinnett told visitors at the Open House that it takes some time to get adjusted to the routine of cyber high school.
“It was a bit challenging at first,” she said. “But It helps you to be more responsible. Now, I actually take responsibility for all of my classes.”
The blended learning model will launch at the Kirkwood campus for the first time in the fall. School officials said that parents are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to have their scholars continue their education at an IPA high school that provides laptops for their kids and freedom to pick cyber classes that meet their interests.
IPA’s connection to online courses is being offered through a partnership with Connections Academy, a cyber school. The partnership has tripled the selection of electives, foreign languages, and Advanced Placement courses available to scholars. Freshman who enter the program have 16 electives to choose from including computer game design and music taught by the Juilliard School in New York.
“They like the fact that their kids are still here in the building, and they will be supervised not just out there not their own,” said Gabriel Haggray, school registrar for the Kirkwood campus.”
Scholars in the high school program at Kirkwood will continue to learn separately in the School for Girls and the Young Men’s Leadership Academy. Both schools are still accepting scholars into the program. Administrators say that the high school addition will close the gap on their campus, which currently serves scholars in grades K-8.
“It is easy to say that you are college prep when you don’t have a high school,” said Kendra Shipmon, principal of Kirkwood’s School for Girls. “I think by adding a high school, we truly create a cradle-to-college pipeline. It gives us an opportunity to support our scholars in a new way to make sure that we complete our mission.”
YMLA principal A.C. Myles said that his scholars are looking forward to independent learning and more freedom as a high school student whether they continue on at Ivy Prep or go elsewhere.
“Many of them are excited about going to high school,” Myles said. “We have given them a jumpstart so that they can stay on track there and help us achieve our mission of getting them into college and graduating from college at a high level.”
Administrators said the high school curriculum can be very demanding. A success coach monitors their progress and helps to arrange conferences with online teachers and parents.
“These ladies have written more essays this year than they have ever written,” said Joy Treadwell, principal of Ivy Prep Gwinnett.
Rebekah Bills, a rising senior in Gwinnett, said the high school program is for scholars that are “hard-working” and want to be “well-prepared for the next-level.”
Deja Washington, a rising senior, agrees. “You are independent, and you set standards for yourself.”
Classmate Brittany Gilbert said that she is prioritizing more and has become better at time management.
After Open House, parent Richard Baldwin said he was convinced that IPA’s new high school will be perfect for his daughter, McKenzie.
“I like the blended approach,” he said. “It teaches students responsibility. I think it’s great. The small class sizes make it even better.”
Darryl Garnett wants the best for his rising fourth grader, Triniti. After one visit to Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood during Open House, he was sold. He was impressed by the single-gender classrooms, the challenging curriculum, and the respectful students clad in crisp blazers, khakis and pleated skirts.
“When I turned in my application, they said they couldn’t guarantee I would get in,” Garnett said. “They said there would only be one fourth grade classroom.”
Nevertheless, Garnett recently got good news about the upcoming school year. His daughter was among scores of students selected in a lottery to enroll at Ivy Prep Kirkwood for the 2014-15 school year.
With the influx, the enrollment at IPA Kirkwood School for Girls and the Young Men’s Leadership Academy is projected to grow to more than 400 scholars each next school year, said Gabriel Haggray, registrar for IPA Kirkwood.
Haggray credited an aggressive new student enrollment campaign for the increase. The campaign brought more visitors to see IPA Kirkwood’s classrooms and programs. Some prospective parents came with applications already completed based on the recommendation of current IPA families.
“We did a lot more radio ads, and we had really great parent involvement,” Haggray said. “The parents brought a lot of our kids to us.”
Teams of IPA Kirkwood parents wearing spirit wear canvassed neighborhoods to spread the word about enrollment season. Some talked to neighbors outside of grocery stores, malls and churches. Others walked door-to-door.
After the application deadline for the new school year, a lottery was held to enroll students in grade levels that had more applications than seats available. About 100 seats were available at YMLA and at Kirkwood’s School for Girls after returning students re-enrolled.
At Kirkwood’s School for Girls, the lottery helped to fill seats in kindergarten, second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh grade. At YMLA, the lottery helped to fill seats in kindergarten, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grade.
Nina Rubin, spokesperson for the Georgia Charter Schools Association, co-hosted the event. Rubin pulled numbers out of a gold lottery machine and read them before an audience of hopeful families.
“There were screams of joy and laughter,” said Haggray. “We didn’t have too many people crying. That was nice. The new scholars went up to shake the hands of their principal.”
April Morrissette said she was ecstatic that her son, Zahmari, was chosen to be a scholar at YMLA. “I was very excited about the opportunity. It was very emotional for me.”
Garnett received a phone call from IPA telling him the good news. Garnett said he first learned about Ivy Prep during news and radio broadcasts. He was intrigued and decided to visit ipa.org where he found enrollment information.
“The school that my daughter is at now, I’m not satisfied with what they are teaching,” Garnett said. “She is at the top of her class and is not being challenged. She told me, ‘Dad, I need to be challenged.’ ”
Garnett believes Triniti will get the rigor she needs at Ivy Prep. Triniti’s mom, Sharon Dudley of Lithonia, said she is looking forward to learning more about Ivy Prep.
“I like the idea of single gender,” Darryl Garnett said. “At allows girls to focus on their studies without having to worry about who has what on and the boy thing. She is very excited about having a new adventure.’’
Limited seats are still available in some grades at IPA’s Kirkwood and Gwinnett campuses.
“We are still accepting students for our waitlist,” Haggray said. “Our largest waitlist right now is sixth grade for both [Kirkwood] schools. As seats become available we will start filling them.”
Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood held its annual lottery for the 2014-2015 school year. For the list of results by lottery number, please follow the link below. Parents of admitted scholars, you must have your enrollment packet submitted by the assigned deadline, or your scholar will be reassigned to the Waiting List.
Lessons Taught By Engineers Expose Scholars to STEM Careers
Scholars at Ivy Prep Gwinnett learned about careers in science and mathematics recently during national Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. The lesson was part of the public charter school’s continuing effort to incorporate science, technology, engineering and mathematics – STEM education – into the curriculum.
IPA Gwinnett was visited by 26 volunteers affiliated with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The volunteers included members of IEEE Atlanta Women in Engineering, the IEEE Atlanta Area section, IEEE at Georgia Tech and Women in Electronics, Computing and Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Ivy Prep teachers invited the engineers and engineering students into their classrooms to lead a special lesson.
Scholars were asked to use their math and science skills to design a small-scale electronic dance pad that could be used as a prototype for a game.
“Engineers use math and science as tools to design devices to solve problems,” Mahasweta Bhaumik, an architect, told a class of IPA scholars. “They work in teams toward a common goal, designing and building things that help people.”
The guest teachers then taught scholars a lesson on the history of electricity. The lecture covered the Greek discovery of static electricity 2,500 years ago and the advances that occurred in the late 1800s when George Westinghouse redesigned the power transformer and developed the AC power distribution network that helps to provide electricity for homes today. Scholars also learned about electrical conductors, insulators and circuits. They used Ohm’s law, a mathematical formula, to determine the current and voltage in a circuit, which helped them with the dance pad experiment.
After the lecture, scholars were asked to build a switch for their models. The girls had to figure out how big their dance pads would be and how sturdy they would need to make the pads to withstand stomping and jumping. Scholars used the design process followed by engineers on the job: Brainstorm, design, build, test and redesign.
During the testing phase, scholars connected wires and batteries on their models to see if the prototype’s light switched on or buzzer buzzed.
“This is an exciting time for us because it gives our girls an opportunity to meet engineers and ask questions about their jobs,” said Joy Treadwell, principal of IPA Gwinnett. “Our engineering partners are able to expose the girls to math and science and show them that it can be fun. It’s nice to be able to expose the girls to a field in which girls are traditionally under-represented.”
While women make up nearly half of the nation’s workforce, they only represent 26 percent of the STEM workforce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Efforts like national Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day encourage girls to pursue careers in math, science and technology.
Ivy Preparatory Academy offers our sincerest thanks to the parents who attended our recent town hall meetings. The following members of the Ivy Prep family have committed to making Ivy Prep a better network through their time, financial contributions, and more:
Jennifer Legardy-Williams, Charles Williams
Reginald / Emily Cormier
Playoffs Team Ivy completed its basketball season reaching the charter school league playoffs for the third consecutive year.
The Gwinnett Monarchs won second place in the LukeSports Tournament with an 8-2-season record. The team lost to their rivals, the Lady Vikings, a team affiliated with the Amateur Athletic Union.
“The season went really well,” said Coach Terrence Waller, IPA’s Athletic Director. “I am very proud of both teams. The girls did phenomenal making it to the championships. They came up a little short. We’ve been there before. We are just going to go back to the workshop and rebuild some things.’”
Waller said the Kirkwood Knights, the boys’ team, lost all of its games, but bonded as a group. Next season, the Knights will restructure and focus on game fundamentals. Basketball tryouts for both teams will be held earlier in the season so that scholars chosen for the program will have more time to train together and build their skills.
Tryouts for the 2014-15 school year will be held sometime in August, Waller said.
“The guys’ season didn’t turn out as great as I wanted it to be, but that is any time when you start a new program,” said Waller. “Our first time with the girls it was 2-8 this time it’s 0-10. The parents have become familiar with the league and our program. We want to make sure that the boys take it seriously. We are going to be in a building phase for both teams.”
Team Ivy will lose many of its veteran players at the end of the school year. The starting five on the Monarchs – Shay Sweat, Reina Mitchom, Hannah Dunston, Samantha Gaddy and Jade Dodd-Mungin – will move on to high schools with competitive basketball programs. The Monarchs’ Jordyn Edgerton, Nia Meadows, Jayda Allen and Clarissa Wilson are also eighth graders.
The Knights also will lose eighth graders Christian Haddock and Jaylen Lowe.
“It’s bittersweet,” Waller said. “The reason that we created Team Ivy was to create a sporting program for sixth to eighth grades that would give them an opportunity just to be able to compete in the ninth grade. I am very much pleased to know that the girls and guys that are leaving us have earned the opportunity to try out and be taken seriously.”
Graduates of the Ivy Prep basketball program have seen success in high school. A former Monarch, Cairo Booker, helped to lead Wesleyan School to the state championship in her first year there as a freshman. “I’m anticipating some of the other kids are going to do the same,” Waller said.
Team Ivy began the year with an expansion. A cheerleading squad and basketball team was added to the Kirkwood campus. The sports program will grow again in the fall. Waller hopes to raise $30,000 to add bleachers to the Kirkwood gym, pay coaches, install safety lining on the floors and purchase more athletic equipment. He wants to create a home gym for sports games.
“The director [of LukeSports] has come out to look at our facility and said it would work great,” said Waller. “In opening the gym, it gives us a chance to have an identity within the league and to build school pride. It is going to give us some exposure to allow other parents see how Ivy Prep is.”
Next school year, in addition to basketball, Ivy Prep scholar athletes also may be able to participate in volleyball and golf or tennis in the spring. Waller said parents will be needed as boosters to support the new teams and raise funds. He is working on a fund-raising campaign that will include crowd-funding through the website Kickstarter, which allows people to logon and donate online.
The expansion could help Ivy Prep grow its reputation as a school of choice for scholars interested in campuses with excellent college preparatory academics – and athletics.
“I need parents and the kids to be open to fundraising,” said Waller. “We are going to do some crowdfunding and get our brand out there so people understand what our program is about and how it correlates with academics. One dollar times a thousand people is a lot.”
Ivy Preparatory Academy Network held two Town Hall meetings recently to discuss the state’s new performance rating system for local schools, which is being launched this spring.
The Georgia Department of Education’s new accountability system will assign up to five stars rating the efficiency of public schools. The star ratings will accompany a school’s overall numeric grade.
Schools will be judged using the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), which monitors student progress, school climate, parent satisfaction and financial stability.
“We will be graded on a scale of 0-to-100 the same way scholars are graded in class,” said Victoria Wiley, executive director of Ivy Prep Network.
Wiley encouraged parents to complete satisfaction surveys and brag about their school on social media, including websites like greatschools.org. Completing parent surveys can add points to the school climate star rating, she said.
“The same way we get on TripAdvisor.com and want to know whether we found a four-star hotel, the state will take your parent survey and develop a star rating for each school,” Wiley said.
The school rating system was changed by the state to help parents and the public better understand how local schools perform and compare with each other. It is a more comprehensive look at school performance than the previous pass-fail system. The previous rating system was based on an annual snapshot of test scores. Schools were designated as meeting “Adequate Yearly Progress” goals if students achieved benchmarks on state exams and in need of progress if test goals were missed.
The new rating system measures standardized test scores, parent and staff surveys, the academic growth rate of students and numerous other factors that make a school successful.
“It’s not just that my scholar passed the test,” said Joy Treadwell, principal of Ivy Prep Gwinnett. “We want to know how our scholars are growing over time so that we can make sure they will be college and career ready. Each year, you are going to see a growth rate. Students will be measured against their peers across the state.”
IPA Schools Narrow Achievement Gap
State performance index data reported for the 2012-13 school year shows that Ivy Prep Network schools are working to narrow the achievement gap between students of different races and incomes.
On average, Georgia public schools in 2012-13 received a performance index rating of 83.4. (The score includes 57.5 out of 70 possible student achievement points; 9.8 out of 15 student progress points; and 10.5 out of 15 achievement gap points for decreasing the learning gap between racial and economic groups.)
Ivy Prep Gwinnett out-performed the state average earning a score of 88.5. That score included 56.5 achievement points, 10.5 progress points and a perfect score of 15 achievement gap points.
Ivy Prep Gwinnett also scored higher than several other nearby Gwinnett middle schools with diverse populations and families who qualify for free and discounted lunch.
IPA Gwinnett scored higher than Summerour Middle of Norcross, which received a score of 77.1, and Louise Radloff Middle School, which received an overall score of 80.9.
The index rating for Ivy Prep Kirkwood School for Girls was 73.3, a performance rating higher than the 71.2 average for DeKalb County Schools, but slightly lower than the state average.
Kirkwood’s School for Girls also outperformed nearby elementary and middle schools serving similar diverse and economic populations. It scored higher than Chapel Hill Middle of Decatur, which received a 70.9.
Kirkwood’s Young Men’s Leadership Academy received an average score of 54.3 score.
Ivy Prep Network administrators said performance index ratings for all three schools are expected to increase due to changes in the curriculum. Last August, Ivy Prep campuses launched block scheduling to give scholars more time in classes to grasp lessons. Core classes for scholars run 90-minutes instead of an hour.
“We want to make sure at Ivy Prep that we are closing the achievement gap,” said Wiley.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to five Frequently Asked Questions about the new performance rating:
Q: What is CCRPI?
A: It is a new accountability system called the College and Career Ready Performance Index, which will roll out for the first time this spring. It shows parents and the public how schools are performing in a more comprehensive manner than the former pass/fail Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) system.
Q: How are schools scored?
A: Each CCRPI report uses student achievement and school performance data from the previous school year. Each school will be assigned a star rating on a scale from 1 to 5 stars. This rating takes into account student, teacher and parent surveys; academic performance; and school effectiveness. Each school will also receive a grade from 0-100 just as our scholars do in their classes.
Q: How is an individual student’s progress tracked?
A: Progress is measured by your scholar’s academic performance, standardized exam performance and the Student’s Growth Percentile or SGP. An SGP describes a student’s growth in performance on state tests as compared to their peers statewide with similar prior achievement. A student’s growth percentile can range from 1 to 99,
Q: Why did the state Department of Education change the school accountability system?
A: The state Department of Education wants Georgia students to be 100 percent prepared for college and careers upon graduation. The new system is a more comprehensive approach to evaluating schools. The state wants Georgia public school graduates to be competitive globally. The index can be used as a roadmap for school improvement.
Q: Do high schools use the same performance index?
A: The index rates high schools by monitoring final exam scores; enrollment in Advanced Placement courses and fine arts classes; graduation rates; and participation in college entrance exams, among other things.
For more info: http://ccrpi.gadoe.org/2012/ccrpi.aspx
Ivy Preparatory Academy is still accepting Lottery Applications for the 2014-2015 school year. You may download the application here or pick up a paper copy from the front offices at our Gwinnett and Kirkwood campuses.
Note: Because the Lottery Application deadline has passed, some grade levels may have a Waiting List. For questions about enrollment in specific grades, please contact the registrar at your desired campus.
(.PDF, 4 pages)
Ivy Preparatory Academy at Gwinnett
3705 Engineering Drive
Norcross, Georgia 30092
- Serving girls
- For residents of Gwinnett County
- Enrolling in grades 6-8 for 2014-2015
- Note: Due to the large number of returning scholars in grades 9-11, new seats may not be available for our high school program. However, please follow the “Download” link above and complete the form, you will be notified if seats became available.
Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood
1807 Memorial Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30317
- Serving boys and girls in two single-gender academies
- For residents of DeKalb County
- Enrolling in grades K-9 for 2014-2015