Gwinnett for Girls News
We would like to thank all scholars who participated in this year’s basketball and cheerleading tryouts. Please see the roster selections below for our 2015 – 2016 IPA Basketball and Cheerleading Team. Congratulations!
Parents please read the bottom portion in reference to the fee collection process on each campus. Questions and or comments can be directed to the following email: email@example.com
The YMLA at Kirkwood Boys Basketball Team
*In the event that a participant must be replaced for unforeseen reasons, these scholars will have the opportunity to partake in the season. Please report to practice until informed not to do so by Coach Spencer.
Manager: Gionni Gilder
The Ivy Prep Academy at Kirkwood for Girls Cheerleaders
Per the request of the Administration, please see Coach Shull Tuesday morning for a special letter for all participants and parents.
Ivy Prep Academy at Gwinnett Basketball Team
Ivy Prep Academy at Gwinnett Cheerleaders
*In the event that a participant must be replaced for unforeseen reasons, these scholars will have the opportunity to partake in the season. Please report to practice until informed not to do so by Coach Wysinger.
Participation Fees Notice:
All participation fees are due on Thursday, October 15, 2015 to secure your scholars’ spot the roster. Please turn in the fees to the designated personnel only on each campus. Cash, money orders, or certified checks are acceptable. No personal checks will be accepted. If a personal check is turned in by your scholar it will be returned to you. A receipt will be provided for your records from the designated personnel only.
Fee Collection Personnel by Campus:
Kirkwood Campus – Ms. Montgomery located in the Front Office
Gwinnett Campus – Dr. Waller located in the Fitness Center
Non Payment of Participation Fees:
In the event that the participation fees are not paid in full, unfortunately your scholar will be removed from their team on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. They will not be permitted to continue with practices any further from this date. They maybe replaced with an alternate.
Special Notice for Gwinnett Parents:
A delay in your payment for the participation fees will affect your scholar’s uniform being order. Thus, if the fees are not paid by Wednesday, October 21, 2015. The scholar uniform will not be ordered and the fees may increase due to ordering the uniform separately.
Dear Ivy Prep Parent:
Ivy Preparatory Academies has a rich history of serving public school scholars with innovative programs. We are Georgia’s first single-gender public charter school and have been a beacon for education reform and advocacy.
We fought to open our doors in 2008 after our charter petition was denied three times by the local school district. Our parents and scholars rallied publicly for the passage of the Georgia Charter Schools Amendment on their own time. In fact, one of our children became the poster child for the movement when she gave a televised testimony in her green dress jacket about the need for more school choice in her neighborhood. The ad helped scores of Georgians with and without children understand that the future of thousands of students trapped in failing public schools was in jeopardy if they didn’t vote to expand school options in Georgia.
Ivy Prep pushes to change laws; we do not work behind the scenes to circumvent them. That is why we, as governing board members of Ivy Prep, take issue with the serious allegations made against our school on ajc.com Thursday Oct. 8, 2015, by a community activist and “supporter” who does not have children at IPA. The op-ed contained erroneous information. We would like to set the record straight.
Our decision to close the high school program at our three campuses was made with careful consideration of the impact on our scholars and staff. We simply couldn’t afford to offer a high quality competitive high school when we are funded at half of the rate of traditional public schools. We were not meeting our mission to thoroughly equip high school scholars to succeed at the colleges and universities of their choice. Our students were under-performing compared to their peers as they grew frustrated taking the majority of their core subjects online instead of face-to-face with a caring teacher. Our average SAT score was 1203, which is more than 200 points below the national average of 1490 and the state average of 1450.
The suggestion to close high school for the 2015-16 school year was initially recommended during a public board meeting in March before the school’s new executive director, Alisha T. Morgan was hired. That pivotal meeting last spring had low parent turnout.
Soon after Ms. Morgan became the new Ivy Prep Executive Director, she continued research on the effectiveness of the high school model by meeting with parents and students to discuss grades and rate their satisfaction with the program. When it became apparent that the delivery model was not educating children in a matter that met our high expectations, it became necessary to treat the situation as an emergency.
Upon receiving notification from the Ivy Prep Executive Director, the governing board directed the schools’ leadership in partnership with the board’s Academic Standards Committee to conduct a formal assessment of the high school program. The study results, along with feedback from stakeholders, validated Ms. Morgan’s concerns and ultimately led the board to make the difficult decision to recommend closing Ivy’s High School. During a regularly scheduled meeting of the board that was posted on our website, a vote was taken to do what was in the best interests of students.
We regret that our swift action may have upset our parents and scholars, but we stand behind our decision to close high school. We were not meeting the academic needs of the 90 students that we were entrusted to educate. Any delay on the closure could have negatively impacted the ability of our seniors to have the time necessary to meet graduation requirements at their home schools. We recognize the gravity of this decision and its impact on our scholars and their families. Our hearts go out to those scholars who had aspirations of becoming the second class of Ivy Prep high school graduates.
We sincerely apologize to those who may feel disenfranchised by our decision. We as administrators and board members are called on to lead and look at the big picture. Most of our parents and staff understand our decision and appreciate our intent. We are committed to supporting the transition of our scholars and are working diligently to identify high school programs that will effectively prepare them academically to enter the college and university of their choice.
Administrators and staff held three meetings with high school families to discuss transition plans and share confidential student data that showed that most high school scholars were falling below standards in their core academic classes. We will continue to support our high school students throughout the academic year by offering them tutoring, SAT prep, and college tours.
Less than one-third of Ivy Prep’s eighth graders choose to stay with us for high school because we cannot offer them a traditional experience with sports teams and a large faculty. Most scholars, including the teen that became the poster child for the Georgia Charter School Amendment movement, leave Ivy Prep after middle school. The foundation they receive as Ivy Prep scholars serves them well. They have made successful transitions to the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology; DeKalb School of the Arts; Holy Innocent’s Episcopal School; Wesleyan Academy; and a host of high-performing traditional public schools. We also have some who have received six-figure scholarships to attend elite boarding schools such as Philips Academy. We want our current high school students to have the same opportunities. Some of our scholars have withdrawn to attend Arabia Mountain High, an environmental engineering magnet program that opened their doors to partner with us when admissions for the year had ended.
Ivy Prep will continue to move ahead with our efforts to prepare students for college by focusing on what we do best – offering a rigorous elementary and middle school program. We have a demonstrated record of high-achievement in that area. We will regroup and deliver the best K- 8 academic program possible.
Since 2008, our parents have worked with us hand-in-hand to make Ivy Prep a high-quality single-gender public charter school. The majority of our current parents and the parents of our successful alumni still support us. We encourage them and the community to come to our board meetings and volunteer to help us to prepare our scholars to be competitive for college and careers. We have exciting projects ahead. We must work together and do what is in the best interests of our students to get the job done.
The Governing Board of Ivy Preparatory Academies
Administrators at Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett have extended an invitation to high-achieving scholars to join the Beta Club, IPA’s first student organization to receive national recognition for the academic prowess of its members.
The Ivy Prep Academy Beta Club promotes scholarship, leadership, character, and community service. Ivy scholars in grades 6-8 who have good behavior and a grade point average of at least a 3.5 are recommended by teachers to be considered for membership in the prestigious organization.
“It’s an honor to be in Beta Club,” said Dr. LaShunda Hawkins, assistant principal at IPA Gwinnett, who serves as the new sponsor for Beta Club. “It teaches you how to become a leader and how to work as a team. “
Beta Club members in grades 7-8 travel to an annual state leadership conference each year that features motivational speakers and club competitions.
In July, four members of Ivy Prep’s Beta Club – Jedidah Titus, Mackenzie Williams, Shama Khan and Janai Kameka – competed as a team at Junior Beta Club’s national conference in Nashville, Tenn., where they placed fourth playing a Jeopardy-style Quiz Bowl game that tested their mastery of math, literature, social studies, and science. The scholars took a test with 25 questions and a bonus essay to earn a spot in the final rounds. They competed against teams from 35 states across the country.
“We are the only group in Georgia that made the top four,’’ beamed Mr. Chaz Patterson, principal of IPA Gwinnett. “I was so elated that our girls went in and did what they needed to do and got fourth place.”
“This is the first Ivy Prep group to make it to nationals,” said Ms. Linda Desmond, who led the organization last school year and attended nationals with the group. “I am really proud of them. They learned that they can achieve anything that they put their mind to.”
Beta Team Ivy qualified for nationals after winning second place in the Quiz Bowl at the state conference in Macon last November. The team defeated 75 contenders. Ivy Prep took 36 Beta Club members to the overnight conference to compete in a variety of events that showcased their intellectual and artistic talents.
The scholars on the team are gearing up for a new round of competition in November.
“I can’t wait to see what we will do this year,” Dr. Hawkins said.
Beta Club members met recently to discuss membership intake and plans to attend the next state convention, which will be held on November 19-20 at the Macon Marriott City Center. Students can compete in the Quiz Bowl event and in several other contests.
Ivy Prep’s Beta Club is a local chapter of National Beta Club, the country’s largest independent nonprofit youth organization. National Beta Club has been serving scholars for 80 years. It has more than 350,000 members nationwide.
Beta Club is one of Ivy Prep’s largest student organizations. In addition to attending the state conference, club members also host community service activities.
Sixth graders become eligible for Beta Club membership after report cards are issued.
“We are looking at kids who have been on the honor roll and who exemplify our Prep Values – Professionalism, Responsibility, Engagement and Perseverance,” Hawkins said. “We teach them about leadership and everything they need to know to prepare for college.”
ATLANTA- Alisha Thomas Morgan, the former state legislator who co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment expanding school choice in Georgia, will continue her advocacy in public education as the new head of Georgia’s first single-gender charter schools network.
Morgan was recently named as executive director of Ivy Preparatory Academies, which serves more than 1,300 students in three metro Atlanta public charter schools. She was appointed by the Board of Directors of IPA to lead the charter network after a national search for a new executive director picked Morgan as a top contender among 100 applicants. read more…
Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett will begin the 2015-16 school year under new leadership.
The Governing Board of Ivy Preparatory Academies has promoted Mr. Chaz Patterson to serve as principal of Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett. Mr. Patterson, a veteran educator for nearly a decade, has worked as an assistant principal at IPA Gwinnett since 2011. He has been instrumental in building academic achievement and preserving the culture of professionalism, responsibility, engagement, and perseverance demonstrated by Ivy Prep scholars.
IPA Gwinnett’s former principal, Ms. Joy Treadwell, has been promoted to Director of Academic Affairs for Ivy Prep Academies’ network.
“I know that Ivy Prep Gwinnett is in great hands,” Treadwell said. “Mr. Patterson is going to bring additional programs to the school and additional rigor. The 2015-16 school year will be awesome.”
Under Mr. Patterson’s leadership, IPA Gwinnett will make lessons more challenging for scholars and increase their exposure to careers. Mr. Patterson also plans to boost parent engagement by adding more family events that build school spirit. More than 400 scholars will attend IPA Gwinnett’s middle and high school this academic year.
“I am a very structured individual, but at the heart of hearts, I am a fun person, ” Mr. Patterson said. “I want to make sure that the girls are performing well academically and also having fun at the same time.”
Mr. Patterson joined the staff of IPA Gwinnett in 2009 as an English teacher. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from Florida State University; a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Instruction from the University of Phoenix; and an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from University of Georgia.
Mr. Patterson plans to build on the success of IPA Gwinnett’s first graduating class, which boasted a 100 percent graduation rate, a 100 percent college placement rate and scholarship offers of more than $170,000. The Class of 2015, now alumni of IPA, will be college freshmen this fall.
“After seeing their growth and development over the years, it was very heart-warming to see them walk across the stage and enter into the colleges and universities of their choice,” Mr. Patterson said. “I look forward to the rising seniors reaching those same goals and even more goals.”
The Class of 2016 will graduate with more exposure to careers. Mr. Patterson is working to build partnerships with local businesses and organizations that will lead to internships for scholars.
“I don’t want any of the girls that graduate from Ivy Prep to choose a major and have to change it later on because they don’t know what they want to do,” Mr. Patterson said. “We want our girls to take over positions at partnering businesses and learn what the operations are so when they go to college they are savvy and really have a passion for a career.”
Mr. Patterson also plans to host family events including health seminars, blood drives, and other activities to increase parent involvement.
“We are a school of choice and our parents choose to bring their scholars here,” he said. “Some families live close to Ivy Prep. Some live far away. We want to make sure that we are not just here for the students; we are here for everyone.”
Mr. Patterson will be supported in the administrative office by Dr. LaShaunda Hawkins, who will serve as the new assistant principal at IPA Gwinnett. Dr. Hawkins is a former interim assistant principal at IPA Kirkwood School for Girls. She has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University.
Like Mr. Patterson, Dr. Hawkins says she will “sweat the small stuff” when it comes to making sure scholars follow school rules established to help them grow and succeed. “In today’s society the small stuff is important – it can be as simple as being polite, respecting yourself and respecting others,” Dr. Hawkins said.
“Sometimes respect can lead you further in life than being a straight-A student,” she added. “I tell students all of the time that I’d rather have a hard working ‘C’ students that’s teachable than an all-A student that is not teachable because they don’t have respect.”
Leaders at Ivy Prep Academies believe that Mr. Patterson and Dr. Hawkins have the experience necessary to keep IPA Gwinnett moving ahead as a state leader in single-gender education.
“Ivy Prep Gwinnett’s new leaders will work to ensure that scholars have a quality education that prepares them for success in college,” said Nina Gilbert, founder at IPA.Read more about Dr. Hawkins in this Q&A (.pdf download). Read more about Mr. Patterson in this Q&A (.pdf download).
Q: Why did you want to become an educator?
A: I have always had a passion for working with kids and leading them in the right direction. I have been an educator for eight years. Everyday that I
wake up I am happy with my choice. I began my career working as a teacher in Miami Dade Public Schools. I taught sixth and eighth grade English. I
think that rigor is important and necessary to prepare students for college. I also like to have fun. No one ever said that learning should be boring.
Q: Why did you want to work at IPA?
A: I came to Ivy Prep in 2009 as a seventh grade English teacher. I was attracted to the school because it has a very unique model that resonated very well with who I am and what I believe that a school should be. A school should be a structured environment that is not only preparing students to be academically savvy, but also socially savvy. It
should equip them to be contributing citizens in a global society. I am ecstatic about the growth and success of scholars at Ivy Prep Gwinnett. I was promoted as an assistant principal in 2011 and got to see some of the girls that I taught graduate this year. We recently celebrated the commencement of our inaugural senior class. The Class of 2015 had a 100 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent college placement rate. It was very heartwarming to see them walk across the stage.
Q: Are you excited about your promotion?
A: Yes. My first experience with a school principal as a new teacher in Miami really inspired me to want to work as an administrator. She told me the ins and outs of what I would need to be a successful teacher. She was supportive and encouraging. I try to be the same way with my staff. I will lead our teachers and scholars to the best of my abilities and make sure that they get what they need to be successful. We will increase rigor, parent involvement, and launch programs that train scholars for careers by exposing them to internships.
Q: You often say that Ivy Prep “sweats” the small stuff. What do you mean by that?
A: At IPA we have high expectations for scholars. We require that they come to school dressed professionally in uniforms and are ready to learn. We require that they are respectful to teachers and their fellow classmates. We require scholars to follow the Code of Conduct, complete their homework assignments, and we push them to excel. Our mission is to prepare our scholars for success at the colleges and universities of their choice. It’s important that scholars learn that the small things attitude, appearance, ambition, and commitment really matter. They are the things that can help to determine someone’s fate.
Norcross High School’s Blue Devil cheerleaders partnered with Team Ivy Cheer recently to host a skills camp for girls interested in trying out for spirit squads in the fall.
The camp was held for a week at IPA Gwinnett for new and returning scholars. Six Norcross High cheerleaders, including rising freshman Makiya Reid, an alumna of Ivy Prep Gwinnett, volunteered as coaches for the summer training camp. The high school cheerleaders helped Ivy Prep students learn chants, spirit dances, cheers, and basic stunts.
“The Blue Devils are assisting Ivy Prep for our first year of camp,” said Ivy Prep Gwinnett Cheer Coach Nichole Wysinger, a substitute teacher who is earning her certification in science education. “We are happy to have Makiya among them. She is one of our Ivy Prep girls who transitioned to Norcross High.”
The other Blue Devils volunteers were cheerleaders Quinnci Thomas, Christiane Massey, and Taylor Imolode, all rising juniors at Norcross High; and rising freshmen Jada Simmons and Venae Glover.
Ten IPA middle school cheer candidates signed up for the camp. Many of the girls had no prior experience in cheering. The campers learned the fundamentals of cheering to help prepare them for tryouts in September. Last year, there were 15 cheerleaders on Team Ivy Gwinnett’s squad. Several of those girls continued cheering competitively in outside programs throughout the school year.
“For many years, I never wanted to be a cheerleader because I thought it was one of the most boring things,” said Ysa Lutchman, a rising seventh grader at IPA Gwinnett who attended the camp. “Now, I want to give it a chance. It’s like a new challenge for me.”
Lutchman bonded with other first-time cheerleaders Arissa Maxwell, Victoria McDonald, Gabrielle Sampson, and Mikiah McQueen as they practiced jumps and chants again and again. Their high school “sisters” watched closely and took time to help each camper perfect the moves.
“It’s fun,” McQueen said.
Maxwell agreed. “I like to try new things.”
IPA students with cheer experience also helped fellow campers polish new moves. Rising seventh grader Summer Wysinger, who cheered for Ivy Prep last year, and Nadia Burton, a rising eighth grader, said they enjoyed working with the Blue Devil’s squad and learning high school cheers.
IPA cheer coach Wysinger said the campers “made a lot of progress” a short time. “It has been a tremendous experience for the girls,” she said. “They have learned to tumble and stunt. Thank God for the Blue Devils!”
The partnership with the Blue Devils was forged with the help of former Ivy Prep student, Makiya Reid. “She told me that she would introduce me to her coach,” said Wysinger. The Gwinnett cheer coach followed up after the introduction and asked the Norcross High cheer coach for assistance with summer camp.
“She texted me and said asked, ‘What I needed?’ She came through with sixth girls. I really appreciate her help and support.”
Reid said she was honored to return to Ivy Prep to help lead camp.
“They are doing really well,” Reid said of the campers. She hopes that they will come to enjoy cheering as much as she does.
“For me, cheering helps me to do better in school,” she said. “It pushes me to get great grades because it is something that I want to do. I have to have good grades to cheer. I want to get a cheer scholarship.”
Cheering also helps students to gain confidence in themselves because it pushes them out of their comfort zone as leaders.
“If they are shy, by the end of the season they won’t be shy anymore,” Wysinger said. “In our program, they learn morals and values that help them to respect themselves and others. They become leaders in the classroom and in their communities. They carry those lessons throughout their everyday life.”
Greetings, Ivy Parents! Please see below for the reading lists and reading logs for all schools and all grades.
Get ready for a week of fun! Come learn and practice the fundamentals of becoming an IPA cheerleader. This camp is open to all scholars 6th – 8th grade. No experience required. Just a good attitude and school spirit!*
- Where: Ivy Preparatory Academy – Gwinnett Campus 3705 Engineering Drive Norcross, GA 30092
- When: June 22-26 9am – 4pm
- Cost: $100.00 (includes camp attire & lunch)
- Contact: Coach Wysinger 404-697-6339/ firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve got SPIRIT Yes We DO!
We’ve got SPIRIT How ‘Bout YOU?
Come Join Us at the Ivy Preparatory Academy on June 22-26. Please pick up and drop off your student at the Second building by the gym. We Will Be Teaching: *Cheers *Jumps *Motions *Spiriting *Dance
Four Ivy Prep seniors who attended the Black College Expo recently were recruited by admissions officers at four-year universities in the Southeast who were impressed by their academic course load, their grades and professionalism.
The scholars – Deja Washington, Rebekah Bills, Sana Memon and Angel Hodo – were accompanied by members of the Ivy Prep Foundation. The foundation launched a task force in December to help guide the senior class through the college entrance exam and application process. Foundation volunteers have been visiting the seniors weekly on Wednesdays to give them advice on preparing for college interviews, writing academic resumes, and crafting essays for college applications.
When the seniors arrived at the Black College Expo, they were ready to impress. They wore their business dress blazers and carried copies of their academic transcripts, resumes, recommendation letters, and a record of their work in clubs and in community service.
“The four acceptances were all onsite,” said Dr. Nina Gilbert, founder of Ivy Prep Academy. “They are supposed to receive official letters of acceptance from the colleges soon.”
Washington, an Ivy Prep scholar since freshman year, said she struggled to keep her poise when recruiters accepted her at first meeting. She was so surprised she didn’t know what to do.
“I wasn’t expecting to get accepted onsite,” said Washington, of Covington, who was offered a spot at Clark Atlanta University and Bennett College in North Carolina. “I cried on the inside, but I didn’t cry on the outside. I was very happy.”
Bills said she had doubts about getting accepted onsite, too. “You hear about it happening, but I didn’t think it was possible because usually you have to go through the long essay writing and application process,” she said. “Then it happened to me. I got into the school I wanted to go to – Clark Atlanta. It was very exciting.”
Gilbert said as word spread about the polish and professionalism of Ivy Prep scholars, Black College Expo recruiters sought them out. Bills was also accepted to Bennett, Alcorn State University in Mississippi, and Fort Valley State University in Georgia.
So was Memon. “I was really proud of myself,” she said.
Mrs. Victoria Wiley, executive director of Ivy Preparatory Academies was thrilled about the good news.
“It shows what can happen for scholars when you have a village supporting them and helping them to succeed,” said Wiley. “I think it speaks very highly to the professionalism of our scholars, the commitment of our staff to ensure that they had all of the proper documentation, and the support of the foundation. The foundation has been instrumental in assisting our seniors this school year as they applied to college.”
Hodo, who wants to study psychology in college, said she was accepted to her first and second choice schools at the Expo – Bennett and Clark Atlanta. She credits her Ivy Pep education for preparing her for success and the expert advice from the foundation.
“Dr. Gilbert has really shown us that we can believe in ourselves and accomplish anything that we put our minds to,” Hodo said. “Getting accepted on the spot taught me that even when I have doubts, that I should continue to push forward.”
Earlier this school year, Ivy Prep administrators predicted that the Class of 2015 would have a 100 percent graduation and college placement rate. College offers have been steadily coming in since August.
Brittany Gilbert, the first scholar enrolled at Ivy Prep, was the first to be accepted to the college of her choice. Gilbert was accepted to Hampton University, her top college choice, in August 2014 during Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center. Hampton University admissions officials recruiting students at the Expo’s College Fair interviewed Gilbert, looked over her application and transcripts, and gave her a letter of acceptance to take home with her.
Since then, seniors in the Class of 2015 have received acceptances to attend Georgia State University, Oglethorpe University, Agnes Scott College, and Fort Valley State University, all in Georgia; Tennessee State University; and Averett University in Virginia.
“I am weighing my options,” said Washington, who is deciding from acceptances at the Expo and an earlier one to TSU. “Ivy Prep taught me a lot about hard work and being independent. I am ready for college.”
Memon has decided to reject the four college offers she got and stick with her top choice. “I chose Georgia State,” she said. “I’m going to study business management.”
Ivy Prep administrators and supporters are confident that at this rate of college acceptance, the school will achieve a perfect score before the inaugural class heads to commencement ceremonies. Ivy Prep will honor the journey and success of the Class of 2015 at the school’s first high school graduation on May 23 at Georgia Gwinnett College.
“We will have a very special ceremony to celebrate the achievement, perseverance and sisterhood of our girls,” Wiley said.