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Kirkwood for Girls News

IPA Kirkwood Scholars Take A Journey Through Time

IPA Kirkwood Scholars Take A Journey Through Time



Middle school scholars studying the Medieval Period in history recently took an exciting field trip to Medieval to see the world-famous show where knights on horseback compete for the affection of a princess.

Kamilyah Hardaway, who teaches English Language Arts to sixth and seventh graders, said Ivy Scholars enjoyed the journey through time. The Middle Ages, also known as the Medieval Period, lasted from the 5th -15th centuries.

“The sixth-grade social studies curriculum includes that time area,” Hardaway said. “We thought it would be awesome for the scholars to get a first-hand experience.”

When Ivy Scholars arrived at Medieval Times in the Sugarloaf Mills shopping center, they were greeted by the actors and actresses who preserve the lore of the Medieval Period. At the complex, the wait staff are referred to as wenches and peasants. The royals – the king, the queen, and the princess – are rulers who preside over the games of skill performed by brave knights on horseback.

“Scholars saw knights battle with swords and other weapons,” Hardaway explained. “They also had an educational component where scholars learned about chivalry as a way to behave to show respect. They had different skits with the knight and the king and the maid acting out scenes. They asked students how could they behave more respectfully toward each other. The kids had multiple choice questions to answer.”

Scholars then ate dinner as citizens of the court in a medieval kingdom. They were served chicken, potatoes, a roll, and corn on the cob to eat with their hands. (Forks were provided for the squeamish.)

“They thought it was interesting to eat with their hands,” Hardaway said. “Some of them were a little more hesitant than others. Most of the food wasn’t messy.”

While the audience in the stadium ate, knights who had returned from battle were competing for the affection of the princess. Ivy Scholars sat in the section of the yellow knight and had to cheer every time that the knight performed daring stunts.

“The knights picked up rings while riding and holding their spears,” Hardaway said. “They had to shoot their spears and sword fight. It was pretty scripted, but the kids were very excited. The yellow knight won the contest.”

Hardaway said the field trip helped to get her students excited about reading Shakespeare. “To be able to see it in real life and hear the language and the dialect change is a pre-curser to our Shakespeare lesson,” she said.

Ivy Strong: Ivy Scholars Get Fit On Track Team

Ivy Strong: Ivy Scholars Get Fit On Track Team



Scholars at Ivy Prep Academy Kirkwood School for Girls  learned to compete in track and field events on a new team that encourages fitness and good sportsmanship this spring.

More than 30 scholars joined the track team to build their endurance as runners and Ivy Scholars. The young athletes competed at meets on Saturdays at Adams Stadium at 2383 North Druid Hills Road in Atlanta.

“The team progressed very nicely,” said Kristen Hill, head coach of the Monarchs’ track team. “We worked on our endurance and the small things that made the difference. Our girls placed in several events and races.”

The Monarchs have won mostly second-and-third- place awards in their meets. Assistant Track Coach Omari Price said that the way the team advanced in their conditioning and agility, he anticipates that the girls will continue to win next season.

“We taught the girls proper running techniques, form, and how to get past those moments of fatigue when you feel like quitting,” he said.

The team trained together after school. The workout built bonds between the girls and taught them life lessons.

“It’s always great to be active,” Hill said. “Track is a scholarship sport. If you get good at a young age, this is a sport that can take you to college.”

Ivy Prep parents are an integral part of the track team. They created signs to wave from the stands and cheered on Monarchs as they raced by.

Patricia Ladsen clapped loudly as her daughters competed in events. “My daughters wanted to join the track team so they could be ‘Ivy Strong,’ ” Ladsen said “I am very proud of them.”

IPA Kirkwood Celebrates Academic Excellence

IPA Kirkwood Celebrates Academic Excellence



Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood School for Girls recently held an awards ceremony to honor scholars on the A-B honor roll and those with straight-A’s. Parents in attendance presented their scholars with flowers, balloons, hugs, and kisses to reward their hard work.


Math Night Gives Parents Tips To Help Scholars At Home

Math Night Gives Parents Tips To Help Scholars At Home

Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood School for Girls recently hosted “Math Night” to introduce parents to some of the strategies scholars are learning in the classroom.
Nearly 200 parents and students attended the sessions. Teachers discussed the math curriculum and gave parents tips on how to help their scholars with math homework at home.
Parents sat in sessions led by teachers and scholars. They saw how math classes use computer programs, white boards, games, and writing on desks to understand math standards. They also saw how the skills scholars develop in elementary school lead to success in middle and high school math.
“From first grade on, you are building for algebra,” said Angela Kennedy, a math teacher at IPA Kirkwood. “It starts with using symbols and shapes to add and subtract, and later using shapes and symbols to multiply and divide.”
Kennedy said when some of her seventh and eighth grade scholars miss concepts they develop a fear of math.” It’s scary for students because in algebra they see alphabet in a math problem.”
Some parents also find algebra intimidating, Kennedy added.  “As parents, we may be like ‘Don’t bring me this. I don’t know how to do problems with alphabet,'” she said.
There are plenty of tools that parents and scholars could use at home to better understand algebra, Kennedy said. She recommends that parents and scholars watch math videos by “Math Antics” at The videos provide a step-by-step look at solving problems.
“They are wonderful,” Kennedy said. “If you are home, and he has a math video for you that explains what your scholar is doing at home, let them watch it.”
At IPA Kirkwood elementary school, parents were learning how to play games that they could do at home to help their scholars compare numbers and write fact families.
In a first grade classroom, parents rolled dice until they had two numbers to compare. The teacher gave them a memory clue to help their scholars determine whether to use a greater than or less than sign to compare the numbers.
“The alligator always eats the greater number,” one mother said to the teacher.
Down the hall in Ayana Hendricks’ classroom, a scholar demonstrated how her class solves math word problems to get them ready for the types of questions they may see on the Georgia Milestones Exams when they are older.
“I believe that in first grade we need to be getting them ready for the Milestones now,” Hendricks said. “The problems we do here require them to think and solve problems with pictures, numbers, and spelling words. They are learning at a high level.”
IPA Kirkwood Scholars Inducted Into Beta Club For High Achievers

IPA Kirkwood Scholars Inducted Into Beta Club For High Achievers



Top scholars at Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood School for Girls were recently inducted into the DeKalb campus’ inaugural Beta Club for high achievers.

IPA’s Beta Club is a local chapter of National Junior Beta Club, the country’s largest independent nonprofit youth organization. The Ivy Prep Academy Beta Club promotes scholarship, leadership, good character, and community service. Ivy scholars in grades 5-8 who have stellar 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.

“We are thrilled to launch a Beta Club chapter at Ivy Prep Kirkwood,” said Dr. LaShunda Hawkins,  Beta Club sponsor at IPA Kirkwood. “Beta Club promotes academic achievement and the development of leadership skills. Members get to compete with other schools  in events that allow them to show their creativity and intelligence. It helps them to bond as a team and understand the true meaning of sisterhood.”

Fifth grader Tiana Watt said she feels special being part of the inaugural Beta Club. She serves as secretary and co-treasurer. “I like doing things and helping others,” she said.

Ivy Scholars have a legacy of achievement within the Beta Club. The 2016 president of the Georgia Junior Beta Club organization is a scholar from Ivy Prep Gwinnett, Selina Vazquez-Mendoza. In 2014, Gwinnett’s Beta Club became the first club from a single-gender public charter school to win as a top contender in an academic competition at the Georgia Beta Club Convention. The team also placed fourth at nationals in 2015 playing a Jeopardy-style Quiz Bowl game that tested their mastery of math, literature, social studies, and science.

Members of the Kirkwood Beta Club said they will continue the tradition of excellence.

Several of the new inductees will attend. They will compete in conference arts and academic events including Quiz Bowl, the banner contest, and more.

Fifth grader Damartys Williams said she is excited about being inducted into the scholastic organization.

“I know Beta Club will help me to get a college scholarship,” said Williams. a fifth grader who serves as co-treasurer. “Who doesn’t want a free college scholarship?”

Williams says that other scholars should strive to be in Beta Club, too. “If you keep making good grades and have good behavior, you will make it one day.”

Ivy Scholars Become V-103 Radio Stars

Ivy Scholars Become V-103 Radio Stars




Scholars at Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood School for Girls joined V-103 radio star Sean Ferrari Simmons as special guests on a popular radio show recently. The scholars, accompanied by IPA Executive Director Alisha T. Morgan, introduced the “Top 8 at 8” selection of fan favorite hip-hop songs. They also recorded promotions for other radio shows including, the “Morning Show with Ryan Cameron and Wanda Smith.” Simmons said he was impressed with the voice talent of the Ivy Scholars. He said they represented themselves and Ivy Prep very well. “They did better than many of the high school students and adults that I have had on the show,” he said.


To hear the radio show, follow the link below:

Radio Stars Visit IPA Kirkwood To Share Reading Program

Radio Stars Visit IPA Kirkwood To Share Reading Program



Ivy Prep Kirkwood scholars in grades K-2 received a special visit recently from two radio personalities who shared their love of reading. V-103 DJ Sean Ferrari Simmons and his friend, James “DJ J.T.” Taylor, of HOT 107.9, came to IPA Kirkwood on Monday to read to scholars as part of the “Reading with Rari” literacy initiative.
“Reading with Rari” is a community outreach focused on getting students excited about reading at an early age and empowering them to achieve in the classroom.



Scholars, Teacher Honored For Excellence In Classroom

Scholars, Teacher Honored For Excellence In Classroom



Leaders of Ivy Preparatory Academies recently honored the Kirkwood “Scholars of the Month” and “Teacher of the Month” for their commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.


The honorees were recognized by Ivy Prep’s executive director, Ms. Alisha T. Morgan, who called the winners up to receive certificates. “We want to honor them for their hard work in the classroom and their dedication to strive for excellence in teaching and learning,” Morgan said.


The “Scholars of the Month” are kindergartner, Jordyn Johnson; first grader, Reese Bailey-Anderson; second grader, Jada Bates-Starks; third grader, Ruth Abi; fourth grader, Renae’ Mede; fifth grader, Sierra Young; sixth grader, Simone Neal; seventh grader, Kaylen Scott; and eighth grader, Harmony Andrews. The “Teacher of the Month” is Allison Tollman.


Scholars were chosen for the award based on their stellar grades, academic improvement, good behavior, and representation of the PREP values of professionalism, responsibility, engagement and perseverance. The “Teacher of the Month” was nominated by the faculty.


Dr. Charcia Nichols, principal of Ivy Prep Kirkwood School for Girls, said that Tollman, a third grade teacher, was chosen for her passion for education, and her ability to get her scholars excited about their lessons. “She is very compassionate and finds all kinds of ways to make sure that children learn,’’ Dr. Nichols said.


Tollman is a veteran educator of more than a decade who is in her first year at Ivy Prep. She said she was surprised to be the first educator chosen as “Teacher of the Month” for the new school year. “I didn’t expect it because there are so many deserving teachers,” she said. “I am the type of person who usually works in the background. It is an honor to be recognized for the work that you do in the classroom.”


Tollman is a former Atlanta Public Schools teacher. She has been an educator for nearly a dozen years. She has a master’s degree in early childhood education and teaching from Georgia State University, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Emory University.


Tollman and the scholars received gift cards from administrators at IPA Kirkwood School for Girls during an earlier presentation.


IPA Kirkwood Offers New Club For High Achievers

IPA Kirkwood Offers New Club For High Achievers



Straight-A scholars at Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood will soon have an opportunity to join an organization for high achievers. IPA Kirkwood is starting a campus chapter of the National Beta Club, an organization that provides networking opportunities and leadership training for some of the country’s brightest kids.

Kirkwood’s Beta Club chapter will be open to Ivy scholars in grades 3-8 who have good behavior and a grade point average of at least a 3.5. Beta Club members in grades 7-8 travel to the annual state leadership conference in Macon where they attend seminars and compete in events that showcase their academic and artistic talents.

The parents and guardians of Kirkwood scholars who meet the academic qualifications will receive a letter informing them that their scholar is eligible. Scholars need recommendation letters and at least one signature from a teacher to be considered for Beta Club.

“The Beta Club assists scholars in their efforts to think outside of the box,” said Dr. LaShunda Hawkins, who is sponsoring the new Beta Club at IPA Kirkwood. “Members get to compete with other schools in Georgia in events that allow them to show their creativity and intelligence. It helps them to bond as a team and understand the true meaning of sisterhood.”

IPA’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.

Dr. Hawkins, a teacher at IPA Kirkwood, also served as a former sponsor for the Beta Club at IPA Gwinnett. IPA Gwinnett’s Beta Club was launched soon after the school opened. It has made state education history twice. Last school year, IPA Gwinnett scholar Selina Vazquez-Mendoza became the first public charter school student to be elected as state president of Georgia’s Beta Club. Gwinnett’s Beta Club also was the first club from a single-gender public charter school to win as a top contender in the Quiz Bowl – a curriculum trivia contest – at the state conference level. The team placed fourth at nationals in 2015.

“We will have a friendly rivalry with Gwinnett,” Dr. Hawkins said. “We have a lot of work to do.”

The new Kirkwood Beta Club will hold its first meeting in September after members are chosen. “We are looking at kids who have been on the honor roll and who exemplify our Prep Values – Professionalism, Responsibility, Engagement and Perseverance.”

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