Week of August 24th, 2015

I cannot believe this week will mark the first month in school.  Time is flying by.  I hope that all is well with each of you and that you have had great weekends.  Kudos to everyone who came out for the Road to East Lake 5K and to a few parents who placed in the top overall and in their age groups!  As always, I have included three sections below – Shout Outs, Calendar and Announcements.  Please leave comments for future topics that you would like for me to include.


  • To Jeremiah Furlow and Roland Blanding, who placed second and third overall in the Road to East Lake 5K
  • To Joseph Jones, III, Amaiya Shakir-Pool, Henry Cox, Christian Alexander and Dawn Williams, who all placed in the top three in their age groups
  • To Mrs. Ferenczy for her first project which engages students in examining the Georgia Performance Standards with regard to equity and asks them to engage with scholars to address the inequities they find
  • To Mr. Canney and Mr. Baker for their excitement, problem-solving and creativity in their integrated American Literature/Theater course
  • To Dr. Spearman, Ms. Kaney, Mrs. Holmes-Ferguson, Mrs. Wilson and others for coordinating gifted testing on Monday
  • To Mr. Lawal for all of his work preparing and supporting students’ laptops
  • To Mrs. Ali-Ferguson for organizing yearbook pictures on Tuesday


  • Monday, August 24th
    • A-Day
    • Flex Time – Extended Learning
    • 5:30 – Softball vs. St. Francis [Home – Southside Park]
  • Tuesday, August 25th
    • B-Day
    • Flex Time – Advisory
    • 5:30 –
      • Softball vs. Mt. Vernon [Home – Southside Park]
      • Volleyball vs. Coretta Scott King and Banneker [Away – Coretta Scott King]
  • Wednesday, August 26th
    • A-Day
    • Flex Time – Extended Learning
  • Thursday, August 27th
    • B-Day
    • Flex Time – Clubs/Organizations
    • 5:00 – Softball vs. Landmark Christian [Away]
    • 5:30 – Volleyball vs. S. Atlanta and Carver [Home]
    • 6:00-7:00 – PTA Meeting [Center for the Arts]
  • Friday, August 28th
    • A-Day
    • Flex Time – Trust Card Free Friday
  • Upcoming Events  
  • Saturday, August 29th, 2:00-4:00 – Westminster College Fair [All Junior Students – Cobb Galleria – More information available here]
  • Tuesday, September 1st, 5:00 – Volleyball vs. Eagle’s Landing Christian and Green Forest Baptist [Away – Eagle’s Landing]
  • Thursday, September 3rd
    • 5:00 – Softball vs. Galloway [Home – Southside Park]
    • 5:30 – Volleyball vs. Maynard Jackson [Away]
  • Friday, September 4th, 7:00 – EA. JA, SA Jazz Band Concert [Yates Campus Plaza]
  • Friday, September 11th – Full-Day Parent Teacher Conferences [No classes]
  • October 15th, 4:00-6:00 – Quarter 1 PBL Showcase
  • October 28-29th – AdvancED Accreditation External Review Visit



  1. State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council: State School Superintendent Richard Woods is seeking middle and high school students to serve on his fall 2015 Student Advisory Council. These students will meet with Superintendent Woods to discuss the impact of state policies in the classroom, along with other issues related to education, and will serve as the Superintendent’s ambassadors to their respective schools.
    1. Click here to download an application.
    2. Send applications by August 31, 2015 at 5 p.m. to Ron Culver at rculver@doe.k12.ga.us.
    3. Selected students will be contacted via email. All students can check gadoe.org, under News & Announcements, on September 11 to see if they have been selected.
  2. Accreditation Update: As many of you know, Drew is seeking accreditation with AdvancED. The accreditation process includes both an internal and external review.  The internal review, which used data from the stakeholder surveys and student performance data, has been completed and submitted to AdvancED.  In addition, the external review has been scheduled for October 28-29th.  Following the external review, we anticipate accreditation being bestowed in January.
  3. Pathways: Pathways provide opportunities for students to pursue a particular interest by taking a series of courses in that area or advanced level courses including internships, Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment courses. Core academic pathways are completed by taking an AP or dual-enrollment course in that core area.  Elective pathways are completed by taking three courses in sequence.  Pathway courses may fulfill some graduation requirements, but often exceed these requirements.  All students are expected to complete at least one pathway.  However, students often have room in their schedules to pursue more than one.  Scheduling students to take courses in their first-choice pathway is a top priority, second only to graduation requirements.  Below is the list of pathways that we currently offer and a portfolio that provides more detailed information about the pathways is available at this link:
    1. Band
    2. Business and Technology
    3. Dance Performance and Production
    4. English/Language Arts
    5. Engineering Design
    6. Mathematics
    7. Orchestra
    8. Science
    9. Social Studies
    10. Spanish
    11. Visual Arts
    12. Vocal Music
  4. Advanced Placement Courses: Advanced Placement (AP) courses follow a curriculum developed by the College Board and are designed to taught at the college level. At the end of the course, students take an exam that includes a combination of multiple choice and free-response questions.  Students with scores of three or higher can receive college credit at most (but not all) colleges and universities.  Students can apply to take AP courses in the spring when applications are distributed through advisory and the Student News to Know! course in Echo.  Applications are also emailed to parents through the weekly Constant Contact emails.  Selection for AP courses is based on teacher recommendation and student academic performance, as measured by standardized assessments and grades.  Below is the list of AP courses that we currently offer:
    1. Ninth Grade – AP Human Geography
    2. Tenth Grade – AP World History
    3. Eleventh Grade –
      1. AP US History
      2. AP English Language
      3. AP Physics
  1. Principal’s Coffees: Thank you to everyone that attended the Principal’s Coffee this past Wednesday. These events are held on the third Wednesday of the month and will be relocated to room A301 to provide additional space.  The topic for the most recent coffee was communication and the topic of future coffees will be driven by parent/guardian feedback.  Please comment on this blog to suggest future topics.  Below are links to the materials that were presented at the most recent coffee:
    1. Presentation
    2. Echo Access Request Form
    3. Echo Parent Guide
    4. Link to Sign up for Constant Contact Emails
    5. Remind (text message and email alerts) Enrollment Instructions:
      1. Ninth Grade
      2. Tenth Grade
      3. Eleventh Grade

A Quote to Think About “Without a doubt, the ability to connect the dots is rare, prized and valuable. Connecting dots, solving the problem that hasn’t been solved before, seeing the pattern before it is made obvious, is more essential than ever before.  Why then, do we spend so much time collecting dots instead?… Their big bag of dots isn’t worth nearly as much as your handful of insight, is it?” – Seth Godin

3 thoughts on “Week of August 24th, 2015

  1. Kevin Lynch

    Mr. McKnight –
    Thank you for launching this. It has been great to hear directly from you and to read about the stellar Drew Eagles, faculty and staff who are rising above expectations every day.
    Keep up the great work!


  2. Keli Jones

    Please add the link to Go to http://www.mygivingpoint.org to Echo so our students can make sure they are meeting requirements of 100 hours for community service and all parents are aware of this requirement. This was discuss at our Principal’s coffee. Also in your blog if you can put upcoming Community Service offering at our school for students to participate in. Thanks


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