Graduation data shows Fulton is tops in metro area - September, 2017
Nearly all Fulton high schools honored for Advanced Placement achievement - February 27, 2017
Seven Fulton schools ranked in state's Top 15 for SAT achievement - September, 2016
Five of Georgia's Top 10 highest scoring schools for ACT are in Fulton County - August, 2016
Message from Dr. Spuka (newsletter April 27, 2018)
Message from Dr. Spurka
A Time to Celebrate
This time of year is one of the busiest but also one of my favorite! Next week we will start our testing season, and it is hard to believe that graduation will be here soon! I am very proud that each spring we take time to celebrate the accomplishments of our school and our amazing students. This week we were recognized as an outstanding high school due to our students' performance in AP courses as well as our overall participation. We are very proud that Cambridge High School has been named an AP Merit School for having 20% of our students participate in at least one AP course, as well as an AP STEM School, and an AP Humanities School. Cambridge was also named an AP STEM Achievement School for having over 40% of our students taking an AP course score a three or better on the exam.
The celebration only begins there! Over the next week, we will be celebrating the achievements of over 500 of our fantastic students. On Monday we will hold our annual Honors' Night in which students will be recognized for their academic accomplishments. Students received invitations to Honors' Night this week. In addition, we will recognize our VIP students in our annual VIP Breakfast ceremony on Friday, starting at 7:45 am. Each staff member was asked to recognize one or two students who have served as positive citizens in their class and around our school. These students have had a positive impact on our teachers and are recognized as a Cambridge VIPs. Students recognized as VIPs will receive their invitations early next week.
Our largest celebration will be when we honor and recognize the "Class of 2018" at graduation on Thursday, May 24, at 7:30 pm. There will be more information forthcoming about our graduation ceremony.
This time of year, there is more pressure and stress on our students to perform on high stakes testing and also some of our athletic programs head into state playoffs. It is important that we not put all our focus on results of test scores or final grades, but recognize the efforts of all our students, and the progress they have made in making our high school one of the highest performing high schools in our nation. I could not be more proud of our students, for their hard work in the classroom and their positive behavior around our school. Go Bears!
Message from Dr. Spurka
I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and peaceful spring break. Our students have worked hard in the classroom and have shown great resilience this semester, through the stress of school and just being a teenager. Things will be busy when we return with testing and gearing up for graduation, so it is important for all our students to get some rest over the break and get their minds off of school. Coach Bennett shared this video with me, and I want you to watch it with your children. It has a great message about dealing with stress. Stay safe, and we'll see you after the break!
Everyone's Timing is different
Messenger from Dr. Spurka - Friday, March 2, 2018
Safety and Security
Dear Parents and Cambridge Families,
School safety and security continues to be an important focus here at Cambridge. I have engaged our students, staff, and parents in conversations on the things we are doing well and areas we need to improve. My message to the PTSA this morning was about my perspective on school safety and providing a safe learning environment where students can learn, and teachers can teach. My message was that I did not believe that we should run our school like a prison, but more like a bank. We invest our financial resources in banks, and we expect our bank to protect our investments. Like the bank, we have an obligation to protect your most important assets, your children. This is not something we take lightly. We will continue to look at things we do well and areas we need to address. We need your assistance in enforcing some of our safety procedures:
Please continue to enter the school through the front entrance. Expect our office staff to ask for your ID as well as your nature of business prior to being buzzed in. When you enter the building, please go straight into the main office.
The exterior doors on the sides of the school will remain locked throughout the school-day. Starting Monday morning, students being dropped off in the side car-pool lane, can still be dropped off on that side but will have to enter through the school's front entrance.
We provide student supervision in the morning beginning at 7:30 am. We have noticed a number of students sitting in our hallways as early as 6:00 am. Moving forward, unless the student is involved in an extracurricular activity that is supervised by school staff, students should not be on campus until after 7:30 am.
When you arrive for a teacher conference, you will check in the front office. The teacher will meet you in the front office and take you to the meeting.
Encourage your students to read their Fulton County email daily, as I will continue to send them messages regarding safety and security.
Continue to talk with your child about his or her use of social media. If something is inappropriate or offensive, please report it. Simply, if you see something, say something. The links below provide opportunities for anyone to report suspicious behavior.
https://asp.schoolmessenger.com/fultonschools/quicktip/ or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
As you read in our Superintendent's communication yesterday, we will send more information regarding a school-wide structured time of demonstration on March 14. Given this is a GROWL Day, there will be minimal disruption to the school and instructional time.
We continue to evaluate our procedures and will continue to engage with our students. We want to know the security measures that make them feel safe and the measures that make them feel unsafe so that we can make the appropriate adjustment. I would encourage our parents to attend the district forum on safety which is Thursday, March 8, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at Centennial High School.
Thank you for all your support!
Message from Dr. Spurka January 24, 2018
Instructional Make Up Days for Cambridge
Parents and Guardians,
Fulton County Schools has announced its plan to make up some of the days lost this year due to inclement weather. Our teachers and staff value the instructional time spent with students and are committed to using it wisely. Due to our district's charter status, Fulton County Schools has flexibility with holding make-up days and will not make up all of the time lost. Instead, there is a plan that uses the designated inclement weather days on the school calendar as well as a piloted "Digital Learning Day" for at-home learning.
There will be three make-up days – February 16, March 9, and March 12. The upcoming President's Day holiday and Spring Break are not affected, and the school year also will still end before Memorial Day.
February 16 was announced earlier this year as a make-up day due to Hurricane Irma school closures, but the district determined that March 12 will be a second make-up day for the recent snow/ice closures. A third make-up day – March 9 – will be a piloted Digital Learning Day, where students will work independently from home on schoolwork and projects using district-issued mobile devices or home technology. We are still working on the specifics of the March 9 Digital Learning Day and will communicate them in the next few weeks. Cambridge High School will continue to have Thursday, March 8 as a Professional Learning Day for teachers and Friday, March 9 as a Teacher Work Day; therefore, students will not report on these two days.
For the Digital Learning Day on March 9, teachers will consider students' home access to technology and internet, and our school district also will work with learning partners on ways students can access technology outside of school or home. In a few weeks, we will share our plan on how Digital Learning Day will be implemented and how you can support your child. We are excited to see our school district consider the use of Digital Learning Days and look forward to providing feedback on how it worked for our students and teachers.
The next few months will be busy for our classrooms, but for now, rest assured that we are committed to learning and supporting our students and families.
Dr. Ed Spurka
Message from Dr. Spurka - 2017 CCRPI - November, 2017
This week the Georgia Department of Education released the 2017 College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) for all schools in Georgia. The CCRPI is the way the Georgia Department of Education measures schools and school districts and gives them a rating on a 100-point scale. We are so excited to announce that our 2017 score is a 99! This is a two-point increase from last year and nearly a perfect score! This is a reason to celebrate!
The vast majority of the CCRPI score derives from student performance on the Georgia Milestones End of Course Tests, our graduation rate, as well as our student attendance. We are very proud that our graduation rate continues to be one of the highest in the metro-Atlanta area at 98.2%. While our student achievement data earned us a 99 on our CCRPI score, it also revealed areas we can improve as a school. We will continue to disaggregate our data and work with our teachers during GROWL to ensure we provide the best possible educational experience for each and every one of our students.
We believe that our school has an exceptional learning environment, and that is partly because of your support as a parent or guardian. We are very proud of all of our support programs, such as PAWS, CLAWS, and this year's new program called GROWL. All of our programs provide support and valuable learning opportunities for our students to truly personalize their high school learning experience and prepare for life after high school.
As principal, I am proud to serve this community which continually strives to improve. Thank you for your continued support, GO BEARS!
Message from Dr. Spurka on SAT Scores - September 2017
2017 SAT Scores
This week the Georgia Department of Education released SAT scores for all schools in Georgia. These scores were generated by our recently graduated seniors, the Class of 2017, who took the SAT during their senior year. Overall Cambridge had 292 seniors take the SAT during their senior year out of 504 members of the class.
Last year's SAT looked different than in previous years. The College Board, which designs and administers the test, released a new version of the test during the 2015-2016 school year. Our students took the new SAT for the first time in March 2016. The new test has two sections (Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math); whereas, the previous SAT had three sections (Critical Reading, Writing, and Math). Both the new and old SAT have an optional essay. Scoring for the SAT also changed. The old SAT had an overall score of 2400 while the new SAT has an overall score of 1600.
Our 2017 score is 1155 which is a 30-point increase from last year. Because of the differences between the old SAT and the new SAT, College Board officials caution against comparing this year's results to that of previous years. We feel that our score is a good starting point for our school, and we will continue to make progress as students get used to taking the test in its new format. We also will continue our PSAT testing for students in grades 9, 10, and 11 to help strengthen their academic preparation and to identify personal strengths and weaknesses before they take the SAT. All students in grade 9, 10, and 11 will take the PSAT at school on October 11, 2017 (a half day for all students).
While the SAT does not impact students' grades or academic standing, it is a predictor of student performance after high school, and the results hold value for our school. We encourage students to consider taking college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT, so they can be exposed to challenging, thought-provoking questions that measure what they have learned throughout their high school career.