State Superintendent Richard Woods visited Banneker High School on March 7 to see and hear the school’s “turnaround story.” Once designated as an underperforming school, student achievement has significantly improved in recent years under the leadership of its principal, Dr. Duke Bradley III.
The school’s graduation rate has dramatically increased along with test scores and overall student performance. Recently, Banneker was removed from the state’s failing schools list and was named a “Beating The Odds” school in 2018.
“It is always great to see a school striving to make improvements,” said Superintendent Woods. “All of us, as educators, share the responsibility to continuously improve so we can better serve students.”
State legislators and Fulton County School Board members were also present for last week’s school tour. The special guests visited the “3DE Business Magnet Academy” where students focus on on real-world projects and project-based education, as well as the new Student and Family Engagement Center.
The center’s offerings are vast, including mental and emotional health counseling, mentorship programs, financial and adult literacy services, a food pantry and a clothing closet. In January, the center welcomed families impacted by the government shutdown during its weekly food and clothing distribution.
Guests also learned about a $5.2 million School Improvement Grant (SIG) that has funded teaching innovations that help students become more college and career ready.
While touring the school, one thing that especially stood out to Superintendent Woods was the strong connections between the teachers and students.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing a teacher can do is build relationships with their students, and I saw that clearly taking place at Banneker High School during my visit,” he said.
Photo: Principal Dr. Duke Bradley III, State Superintendent Richard Woods and others walk the halls of Banneker High School during a school tour on March 7. (Credit: Fulton County Schools)