Vanessa McCray

Education Reporter

Vanessa McCray writes about Atlanta Public Schools. She previously covered education for The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, and reported for newspapers in her native northern Michigan.

Latest from Vanessa McCray

APS teacher allegedly asked students to call him 'daddy,' hid arrest
 An Atlanta Public Schools tribunal upheld the two-day unpaid suspension of a teacher who allegedly asked his students to call him “daddy” and failed to disclose a decade-old arrest.  Nicolas Alarcon, 37, appealed the superintendent’s December recommendation to suspend him after an internal investigation into allegations...

Posted: 3 days ago

An Atlanta Public Schools tribunal upheld the two-day unpaid suspension of a teacher who allegedly asked his students to call him “daddy” and failed to disclose a decade-old arrest.  Nicolas Alarcon, 37, appealed the superintendent’s December recommendation to suspend him after an internal investigation into allegations...
APS to spend $39M to renovate four schools
 The Atlanta school board approved construction management contracts totaling more than $39 million to renovate four schools.  The contracts, approved by the board earlier this month, are: $8.5 million for Beecher Hills Elementary School, $8.4 million for Hollis Innovation Academy, $7.8 million for Harper-Archer Elementary School and...

Posted: 4 days ago

The Atlanta school board approved construction management contracts totaling more than $39 million to renovate four schools.  The contracts, approved by the board earlier this month, are: $8.5 million for Beecher Hills Elementary School, $8.4 million for Hollis Innovation Academy, $7.8 million for Harper-Archer Elementary School and...
APS to train students to protect themselves from school shooters
 Atlanta Public Schools is developing training to teach students how to respond and protect themselves if there is a school shooting. The training will teach students what to do if they are surprised by an attacker, how to respond, and how to use items in the classroom to protect and defend themselves. Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said...

Posted: 5 days ago

Atlanta Public Schools is developing training to teach students how to respond and protect themselves if there is a school shooting. The training will teach students what to do if they are surprised by an attacker, how to respond, and how to use items in the classroom to protect and defend themselves. Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said...
APS to get deeds to 7 more properties after city council OKs deed transfers
 Atlanta City Council on Monday agreed to transfer deeds to seven more properties to Atlanta Public Schools. Council voted Monday to give the school district the deeds to five current and former elementary school sites: Morris Brandon, Humphries, Bethune, E.S.Jackson, and D.H. Stanton, now known as Barack and Michelle Obama Academy; as well...

Posted: 5 days ago

Atlanta City Council on Monday agreed to transfer deeds to seven more properties to Atlanta Public Schools. Council voted Monday to give the school district the deeds to five current and former elementary school sites: Morris Brandon, Humphries, Bethune, E.S.Jackson, and D.H. Stanton, now known as Barack and Michelle Obama Academy; as well...
Georgia online school’s closure means one less option for high-risk students 
 When Georgia’s first online statewide charter high school closes next month, it will leave behind roughly 1,700 students without a diploma— many of whom have struggled in school — and a mixed legacy as an education pioneer that ultimately perished. Graduation Achievement Charter High School failed to meet state academic...

Posted: 6 days ago

When Georgia’s first online statewide charter high school closes next month, it will leave behind roughly 1,700 students without a diploma— many of whom have struggled in school — and a mixed legacy as an education pioneer that ultimately perished. Graduation Achievement Charter High School failed to meet state academic...
Atlanta school board approves position cuts, tentative budget
 The Atlanta school board tentatively approved an $815 million general fund budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.  The budget received its first of two approvals Monday by a 7-1 vote, with Byron Amos opposed. Michelle Olympiadis abstained from the vote; she did not publicly explain her reason for doing so. Earlier in...

Posted: 19 days ago

The Atlanta school board tentatively approved an $815 million general fund budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.  The budget received its first of two approvals Monday by a 7-1 vote, with Byron Amos opposed. Michelle Olympiadis abstained from the vote; she did not publicly explain her reason for doing so. Earlier in...
Fulton DA’s office error hides files in APS cheating case
 The Fulton County district attorney’s office got the wrong person when it mistakenly agreed to seal one criminal record in the Atlanta test-cheating case, and that error also put the files of nearly three dozen other defendants out of public view for several weeks. The flub happened when prosecutors received a request to seal an...

Posted: 24 days ago

The Fulton County district attorney’s office got the wrong person when it mistakenly agreed to seal one criminal record in the Atlanta test-cheating case, and that error also put the files of nearly three dozen other defendants out of public view for several weeks. The flub happened when prosecutors received a request to seal an...
Atlanta education: Mayor seeks education officer; tasks not yet clear
 When Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms names a chief education officer to serve on her revamped cabinet, Atlanta will join a growing number of cities delving into school issues outside the traditional municipal sphere. Bottoms, who took office in January, is in the midst of an administrative shakeup as she restructures a team inherited from her...

Posted: 24 days ago

When Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms names a chief education officer to serve on her revamped cabinet, Atlanta will join a growing number of cities delving into school issues outside the traditional municipal sphere. Bottoms, who took office in January, is in the midst of an administrative shakeup as she restructures a team inherited from her...
1,700 Atlanta students to see sold-out musical ‘Hamilton’
 Atlanta Public Schools raised $195,000 to purchase 1,700 tickets for high schooler students to see the popular musical ‘Hamilton’ when it comes to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, the Kendeda Fund, Georgia Natural Gas, United Consulting and other sponsors contributed money to...

Posted: 25 days ago

Atlanta Public Schools raised $195,000 to purchase 1,700 tickets for high schooler students to see the popular musical ‘Hamilton’ when it comes to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, the Kendeda Fund, Georgia Natural Gas, United Consulting and other sponsors contributed money to...
Lots of options for Georgia students, but still a hard decision: which college?
 Like many high school seniors this time of year, Erin Leydon has been grappling with a big decision: Where should she go to college? In some ways, the 17-year-old Wheeler High School student had a head start. She already knows she wants to study aerospace engineering, and she had narrowed her list to three prestigious options: Massachusetts...

Posted: 29 days ago

Like many high school seniors this time of year, Erin Leydon has been grappling with a big decision: Where should she go to college? In some ways, the 17-year-old Wheeler High School student had a head start. She already knows she wants to study aerospace engineering, and she had narrowed her list to three prestigious options: Massachusetts...
$1M grant will help build new Atlanta elementary school
 Bank of America announced a $1 million donation today to build a new $34 million Atlanta school in the Grove Park neighborhood.  Officials said the gift will jump start a fundraising drive to open a new Woodson Park Academy at the site of the former Woodson Elementary School, just off the Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. ...

4:26 PM Friday, Apr. 27, 2018

Bank of America announced a $1 million donation today to build a new $34 million Atlanta school in the Grove Park neighborhood.  Officials said the gift will jump start a fundraising drive to open a new Woodson Park Academy at the site of the former Woodson Elementary School, just off the Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. ...