North Atlanta High School principal Gene Taylor has announced that he will not return for the next school year.
In a letter to parents and students, Dr. Taylor said he will resign effective June 30.
Below is the complete letter to parents and students from the principal:
Dear Warrior Parents, Students and Community,
I am writing to share with you that I will not be signing a contract with Atlanta Public Schools to continue in the role of principal for next year. Effective June 30, 2014, I will resign the position of Principal of North Atlanta High School.
While more work needs to be done, we have made much progress during our time together. Having reached an 80% 4-year graduation rate in 2013, with approximately half of our students receiving federally subsidized meals, North Atlanta High School has achieved one of the highest graduation rates in the state, but especially among Title I schools. North Atlanta is significantly closing the achievement gap between students in the black and white subgroups, with students in our white subgroup achieving an 85.7% and students in our black subgroup achieving an 80.4% 4-year graduation rate. Our students in the Hispanic subgroup are not only outperforming Hispanic students in APS and Georgia, but with a 4-year graduation rate of 66.7%, Hispanic students at North Atlanta High School have achieved a graduation rate higher than the APS system average and just 4.8% lower than the average 4-year graduation rate for Georgia. Additionally, while one is hard-pressed to find a factor more negatively related to student learning than poverty, the 4-year graduation rate of 76.8% for our students in the economically disadvantaged subgroup is higher than the APS system average and the average for Georgia. This level of progress is truly impressive.
In addition to our success with graduation rates, together we have dramatically increased student participation in the Advanced Placement program, including offering five sections each in AP Biology, AP Human Geography, and AP World History this year. With 32 of the 77 full IB Diploma Program candidates earning the IB Diploma last year, we achieved a 42% Diploma achievement rate, our highest rate within at least the last five years. Of our students taking two or more IB exams last year, 97.5% scored a 4 or higher on two or more exams. With 140 rising juniors already expressing interest, we expect a dramatic increase in student participation in the IB Diploma Program for next year. The additional scaffolding of the Advanced Placement courses we are now providing these and future IB Diploma Program students is bound to lead to our greatest IBDP success yet. It is no wonder that the Washington Post has named North Atlanta High School one of "America's Most Challenging High Schools," only one of three APS schools named, and the APS school with the highest ranking.
We have accomplished much during our time together, including our successful move into the new North Atlanta facility. I am deeply saddened that our time together has not been longer; however, for the remainder of our time together, I will continue to do as I have done every day since becoming your principal—give you my all toward making North—the direction to EXCELLENCE for all of our students.
You have my heart,
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.