DDP Supports Teen Girls

Destiny’s Daughters of Promise  pic
Destiny’s Daughters of Promise
Image: ddpgirls.org

After holding several leadership and teaching positions in California and Illinois, Dr. Laurie Kimbrel took on current her role as the head of Brookhaven Innovation Academy in Georgia in 2016. Laurie Kimbrel holds a master of science degree in special education from Dominican University as well as a doctorate focusing on curriculum and instruction from Loyola University. She also volunteers as a mentor with Destiny’s Daughters of Promise (DDP).

DDP is a Georgia-based non-profit organization that aims to help teen girls develop self-confidence, leadership skills, work potential, and community relationships. The organization focuses on middle and high school girls, a vulnerable demographic that can face many challenges in today’s world. Through one-on-one mentorship, workshops, and community service, DDP aims to support these young women and help to prevent situations, such as teen pregnancy, that can contribute to a cycle of poverty.

The organization has seen its work make a measurable impact. In 2012-2013, 50 percent of sixth- and seventh-grade students in its programs achieved an A average, up from 30 percent. Of the teachers surveyed, 60 percent reported improved self-confidence and 80 percent saw improved behavior for the girls in the program. This observation was supported by the girls themselves, 80 percent of whom reported their own behavior had improved. A full 100 percent of the girls reported they felt more confident after going through the program.


Are Letter Grades Becoming Obsolete?

Letter Grades pic
Letter Grades
Image: neatoday.org

Laurie Kimbrel, head of school at Brookhaven Innovation Academy, has more than 25 years of experience in the education sector. As part of her current responsibilities, Laurie Kimbrel follows the latest discussions in education to help inform her day-to-day work.

The American educational system has undergone significant changes in recent years. Today, one prominently discussed idea is a proposed push away from letter grades toward other achievement metrics.

Over the past decade, the number of schools that have done away with traditional exams has increased. Recognizing the limitations of the current grading system, teachers and administrators are now beginning to use alternative indicators to measure a student’s progress. These new approaches focus more on evaluating the student’s strengths and weaknesses relative to the subject material rather than his or her proficiency in taking a given exam. Increasingly popular, such standards-based systems are sparking serious discussions about replacing the traditional A-F grading rubric.

Brookhaven Innovation Academy – Technology-Focused Charter School


Brookhaven Innovation Academy pic
Brookhaven Innovation Academy
Image: brookhaveninnovationacademy.com

An experienced education administrator, Laurie Kimbrel formerly served as superintendent of Tamalpais Union High School District in Larkspur, California. Laurie Kimbrel now leads as head of school for Georgia’s Brookhaven Innovation Academy.

Located in Norcross, Georgia, the Brookhaven Innovation Academy opened its doors in August 2016. The academy is a charter school that serves students in kindergarten through sixth grade, with authorization from the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia to expand through eighth grade.

Brookhaven Innovation Academy strives to help students reach their full potential while preparing them for the technology-focused 21st century workforce. With an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the academy has developed a methodology called Deeper Learning by Design. Through this methodology, every student completes an evidence-based blended learning curriculum that incorporates computer coding into lesson plans.

Students take on increasing responsibility for their own learning under the guidance of the academy’s teachers, who have the freedom to tailor students’ learning to meet their goals.

To learn more about the Brookhaven Innovation Academy, visit www.brookhaveninnovationacademy.com.

Georgia Nonprofit Supports School Finance Reporting Bill


Laurie Kimbrel
Laurie Kimbrel

An educational administrator for more than a decade, Dr. Laurie Kimbrel serves as head of school for Brookhaven Innovation Academy, located in Norcross, Georgia. Dedicated to helping others, Laurie Kimbrel volunteers her time with several organizations, including StudentsFirst and its chapter in Georgia.

A nonprofit organization, StudentsFirst strives to ensure that every child has access to excellent schools and teachers. It believes that teachers make the difference in a child’s life, and that each staff member works to raise awareness about shortcomings in the education system. Thanks to its volunteers, StudentsFirst has helped get more than 130 laws passed and change policies related to education. In March 2016, some of StudentsFirst’s state chapters, including Georgia’s, merged with 50Can, another nonprofit education advocacy group.

One effort made by the Georgia chapter during 2016 was supporting House Bill 659, which requires all schools and districts to give the public detailed financial information. Although the legislation did not get signed into law that year, the Georgia governor has pledged his support, and the organization believes its goal to change policy will be achieved in 2017.