During our last Transform Westside Summit on Dec. 6, which featured a presentation on the state of Hollis Innovation Academy, a group of students stole the show. Hollis focuses on exposing students to rich experiences that will allow them to dream bigger and lead choice-filled lives, and the students’ presentations and performance at the Summit were perfect examples.
Hollis students line up and prepare to present to Transform Westside Summit Attendees.
Having added a grade level each year, Hollis welcomed its inaugural eighth grade class for the 2019-2020 school year and boasts a diverse group of passionate students with a variety of ages. The school’s unique approach has resulted in an increase in the percentage of students scoring proficient or above each year, but it is the students’ passion that has proven a significant factor in the school’s growth and success. That passion was on full display during our summit.
The Hollis Drum Line, led by band teacher Everard Harris, was a highlight for many Summit attendees. As the students performed, the rhythm brought the crowd to their feet with some even dancing along.
The Hollis Drum Line brought the audience to their feet with an impressive performance to kick off the State of the School Update.
Harris has been at Hollis for two years. He started the drum line in 2018 with the goal of teaching his student musicians the fundamentals of drumming, including proper care for the instruments and learning to read cues and music, as well as building comradery.
This year alone, the Hollis Drum Line has performed at athletic events, school community meetings, Book Character Day and the school’s inaugural homecoming.
Members of the drum line weren’t the only students that wowed attendees. Following the drum line, a series of well-spoken Hollis students lined up in the aisle and took turns correcting common myths about their school. Led by Dennis Toliver, an S.E.L. coach at Hollis for the last four years, the students described their school and what its curriculum offers them, including its house system – which divides the school into subunits.
Well-spoken students share myths and facts about their school and its curriculum.
Hollis’ house system is the heartbeat of the school’s cultural experience, setting it apart from other schools like it. It begins in pre-K and continues through the eighth grade. The pride it instills in students helps develop a sense of belonging and comradery that is woven into the complete school experience.
These are just a few examples of the rich after-school programming offered at Hollis in partnership with Global Tech Academy. Through a variety of clubs and activities, Hollis seeks to tap into and foster its students’ unique talents and strengths and further enforce the Six Habits of Hollis: collaboration, communication, creativity, empathy, perseverance and self-discipline.
For more information about Hollis Innovation Academy, visit the school’s website: https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/Page/11938. Parents with students who may be interested in participating in the Hollis Drum Line can contact Harris directly.