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      Established by ordinance of the Atlanta City Council, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) opened three grammar schools and two high schools in 1872 to educate the youth of the city. These openings brought the total number of schools offering free education to the city’s children to seven, as the Freedman’s Bureau had established two schools for “Negro” children in 1866.

      The primary objective of the district has not changed from those early days. In the 21st century, APS has a renewed focus on student success, and strives to prepare every child for the future through effective and innovative teaching that meets the needs of the individual learner. Families, teachers, students and the community are encouraged to fully participate in the educational process that offers rigorous academics, relevance to everyday life and builds strong relationships among students, peers, and adults.

       Notable Atlanta Public Schools students include: 

      Martin Luther King, Jr. (Civil Rights Leader)
      Truett Kathy (Founder of Chick-Fil-A)
      Maynard Jackson (First African-American Mayor of Atlanta)
      Judge Glenda Hatchett (Television Personality)
      Charlayne Hunter-Gault (Civil Rights Leader and Journalist)
      Johnny Isakson (United States Senator)
      Louis Johnson (Tuskegee Airman)
      Harrison Jones (Former President of Coca-Cola Co.)
      John Portman (Prominent Architect)
      Herman Russell (Construction Mogul)