11.23 APS Weekly News Tip Sheet (Week of November 22, 2021)

Office of Communications and Public Engagement
130 Trinity Avenue SW | Atlanta, Georgia 30303


Seth Coleman, Director of Media Relations & Television Broadcast

404-802-2891, office
404-406-5570, cell


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

November 23, 2021

Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (November 22 - 27)

Editors/Producers/Reporters: The following is a list of events, programs, accomplishments and/or initiatives occurring in Atlanta Public Schools (APS) this week. Please use it as a guide as you develop your coverage plans.

Members of the media are invited to attend all events on the Weekly APS News Tip Sheet. If you have an interest in these stories, please contact Seth Coleman, Media Relations Director.  Thank you for your interest in Atlanta Public Schools!

Atlanta Public Schools Announces Hiring of Epidemiologist and School Based Health Coordinator


Juliana Prieto and Twanna Harris will serve as the Epidemiologist and School Based Health Coordinator, respectively, for Atlanta Public Schools. The hirings are in keeping with the district’s commitment to maintaining the health and well-being of its students and employees.

Prieto most recently worked as an epidemiologist with the Fulton County Board of Health, managing and investigating reportable infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Prior to that, she worked as an epidemiologist working on the Zika Virus response with the Florida Department of Health.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Psychology from University of Miami and her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida, with a concentration in Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health. She is currently attending Georgia State University where she is pursuing her Doctor of Public Health degree.

Her areas of interest include infectious diseases and infection prevention and control, creating public/private partnerships with community organizations to increase public health’s role, and addressing issues that contribute to health disparities.

Twanna House will serve all APS schools to coordinate health initiatives in collaboration with the community partners and school-based health partners. House will assist with monitoring quality improvement processes for school-based health services and serve on the school-based health advisory teams. House has more than 18 years of public health, environmental health, school-based nutrition, and leadership experience. She has a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health.

Both Prieto and House will be valuable assets and additions to the APS Health Services team.


APS to Provide $1,000 Stipends for Employees Next Month


Atlanta Public Schools plans to pay all staff members a $1,000, one-time stipend next month. All employees, including part-time, hourly, and substitutes are eligible for the stipends.


The payments are part of a concerted, on-going effort by the district to retain its employees and let them know how much their work is appreciated.


“For what will soon be two years, all of our employees have remained focused, nimble and adaptable through the pandemic. They are dedicated to our core work, which is educating children and keeping them safe,” Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring said. “This $1,000 stipend is our way of showing all of our employees that we see them, we hear them, we respect them, and we appreciate them and the work that they do for our students, families and communities.”


The Atlanta Board of Education is expected to approve the budget adjustments for the stipends at its monthly meeting on December 6, to be included in employee paychecks on December 15. Also next month, APS plans to introduce:


  • First ever $3,000 retention stipends for special education teachers, paid half in December and half in May
  • $500 - $2,000 retention stipends for all staff in high poverty schools (with >65% direct certification), paid half in December and half in May
  • Stipend payments for teacher leader career pathway roles.


The $1,000 one-time payments are in line with other historic investments in compensation and staff appreciation the district made earlier this school year:


  • A 5.8% pay increase, which is the largest teacher pay raise in over 12 years
  • $3,000 extended day stipends for full-time salaried, exempt staff in elementary schools ($150 per check August 31, 2021, through June 15, 2022)
  • Additional 2.5 hours per week pay for hourly and/or non-exempt staff in elementary schools for extended day.
  • Step raises for all eligible employees on a pay grade
  • Converted all remaining hourly “one-to-one” special education paraprofessionals to full time with benefits
  • $15 minimum wage for hourly staff
  • Substitute teacher pay increase
  • Market rate adjustments for specific employee groups, including the police department, graduation coaches, HVAC technicians, nurses, and coaches of new sports


APS began this compensation and retention effort in July 2020:


  • $15 minimum wage increases for full time staff in August 2020
  • $1,000 APS Cares stipends in December 2020
  • 2% pay raise for all full time staff in May 2020
  • $1,000 retention bonuses in May 2020



(Wednesday, November 24) Atlanta Public Schools Offices Closed for Thanksgiving Break


Atlanta Public Schools offices will be closed Wednesday, November 24 through Friday, November 25 for Thanksgiving Break.


District offices will reopen at 8 AM, Monday, November 29.



(Friday, November 25 | 5:30 & 8 PM) South Atlanta and Carver Featured in Atlanta Public Schools State Football Playoff Doubleheader, Friday


Two Atlanta Public Schools high schools have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Georgia High Schools Association (GHSA) state football playoffs and will be featured in a doubleheader at Lakewood Stadium on Friday.


In the first game, South Atlanta (11-1), the Region 6-2A champions, will host Callaway (9-2), the No. 2 seed from Region 5, at 5:30 PM at Lakewood Stadium (70 Claire Drive, SE). The Hornets are in the third round of the state playoffs for the first time in school history. South Atlanta advanced by defeating Banks County in Round One (46-12) and Westside-Augusta last week in Round Two (22-17).


In game two, Carver (9-2), the No. 2 seed from Region 5-3A, will host Burke County (9-2), the No. 2 seed from Region 4, at 8 PM. The Panthers are in the quarterfinals for the second time in four seasons and for the sixth time in school history (2017, 2007, 1986, 1968 and 1967). Carver advanced by defeating North Hall in Round One (56-17) and Liberty County last week in Round Two (53-6).



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About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 87 schools and five programs. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 64 traditional schools, 19 charter schools, six partner schools, two alternative schools and five alternative programs. To learn more about Atlanta Public Schools, follow us on social media – Twitter (@apsupdate), Facebook (Atlanta Public Schools), and Instagram (apsupdate) – or visit us online at www.atlantapublicschools.us