12.16 Weekly News Tip Sheet

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

Ian Smith, Executive Director
404-802-2855, office
404-603-6934, cell



Seth Coleman, Media Relations Manager
404-802-2891, office
404-406-5570, cell


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

December 16, 2019


Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet
(December 16 - 21)

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. Thank you for your interest in Atlanta Public Schools!


(Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) APS Partners with I’m A Father F1rst to Provide Free Holiday Haircuts

Students in the four Atlanta Public Schools (APS) middle schools in south Atlanta will have the opportunity to receive free haircuts this week, thanks to a partnership between the District and a local organization.

APS and I’m A Father F1rst are teaming up to provide haircuts this week for students at Sylvan, Long, Bunche and Young Middle Schools in an initiative called “Fresh and Frosty – Haircuts for the Holiday Break.”

I’m A Father F1rst is a local non-profit organization focused on uplifting fathers and reshaping families by reducing fatherless homes in communities all over the world through creating impactful, positive narratives of black fathers.

Local barbers have volunteered their time to participate in the initiative, which will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the following days and locations:

  • Monday, December 16 at Sylvan Middle
  • Tuesday, December 17 at Long Middle
  • Wednesday, December 18 at Bunche Middle
  • Thursday, December 19 at Young Middle


(Tuesday, 1 p.m.) Nationally Renowned Fitness Instructor to Help Douglass High School Seniors “Dance” Their Way to Better Health

Famed dance fitness instructor Dwight Holt Jr. will help more than 40 seniors at Douglass High School (225 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive, NW), as well as several staff members, dance their way to better health through his “Dance Your Pounds Off Experience.”

Holt Jr. – a certified fitness instructor and celebrity trainer who has been featured on Dr. Oz and The Real, and who is credited with the dramatic weight loss of actress/comedienne Mo’Nique (100 pounds!) – will conduct a 30-minute, high-energy dance fit class for the students and talk about good health, fitness and nutrition choices, Tuesday at 1 p.m. He will return to Douglass for two more sessions during the second semester.

The initiative is being funded through a $700 mini grant from the Fulton County Government Youth & Community Services Department, and is designed to improve both attendance and the cultural climate at the school through improving student health with a fun, interactive and challenging program.


In Other APS News

APS Finance Team Receives National Award for Work on Annual Financial Report

The Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Finance Division has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management, according to GFOA, a national organization, established in 1906 to promote and advance excellence in public finance.

GFOA honored the APS Finance Division, led by Chief Financial Officer Lisa Bracken, for its work on the District’s comprehensive annual financial report for the 2018 fiscal year.


South Atlanta High School Receives $5K Grant from Porsche to Support Automotive Pathway Program

A program designed to prepare students for careers in automotive repair at South Atlanta High School has received a $5,000 grant Porsche.

The funds will support the school’s Automotive Pathway, which teaches students the basic skills needed to gain employment as a maintenance and light repair technician. Students are exposed to courses in automotive preventative maintenance, servicing and replacing brakes, and steering and suspension components. In more advanced courses, students learn how to do general electrical system diagnosis, learn electrical theory, perform basic tests and determine necessary action, and how to evacuate and recharge air conditioning systems using the proper refrigerant.

Drew Charter Students Win Big at Annual State BETA Club Convention

Students in Charles R. Drew Charter School’s junior academy (middle grades) won a total of 17 awards and honors at this year’s State BETA Club Convention, held earlier this month in Savannah.

Projects created by Drew students won first place in the following categories:  Painting, Woodworking, Marketing and Communication, Campaign Skit, Portfolio, Color Photography, Living Literature and Recyclable Art. Additionally, seventh grader Melvin Hodges was named State BETA president, the third consecutive year a Drew Eagle has won that honor, and the school earned five invitations for students to attend the National BETA Convention, scheduled to be held in Texas in the summer of 2020.

Also, Drew placed projects in the top five in Service Learning Showcase, Sculpture, Two-Dimensional Design, Jewelry, Performing Art Group, Digital Art, Mixed Media and Drawing.


Coming Soon! Registration Period for Pre-K Lottery to Open Next Month

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) will begin accepting Pre-K lottery applications for the 2020-2021 school year on January 6, 2020 through February 12, 2020. For more information, visit the Teaching and Learning page on the District’s website.

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 Manager.