11.4 Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet (November 4 - 9)

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                                                     

November 4, 2019

Atlanta Public Schools Weekly News Tip Sheet
(November 4 - 9)

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!

(Thursday, 10 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.)
APS to Host Annual State of the District Event, Quarterly Media Roundtable, Ribbon Cutting at Harper-Archer Elementary School

Join Atlanta Public Schools (APS) as the District gathers for true and inspiring stories from The Epic of APS, the theme for this year’s State of the District (SOD) event, Thursday, November 7, 10 a.m. – Noon, at Harper-Archer Elementary School (3399 Collier Road, SW).


APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen, along with the heroic students, educators and staff of APS, will narrate the 2019 SOD, highlighting the victories, struggles and stalemates from the District’s “Journey of Transformation” and the quest for excellence to ensure that all students graduate ready for college and career. Additionally, as part of the event, the District will announce a new partnership designed to enhance the Race to Read initiative that is creating a culture of engaged readers throughout the city.


Prior to the SOD event, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the school, which underwent a year-long $11.6 million renovation to convert it from a middle school to an elementary school. Immediately following the SOD event, the District’s Quarterly Media Roundtable will be held in the school’s media center. 


Media Roundtable topics of discussion include:

  • Data covered during the SOD event
  • Progress on our Mission and Vision
  • Academics/Student Performance
  • Opportunities and Next Steps
  • Launch of a New Literacy Partnership
  • Safety and Security
  • Strategic Planning
  • Facilities Master Planning

(Friday, 10 a.m.) APS, Mercedes-Benz Celebrate National STEM Day with Launch of “No Limits” Initiative

Mercedes-Benz USA in conjunction with Mattel and the National Girls Collaborative Project, will kick off the national No Limits initiative with Atlanta Public Schools for National STEM Day.

The No Limits initiative aims to challenge gender stereotypes in children, especially young girls. Thousands of APS first grade students will participate in interactive assemblies designed to inspire them to think outside of the box when it comes to career aspirations.

Schools holding No Limits interactive assemblies include:

  • Harper-Archer Elementary School (3399 Collier Drive, NW)
  • Hollis Innovation Academy (225 James P. Brawley Drive, NW)
  • Agnes Jones Elementary School (1040 Fair Street, NW)

More News and Information

APS Administrators Selected to Participate in Prestigious School Improvement Initiative

A team of Atlanta Public Schools administrators has been selected to take part in a prestigious school improvement initiative by the Georgia Department of Education.

The team, led by Dr. Shannon Hervey, director of Student Support and Interventions, will participate in the Proving Ground Multi-Day Institute, an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, November 19-22, at the Macon Marriot City Center. The APS team was one of 10 groups from school districts throughout the state, chosen to participate in the Institute, an opportunity to learn and create action plans and initiatives geared toward solving one of the most pressing issues educators face:  chronic absenteeism.

Additionally, they will learn the principles of improvement science, impact evaluation, and user-centered design.

Grady High School Newspaper Receives National Award

The Grady High School newspaper, The Southerner, has been rated by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) as a “Gold Medalist” during its annual critique of student publications.

The critique rated the Southerner's work from the 2018-2019 school year. The paper scored 955 of a total 1,000 points in the rating, with scores in the 95th percentile or higher in the three areas rated:  Essentials, Verbal and Visual.

The CSPA’s overall comments on The Southerner said, "Your work is impressive and it was fun to explore. Your team does well at leveraging the strengths of your website and print editions to provide your community with a valuable service. Your efforts to include multimedia add value to your copy.”

The Southerner can be read online at thesoutherneronline.com. The publication’s faculty advisor is Delbert Ellerton. The staff consists of:

Editors-In-Chief: Katherine Esterl, Tyler Jones, Charlotte Spears and Kiki Soto

Managing Editors: George Lefkowicz, Helen Moore, Catherine Opsahl, Kaitlin Palaian, Elias Podber, Abby Peters, Dana Richie

Associate Managing Editors: Kamyrn Harty, Elena Hubert, Bram Mansbach, Lanier Pickren

News Section Editors: Stella Mackler, Ava Smith

Comment Section Editors: Anna Rachwalski, Frankie Soto, Kelly Tran

Lifestyle, A&E Section Editors: Yei-Bin Andrews, Annie Laster, Aaliyah Rapping

Sports Section Editor: Mills Rentz-Baker

Social Media Editor: Katie Dwyer

Photography Editors: Bria Brown, Ellie Winer

Multimedia Editors: Elise Isakov, Peter Thrasher

Online Editors: Anna Federova, Kamryn Harty

Copy Editors: Rebecca Chapman, Anna Rachwalski

Staff Writers: Wills Barton, Marcus Johnson, Grace Langan, Maeve Malaney-Lau, Will Randall, Keller Rentz-Baker, Francesca Ruhe, Lindsay Ruhl, Duncan Tanner, Carys Van Atta

North Atlanta High School Honored with Red Ribbon Certification for Year-Round Excellence in Prevention

North Atlanta High School has been given the seal of approval for success in, and commitment to, academic excellence through drug prevention.

Informed Families and the National Family Partnership recently recognized North Atlanta as a Red Ribbon Certified School, based on the school’s efforts to improve academic performance by keeping kids drug and alcohol free, while engaging parents and the community. Less than 100 schools nationwide have been awarded Red Ribbon Certification status since 2005.

“The Red Ribbon Certified Schools program provides a wonderful opportunity to honor schools that utilize the Red Ribbon Campaign and other effective prevention strategies year round to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug-free,” said, Peggy Sapp, President & CEO of Informed Families. “North Atlanta High School does just that – and involves the entire community of students, parents, administrators and local citizens in the process. That is prevention at its best.”

To be considered for Red Ribbon Certification, schools must utilize substance abuse prevention-related curriculum guided by best practices, work with parents as partners and engage in year-round Red Ribbon events. Schools selected for certification remain certified for a three-year period. The program was originally developed by Informed Families, The National Family Partnership and the Florida Center for Prevention Research at Florida State University and funded by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the US Department of Health & Human Services.

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.